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Master How to Split Screen on Mac in Simple Steps

by | Dec 17, 2023 | How To

Splitting the screen on a Mac allows you to multitask more effectively by using two apps simultaneously without constant switching. This article will provide step-by-step instructions on how to split screen on a Mac and what to do if it doesn’t work.

Split View mode on Mac is a feature that allows you to fill the screen with two different apps, making it easier to compare information and work on multiple tasks. You can activate Split View mode using a keyboard shortcut or by manually arranging the windows.

Before using Split View mode on a Mac, it’s important to check the settings. Ensure that the option “Displays have separate Spaces” is checked in the Mission Control section of System Preferences. Split View mode is supported by all operating systems starting from OS X El Capitan.

To activate Split View mode on a Mac with macOS Catalina, click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window. From the menu that appears, select either “Tile Window to Right of Screen” or “Tile Window to Left of Screen.” Then, select the second window you want to open in Split View.

For earlier macOS versions, click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window. The window will shrink, and you can drag it to either the left or right side of the screen. Release the window to attach it to the chosen side. Select another window to open on the other half of the screen.

Mission Control is a tool on Mac that allows you to quickly view and switch between all active windows, including those in Split View mode. You can access Mission Control using keyboard shortcuts or through Launchpad. It’s a convenient way to navigate between different windows and applications.

In Split View mode on a Mac, you can adjust the width of the windows by holding the black screen separator and moving it to the left or right. Some apps have a minimum required space and won’t allow you to resize beyond that. In macOS Catalina, you can also use the option to zoom and adjust the size of the windows. Additionally, you can switch the positions of the windows by dragging them to the opposite side.

To exit Split View mode on a Mac, you can press the Escape key or click on the red button to return the windows to normal mode. Alternatively, you can use Mission Control to exit Split View by clicking on the button with inward-facing arrows in the Space menu bar. Both windows will return to their normal size.

Split Screen View became available with the release of OS X El Capitan in 2014. However, not all applications support split screens, especially third-party apps downloaded from the internet. Most default apps on a MacBook are fully supported for split screen use.

While Split View mode on Mac allows for two apps to be viewed simultaneously, there are other third-party apps like Magnet or Split Screen that offer more advanced multitasking options. These apps can handle multiple windows and provide a more customizable split screen experience.

Splitting the screen on a Mac using Split View mode is a convenient way to work on multiple tasks simultaneously. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can easily activate and customize the split screen view on your Mac. If split screen mode doesn’t meet your needs, there are alternative apps available for more advanced multitasking.

Key Takeaways:

  • Splitting the screen on a Mac allows you to multitask more effectively.
  • Activate Split View mode using a keyboard shortcut or by manually arranging the windows.
  • Ensure the “Displays have separate Spaces” option is checked in the Mission Control settings.
  • To activate Split View in macOS Catalina, click and hold the green circle and select the desired window placement.
  • Adjust the width of windows in Split View and use Mission Control for easy navigation.

What is Split View mode on Mac?

Split View mode on Mac is a feature that allows you to fill the screen with two different apps, making it easier to compare information and work on multiple tasks. With Split View, you can have two apps side by side, each occupying half of the screen. This enables you to efficiently multitask and increases productivity by eliminating the need for constant window switching.

Activating Split View

To activate Split View mode on Mac, you can use a keyboard shortcut or manually arrange the windows. The keyboard shortcut for Split View is Control + Command + F. Pressing these keys together will automatically divide the screen into two equal halves, and you can then select the apps you want to use in Split View.

“Split View mode allows me to seamlessly work on two different tasks simultaneously without any distractions. It’s especially useful when I need to refer to information in one app while working on another app.”

– Mac user

If you prefer to manually arrange the windows, simply click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window. From the drop-down menu that appears, select either “Tile Window to Right of Screen” or “Tile Window to Left of Screen,” depending on your preference. Then, choose the second app you want to open in Split View and position it on the opposite side of the screen.

Mac Split Screen Keyboard Shortcut

As mentioned earlier, the keyboard shortcut to activate Split View mode is Control + Command + F. This shortcut is not only quick and easy, but it also allows you to effortlessly enter Split View mode without interrupting your workflow. By memorizing this keyboard shortcut, you can seamlessly switch between Split View and regular mode whenever needed.

Benefits of Split View mode

Split View mode on Mac offers several benefits. Firstly, it enhances productivity by enabling you to view and work on two apps simultaneously. This can be particularly useful when comparing information, writing reports, or conducting research. Additionally, Split View mode reduces the time and effort spent on window management, allowing you to focus on your tasks without distractions.

With Split View mode, you can make the most of your Mac’s screen real estate and optimize your workflow. Whether you’re a student, professional, or casual user, Split View mode is a valuable feature that enhances multitasking capabilities and improves overall efficiency.

