Using Split View

Split View is an underused viewing mode where you have exactly two apps on your Mac's screen at once. It is similar to Full Screen mode and works in conjunction with Mission Control.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Using Split View.

Split View is a feature that was actually introduced with El Capitan. But a lot of people, myself included, haven't really been using it that much. Having two apps on your screen and nothing else really is useful because a lot of times you really are going back and forth between exactly two apps.

So you probably already know that you can press the green button here to go full screen. So say I want to take Mail full screen, it goes full screen. I can go to the top here and go out of full screen mode.

Split View is just like full screen mode except two apps instead of one. Here's how you get to it.

Start off with a crowded Desktop like this. So I've got a bunch of apps, including the two I want to take into Split View. I've got Mail and I've got Safari over here and a bunch of other stuff too. I'm going to click and hold on the green button and after a second you can see it divides the screen up into two halves. One that's shaded blue and the other not. Now I'm dragging, it automatically goes to a dragging mode, this window. This Mail window. I can drag to the right or the left side.

Wherever I drop it that app is going to fill that space. Half my screen. All the other apps that were on the desktop are going to shrink and appear on the other side. I'm not finished yet because I need to do one other action which is to decide which other app is going to be in Split View.

So I'm going to pick Safari by clicking on it. Now I'm in Split View with exactly half my screen in Mail and exactly half my screen in Safari. Notice I can still click to select which one is active. Which I'm typing into. Which one my actions are using. But both of them are on the screen.

I have no Menu Bar at the top and no Dock at the bottom. But I can move my cursor to the top to get the Menu Bar; move my cursor to the bottom to get the Dock. Notice since I have Mail active the Menu Bar is for Mail. If I were to click on Safari and I move to the top my Menu Bar is now for Safari.

So you still have most of the things that you would normally get either as a window or whether or not if these things are in full screen mode.

Now this is all part of Mission Control. So if I use the Control key and up arrow to go into Mission Control you can see I've still got my desktop there with the remaining two apps that I had open on it. That's the normal desktop. I can look at this desktop here instead of being say if it was a full screen app it would just say Mail or just Safari it actually says Mail and Safari. I go to that and that's my split screen view of those two apps.

To exit this I can go to the top here and click on the green button again. Or I can go View and Exit Full Screen. It doesn't say Split View it says Full Screen. When I do that it takes only the one app out of Split View. So I'm going to take Mail out of it. You can see I go to the desktop and I've got Mail and those other apps. Mission Control that other desktop is now just Safari. So I need to go to that and Exit Full Screen for Safari as well to complete leaving Split View.

Comments: 4 Responses to “Using Split View”

    john jones
    3 years ago

    Evening Gary, watching your Mac OS split view tutorial. My query is this: I have a desktop 1 open with email, desktop 2 with calendar. I opened up another desktop and used the spit view with two windowed safari sessions. If i open another desktop i dont seem to be able to run another safari window and if i click on safari from the dock, it takes me back to the split screen safari window. I thought I might be able to run a safari split screen window and another full screen safari at the same time

    3 years ago

    You can. The problem is that if you click on Safari in the Dock, it will take you to the current Split or Full screen desktop. So you can create the windows first, then try to arrange them. Or, Control+click Safari in the Dock and select New Window. I just tried that and it worked for me.

    john jones
    3 years ago

    Thanks Gary, query resolved, thats why I visit your site on an almost daily basis.

    Kathy George
    3 years ago

    Brilliant Gary, will be so useful!
    Sadly though, Aperture can’t be part of Split View – I know it’s not supported any more :(

Comments Closed.