Hide, split and restrict with new Mac options.

Mac may be introducing only a handful of new options in its latest releases, but the feature set makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity. This week’s tech tips will find us back on the Mac side of the computer world, while we let the Windows users mull over the Windows 10 upgrade discussed last week.

  1. Automatically hide or show the menu bar

The menu bar has been a staple on the Mac desktop since its first release in 1984. In the years that have passed, it was an option that could be used, but not hidden. It sat there with an alluring yet ominous presence, hiding a portion of that wallpaper scene that we so adoringly love. With OS X, you can regain that small portion of real estate and see your wallpaper in all its glory. Open System Preferences, then go to General and click on “Automatically hide / show the menu bar.” You can still glide your mouse over the area once occupied by your menu bar and it will re-appear ready for use. Mouse away from it, and it disappears once again.

  1. Use split screen

The use of two windows or apps side-by-side just got easier with the release of OS X El Capitan. Hold down a left-click on an open app’s green Maximize button and drag it to the left or right of the screen, then release. Next, click on a second open window or app to snap to the opposite side.

If you already have a window in full-screen view, you can still view it in split screen by going to Mission Control and dragging a new window onto the thumbnail of the full screen app. Next, click on the second app you would like to open.

Apps that need more screen real estate to enter split view may display a message that they are not available in full screen mode. This is not always true, they may just need a higher resolution on your monitor. Setting a higher resolution will give your apps more screen real estate.

If holding down the full-screen button doesn’t enter split view, go to Apple menu – system preferences, click Mission Control, and make sure “Displays have separate spaces” is checked.

3. Restrict what someone can do – and when!

 

The parental controls in OS X may appear simple at first glance, but there are plenty of additional options in there – some that go beyond basic underage access restrictions. A few of the more useful options include setting a “bedtime” after which users won’t be able to access the computer, limiting the functions or accessibility of apps of a user, or restricting computer use to a certain length of time each day,

Summary:

We have knocked out three more off the infamous list of 50 things to do with your Mac. Only 44 more to go. Keep checking back for more great Mac and Windows tips in future articles. If you have any you would like to share, email me at pailwriter@outlook.com and we will try to get them in an upcoming article.

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