Checking the Split View Settings on Mac

Before using Split View mode on your Mac, it’s important to make sure that the necessary settings are properly configured. By checking the system requirements and compatibility, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience with split screen view.

To begin, go to your Mac’s System Preferences and open the Mission Control section. Here, you will find the option “Displays have separate Spaces.” It is crucial that this option is checked to enable Split View mode. This setting allows each app to have its own full-screen Space, ensuring effective multitasking.

It’s worth mentioning that Split View mode is supported on all operating systems starting from OS X El Capitan. This means that if your Mac is running OS X El Capitan or a later version, you should be able to use the Split View feature without any issues.

Operating System Split View Compatibility
OS X El Capitan Supported
macOS Sierra Supported
macOS High Sierra Supported
macOS Mojave Supported
macOS Catalina Supported

Ensuring that the necessary settings are in place will avoid any potential frustrations when attempting to use Split View mode on your Mac. By checking the “Displays have separate Spaces” option and verifying your operating system compatibility, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the efficient multitasking capabilities offered by the Split View feature.

How to Split Screen on Mac with macOS Catalina

Split screen mode on Mac

Split screen mode on Mac allows you to work on two apps simultaneously, enhancing your productivity. If you have macOS Catalina, activating Split View mode is straightforward.

Using Split View:

  1. Open the first app you want to use in Split View.
  2. Click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window.
  3. From the menu that appears, select either “Tile Window to Right of Screen” or “Tile Window to Left of Screen.”
  4. Select the second app you want to open in Split View.

Once you have enabled Split View, the two apps will be resized and placed side by side, allowing you to seamlessly switch between them.

Exiting Split View:

To exit Split View mode, press the Escape key or click on the red button in the top left corner of either window. You can also use Mission Control to exit Split View. Simply click on the button with inward-facing arrows in the Space menu bar.

macOS Catalina Split View Shortcut Keys Action
Control + Up Arrow Enter Split View
Control + Down Arrow Exit Split View
Control + Left or Right Arrow Switch between apps in Split View

With macOS Catalina, splitting the screen on your Mac has never been easier. By following these steps, you can efficiently multitask and boost your productivity with Split View mode.

How to Split Screen on Mac with Earlier macOS Versions

If you are using an earlier version of macOS, you can still take advantage of the split screen feature to multitask effectively. Follow these simple steps to split screen on Mac using older macOS versions:

  1. Click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window.
  2. The window will shrink, and you can drag it to either the left or right side of the screen.
  3. Release the window to attach it to the chosen side.
  4. Select another window to open on the other half of the screen.

By following these steps, you can easily create a split screen view on your Mac with earlier macOS versions and enjoy the benefits of multitasking.

Supported macOS Versions:

macOS Version Split Screen Support
OS X El Capitan Yes
macOS Sierra Yes
macOS High Sierra Yes
macOS Mojave Yes

Please note that some third-party applications downloaded from the internet may not fully support the split screen feature on older macOS versions. Most default apps on a MacBook, however, are fully compatible with split screen view.

Now that you know how to split screen on Mac using earlier macOS versions, you can make the most of your screen real estate and boost your productivity.

Using Mission Control on Mac for Split Screen View

One of the key features that can enhance your split screen experience on a Mac is Mission Control. Mission Control allows you to quickly view and switch between all active windows, including those in Split View mode. This makes it easier to access and navigate between different apps and windows, improving your productivity.

To use Mission Control, you have a couple of options. You can access it using keyboard shortcuts, such as pressing the Control key and the Up arrow simultaneously. This will display all of your open windows in a tiled format, making it easy to locate the one you want to work with in Split View. Alternatively, you can use the Mission Control icon in the Dock or Launchpad to activate it.

Once in Mission Control, you can see all your active windows at a glance. From here, you can click on a window to bring it into focus, or drag and drop windows to rearrange them. If you have multiple pairs of windows in Split View, you can quickly switch between them by clicking on the desired window in Mission Control.

Overall, Mission Control is a valuable tool for managing your windows and navigating through Split View mode on a Mac. It provides a convenient way to access and switch between different apps and windows, allowing you to make the most of the split screen functionality.

how to use mission control on mac

Benefits of Using Mission Control

Mission Control offers several benefits when using split screen view on a Mac:

  • Efficient window management: With Mission Control, you can quickly see all your open windows and easily switch between them, saving time and effort.
  • Smooth multitasking: By utilizing Mission Control in split screen mode, you can seamlessly work on multiple tasks simultaneously, improving your productivity and efficiency.
  • Enhanced organization: Mission Control helps you keep your windows organized by providing a clear overview of your open apps and Split View pairs, ensuring you can find what you need with ease.

