I’ve had a MacBook for a while now, and one of its great features is the Touch Bar. It replaces the top row of keys in a traditional keyboard with a touch screen. The buttons on this screen are smart, and they change depending on what you’re doing. Over time, I found some pretty useful tricks that you may not have known about.
I created a YouTube video on this if you wish to view it:
What is the Touch bar?
The Touch Bar is a mini touch screen featured on most MacBooks (not a Mac Desktop!) these days. It is located above the actual keys. It replaces the top row of keys in a traditional keyboard with a touch screen. You can access the function (Fn) keys, spelling suggestions, volume, brightness, and a lot more tools, all from the Touch Bar.
1. Hold & Swipe
It was just a few days ago when I realized that, whenever there’s a slider on your touch bar, instead of having to press the button and then use the slider, you can just hold down on the button and continue sliding.
2. Swipe On Button
After I figured out the first tip I talked about, I decided to experiment with the touch bar a bit more. I eventually realized that you don’t even have to see the slider–you can just swipe on the button itself instead of clicking on it or holding down on it!
3. Customize The Control Strip
You can change the buttons that appear in your control strip (the set of buttons at the right side of the touch bar) by going to System Preferences > Extensions > Touch Bar > Customize Control Strip. From here, you can drag buttons into the control strip. You can add up to 4 buttons, and you can remove buttons if you want to.
4. Customize Expanded Control Strip
To the left of the control strip, there’s an arrow. If you press it, you reveal the expanded control strip. This too can be customized, simply by pressing it when you’re in the touch bar customization screen.
5. Customize Touch bar for Specific App
You can also customize the touch bar in relation to a specific app. As long as the app supports it, you can go to View > Customize Touch Bar and change the buttons that appear on the Touch Bar whenever you’re in that app. In the following example, I use the Notes app.
6. The ESC Key
It didn’t take long for me to realize that you don’t actually have to touch the ESC key right where it displays on the Touch Bar. You can still use the ESC key by pressing to the left of it. This feature is really useful for people who don’t generally look at their keyboard to type.
7. Screenshot the Touch bar
You can actually take a screenshot of the Touch Bar by pressing CMD+Shift+6 (that’s the default shortcut). The screenshot will save to your Desktop folder.
Example of a Touch Bar Screenshot:
8. Media Scrubber
An extremely useful feature is the Media Scrubber. Whenever there’s a video playing, you can scrub through the video to get to any point in the video. As long as there’s a video open on your computer, you’ll be able to scrub through it, even if you’re in a different application. If you have 2 videos open, you can choose which one you want to scrub through. Note: If you’re in a different application than the app that’s playing the video, you’ll have to press the button that looks like this (below):
So that’s it for this tutorial! If you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comment section below, and if you have any other Touch Bar tips you’d like to share, put those in the comment section below as well!