Clearly with the newest 10.9 El Capitan, Apple has finally decided to add true modern multitasking capabilities to the OS X experience. This is because El Capitan includes a new feature called “Split View,” that allows you to fill the screen with two apps side by side as long as each is designed to support this mode. And just like with other features offered in OS X 10.9, setting up Split View is quick and simple, although the process isn’t as obvious as it should be.

If you are used to minimizing or maximizing windows in OS X quite often, you may have also noticed the small green dot beside the yellow and red ones located at the upper-left portion of each window. Each one of these dots performs a specific function — the red dot exits the window, the yellow one minimizes the screen, and the green one maximizes it or enter full screen mode.


Now, try hovering your mouse cursor over the green dot. If it shows the full screen icon represented by two diagonal triangles instead of a plus sign, it means that the app will most probably support Split View mode. Now click and hold the green dot, and check if the window will shrink a little and one side of your desktop lights up. If it does, then the app indeed supports the feature. Release your hold on the button, and the window will fill the side of the screen you have chosen. The other side of the screen will show your other open app windows. Click one and that app will fill the other half of the screen.

Split View doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have both apps taking up 50% of the screen. You will notice a black vertical line dividing both apps. You can drag this line left or right to increase or decrease the space assigned to each app. Using Split View, you’ll now be able to manage two windows side by side and use them whatever way you want. You can also swap apps. If you prefer working in Pages on the left side of the screen with Safari open on the right, simply drag one app to the other side and the two will switch automatically.


Just a quick tip: if in case you want to switch to other apps, you can do so by either accessing Mission Control (press Control + Up on your keyboard) or by swiping left or right with four fingers on your Mac’s trackpad. You can switch focus from one app to the other without using the mouse simply by pressing Command + Tab on your keyboard.

If in case Split View doesn’t work for you, you may need to enable it in System Preferences. To do it, click on the Apple icon on the upper-left corner of the screen, then select System Preferences. Click on Mission Control, and then select Displays have separate Spaces. You may be prompted to restart your computer in order for the changes to take effect.

To find the menu bar for each app while in Split View mode, select a side and then hover the pointer over the top of the screen. The menu bar will drop down. When you are ready to leave Split View mode, click on the green button again and the app you closed will reduce to its previous size, and the remaining app will increase to full screen. You can also press the ESC key.

The Split View feature of Mac OS X El Capitan, your productivity will surely increase while you’re making better use of your Mac’s screen space.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at 4:48:02 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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