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What tricks do you have in your pocket to stay productive over a longer period of time? Some will say: focus on one thing, no distractions, away from the computer — and straight back to the Bronze Age. Because let’s be honest: switching everything off is not a viable solution for the modern workplace.
Nowadays, our versatile tasks require that we constantly have multiple windows open on our Macs to fend off never-ending Slack messages, write emails, and manage our calendar at the same time. To outsiders, it probably looks like we’re just switching between full-screen program windows all day.
We asked for more screen space for many years and often added a second, third, or even fourth monitor. In the numerous guides on how to properly use two screens on Mac, there were many suggestions on how multiple screens can enrich our working lives.
In the end, however, the benefits of mobility and functionality outweighed when most of us started working predominantly on our laptops. But coping with the same amount of work with a smaller screen became even more difficult. However, that all changed when Apple released OS X El Capitan in 2015.
Split Screen on Mac: How to Do It
Since El Capitan, all macOS versions include a MacBook split-screen feature called Split View, which allows you to easily open two applications to fill in the entire screen and customize them as needed.
Here’s how to turn on split screen on your Mac:
- Open two programs of your choice
- Press and hold the green “Full Screen” button at the top left of the screen
- Drag the program to fill either the left or right side of the screen
- Click on the other program to fill in the rest
Caution: Some older, not frequently updated programs may not support Split View.
Feel free to experiment with different program combinations and find out what works best for your work. If you want to watch more than two programs, you can create another split view on a new desktop. To do this, launch the Mission Control utility and click on the plus icon in the upper right corner of the screen. You are wondering how to switch between screens in Split View on Mac? Either use Mission Control or swipe left or right with four fingers.
To change the part of the screen used by each program, you can drag the separator in the middle to one of the two sides. To exit the split view, press Escape, the same green “full screen” key, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + ⌘ + F.
Split Mac Screen: Better Alternatives
The Split View that Mac offers by default is undoubtedly twice as good as using just a single program. But nothing more. How about four, six, or eight times productivity? Unfortunately, Split View can’t offer us that — for that, we have to resort to third-party utilities.
Mosaic is an alternative to Split View on Mac and is most likely the last window manager you will ever need. Unlike Split View, Mosaic supports any layout arrangement, whether you want to divide your screen into rows, squares, columns, or a completely custom grid.
Here’s how to share your Mac screen with Mosaic:
- Make sure Mosaic is active in your menu bar
- Simply drag your program windows to the preferred configuration
You can also create new mac split-screen configurations by clicking the Mosaic icon in the menu bar and Settings ➙ Quick Layout.
With Mosaic, you can customize your screen precisely to your needs, significantly increasing your productivity. As a bonus, in case you find that the original split Mac screen is not working or not responding, Mosaic may be the salvation as it is based on third-party technology and is compatible with all programs.
Create and save custom workspaces
While using Mosaic as a better Mac alternative for Split View will help you keep all the application windows in place, opening all programs and files regularly can take a lot of time.
Workspaces is an automated solution that allows you to create your workspaces for all critical activities. The app will enable you to collect programs, websites, files, emails, and anything related to a project or task in one place. For example, suppose you are in the process of programming something. In that case, Workspaces allows you to open your text editor, an FTP transfer program, terminal, documentation of the framework of your choice in Chrome, and anything else you use regularly.
With workspaces, you can create as many workspaces as you want and easily switch between them. Each workspace can be accessed via the menu bar. Best of all, you can set up automatic activation for the workspaces that are always associated with a specific type of task.
To create a new workspace in Workspaces, click the icon in the app’s menu bar and choose Edit. Then add any program or file using the plus button — you can drag and drop the items stored on your Mac and insert or type websites. That’s it.
So you can divide all your work into categories and open all the materials you need with one click.
Achieve more with split Mac screen and workspaces
The Split View, which Mac comes with as standard, definitely provides a productivity boost in today’s working environment. However, if you need more flexibility in program windows, then Mosaic is for you.
In addition, summarize everything you need in detailed work packages and call them up at any time via workspaces. This way, you can easily divide responsibilities or separate work and personal life. Most importantly, you no longer waste time opening the proper documents and are always ready to go.
Best of all, both Mosaic and Workspaces are available as a free trial through Setapp, a platform with more than 200+ Mac apps for productivity, task management, creativity, and more. Arm yourself with the tools you need for a productive day.