By mastering the use of Mission Control, you can unlock the full potential of split screen view on your Mac and optimize your multitasking capabilities.

Adjusting Split Screen View on Mac

In Split View mode on a Mac, you have the flexibility to adjust the space of the windows to suit your preference. To adjust the width of the windows, simply hold the black screen separator located in the middle of the screen and drag it either to the left or right. By doing so, you can allocate more space to the app that requires greater attention or reduce its width to create more room for the other app. However, some apps have a minimum required space, and you won’t be able to resize them beyond that limit.

If you’re using macOS Catalina, you can also change the resolution settings to further customize the Split View experience. Position the mouse pointer over the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window and double-click. The window will expand to fill the screen, allowing you to work with larger windows within the Split View. Additionally, you can use the zoom option to adjust the size of the windows, giving you more control over the overall split screen layout.

In situations where you want to switch the positions of the windows in Split View mode, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping them to the opposite side. Click and hold on the top bar of the window, then drag it to the desired side of the screen. Once released, the window will snap into place, swapping positions with the existing window. This feature is particularly useful when you need to prioritize one app over the other or when you want to maintain a specific order of window arrangement.

Adjustments Steps
Resize window width Hold the black screen separator and drag it left or right
Change resolution settings (macOS Catalina) Double-click on the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window
Zoom and adjust window size (macOS Catalina) Use the zoom option to resize the windows
Switch window positions Click and hold on the top bar of the window, then drag it to the desired side

adjusting space in split screen view

By utilizing these adjustment features, you can create a split screen view on your Mac that maximizes productivity and efficiency. Whether you prefer a balanced layout or a more customized arrangement, the flexibility provided by Split View mode allows you to tailor your workspace to your unique needs.

Exiting Split Screen View on Mac

Once you have finished working in Split View mode on your Mac, you may want to exit and return to the normal screen mode. There are a few ways to do this, depending on your preference and convenience.

To exit Split View mode using a keyboard shortcut: Press the Escape key on your Mac keyboard. This will return both windows to their regular size and position.

To exit Split View mode using the red button: Simply click on the red button in the top left corner of either window. Both windows will automatically return to their normal mode.

To exit Split View mode using Mission Control: Click on the button with inward-facing arrows in the Space menu bar at the top of your screen. This will activate Mission Control, where you can see all your active windows. Click on the Split View windows to select them, and they will return to their regular mode.

Exiting Split View mode is quick and easy, allowing you to seamlessly transition back to your regular workflow on your Mac.

exiting split view on mac

Split Screen View System Requirements

To utilize the Split Screen View feature on your Mac, it’s crucial to understand the system requirements and app compatibility. Here are the key points to consider:

Operating System:

Split Screen View was introduced with the release of OS X El Capitan in 2014. Therefore, to use this feature, you need a Mac running at least OS X El Capitan or any subsequent macOS versions.

App Support:

While Split Screen View is supported by default apps on a MacBook, not all third-party applications downloaded from the internet may be compatible. It’s important to note that app developers need to specifically enable Split Screen support for their applications. So, if your favorite app doesn’t work with Split Screen View, it’s likely due to compatibility issues.

Here is a list of popular apps that support Split Screen View on Mac:

  • Finder
  • Safari
  • Mail
  • Notes
  • Calendar
  • Pages
  • Numbers
  • Keynote

These apps are fully optimized for Split Screen functionality and provide a seamless multitasking experience. However, it’s worth checking the official documentation or the app’s developer website for the most up-to-date information on Split Screen compatibility.

Table: Apps that Support Split Screen View on Mac

App Developer Split Screen Compatibility
Finder Apple Inc. Yes
Safari Apple Inc. Yes
Mail Apple Inc. Yes
Notes Apple Inc. Yes
Calendar Apple Inc. Yes
Pages Apple Inc. Yes
Numbers Apple Inc. Yes
Keynote Apple Inc. Yes

Split Screen View

It’s important to note that the list mentioned above is not exhaustive. Many other applications may also support Split Screen View on Mac. However, compatibility may vary, and it’s always recommended to check the app’s official documentation or contact the developer for accurate information regarding Split Screen support.

Better Mac Split Screen Alternatives

If the native Split View mode on your Mac doesn’t meet your multitasking needs, there are several third-party apps available that offer more advanced features and customization options. These alternatives can help you efficiently manage multiple windows and enhance your productivity. Here are some popular apps for multitasking on Mac:

1. Magnet

Magnet is a highly-rated app that allows you to easily snap windows into various configurations, including split screens. With Magnet, you can drag and resize windows to create your desired layout. It supports keyboard shortcuts for quick window management and offers features like fullscreen mode, multi-monitor support, and customizable window snapping behavior.

