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How to use Split View in Mac OS X

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Split screens can certainly make your day more productive, and the Mac OS X Split View feature does that for you.

J.D. Biersdorfer recently told The New York Times readers how to do it in a tech tip question and answer. Here’s how he says to quickly divide the screen into two programs:

Choose the open window of a program you want to use and in the upper-left corner, click and hold the green button (full-screen button).

“If nothing happens when you press down on the green button, open the Mac’s Systems Preferences from the Apple menu or Dock icon, click Mission Control and make sure the setting for ‘Displays have separate Spaces’ is enabled,” Biersdorfer explains. Not all programs support Split View. While you hold down the mouse button or trackpad, the window shrinks.

Drag the small window to the side of the screen, and release the mouse button or trackpad. Next, in the desktop half of the screen, he says, click another window to have it pop up and fill the other half of the screen. Both programs should now fill the screen. You can switch back and forth between them by clicking.

“If you already had one program open in the full-screen view, you can go to the Split View by opening Mission Control; click the Mission Control icon in the Dock or press the designated Mission Control key on an Apple keyboard. When the Mission Control view is open, drag the window of an open program onto the thumbnail of the program open in full-screen mode,” according to Biersdorfer. And to get out of Split View mode, he says, click the green button on one of the windows to go back to the standard Mac desktop mode. Hitting the Escape key also will work.

— Adapted from “Dividing the Screen in Mac OS X,” J.D. Biersdorfer, The New York Times.

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