2. BetterSnapTool

BetterSnapTool is another powerful window management app that provides flexible options for arranging windows on your Mac. It allows you to split the screen vertically or horizontally, and you can customize the exact sizes of the windows. The app also offers various window snapping options, keyboard shortcuts, and a menu bar icon for convenient access.

3. Divvy

Divvy is a popular app that allows you to create custom window layouts on your Mac. It provides a grid interface that lets you easily divide the screen into different sections and allocate windows accordingly. Divvy supports customizable keyboard shortcuts, mouse shortcuts, and a heads-up display for quick window resizing.

App Features Price
Magnet Drag and resize windows, fullscreen mode, multi-monitor support $2.99
BetterSnapTool Window splitting, customizable sizes, window snapping options $2.49
Divvy Grid interface, custom window layouts, keyboard and mouse shortcuts $14

These are just a few examples of the many options available for multitasking on your Mac. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can explore these apps and find the one that best suits your workflow. Whether you require advanced window management capabilities or a more intuitive interface for multitasking, these alternatives offer enhanced features to optimize your productivity.

Conclusion

Splitting the screen on your Mac using Split View mode is a convenient way to multitask and work on multiple tasks simultaneously. By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can easily activate and customize the split screen view on your Mac.

Split View mode allows you to fill your screen with two different apps, making it easier to compare information and switch between tasks without constantly switching windows. Whether you’re using macOS Catalina or an earlier version, the process is straightforward and can significantly improve your productivity.

If Split View mode doesn’t meet your specific needs, there are alternative third-party apps available, such as Magnet or Split Screen, that offer more advanced multitasking options. These apps can handle multiple windows and provide a more customizable split screen experience.

In summary, the split screen feature on Mac is a powerful tool that enhances your workflow and productivity by allowing you to work on multiple tasks concurrently. Whether you choose to use Split View mode or explore other alternatives, finding the right solution for your multitasking needs is essential for getting the most out of your Mac.

FAQ

What is Split View mode on Mac?

Split View mode on Mac is a feature that allows you to fill the screen with two different apps, making it easier to compare information and work on multiple tasks.

How do I check the Split View settings on Mac?

Before using Split View mode on a Mac, make sure that the option “Displays have separate Spaces” is checked in the Mission Control section of System Preferences. Split View mode is supported by all operating systems starting from OS X El Capitan.

How do I split screen on Mac with macOS Catalina?

To activate Split View mode on a Mac with macOS Catalina, click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window. From the menu that appears, select either “Tile Window to Right of Screen” or “Tile Window to Left of Screen.” Then, select the second window you want to open in Split View.

How do I split screen on Mac with earlier macOS versions?

For earlier macOS versions, click and hold the green circle with outward-facing arrows in the top left corner of the window. The window will shrink, and you can drag it to either the left or right side of the screen. Release the window to attach it to the chosen side. Select another window to open on the other half of the screen.

How do I use Mission Control on Mac for Split Screen View?

Mission Control is a tool on Mac that allows you to quickly view and switch between all active windows, including those in Split View mode. You can access Mission Control using keyboard shortcuts or through Launchpad. It’s a convenient way to navigate between different windows and applications.

How do I adjust Split Screen View on Mac?

In Split View mode on a Mac, you can adjust the width of the windows by holding the black screen separator and moving it to the left or right. Some apps have a minimum required space and won’t allow you to resize beyond that. In macOS Catalina, you can also use the option to zoom and adjust the size of the windows. Additionally, you can switch the positions of the windows by dragging them to the opposite side.

How do I exit Split Screen View on Mac?

To exit Split View mode on a Mac, you can press the Escape key or click on the red button to return the windows to normal mode. Alternatively, you can use Mission Control to exit Split View by clicking on the button with inward-facing arrows in the Space menu bar. Both windows will return to their normal size.

What are the system requirements for Split Screen View on Mac?

Split Screen View became available with the release of OS X El Capitan in 2014. It is supported by all operating systems starting from OS X El Capitan. However, not all applications support split screens, especially third-party apps downloaded from the internet. Most default apps on a MacBook are fully supported for split screen use.

Are there better alternatives to Mac Split Screen?

While Split View mode on Mac allows for two apps to be viewed simultaneously, there are other third-party apps like Magnet or Split Screen that offer more advanced multitasking options. These apps can handle multiple windows and provide a more customizable split screen experience.

Can I summarize the Split Screen View on Mac?

Splitting the screen on a Mac using Split View mode is a convenient way to work on multiple tasks simultaneously, and it’s easy to activate and customize by following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article. If split screen mode doesn’t meet your needs, there are alternative apps available for more advanced multitasking.