Monday, October 2, 2017

Making Better Use of the Touch Bar

Josh Centers:

Many users of Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X were quick to point out how useful the Touch Bar is for editing media, such as Chuck Joiner when we discussed the Touch Bar on MacVoices.


In QuickTime, the Touch Bar offers a Record button, and it lets you quickly select a camera and audio source. Since selecting sources in QuickTime requires clicking a drop-down menu, the Touch Bar saves time here.

Preview offers some interesting and useful Touch Bar shortcuts, such as rotating images, underlining text, and quickly accessing markup tools. But the one that stands out to me is fast highlighting of text. Select some text in a PDF and tap a color on the Touch Bar to highlight the text with that color.


When you press Command-Shift-4 to take a screenshot of a selected portion of the screen, the Touch Bar lets you choose which type of screenshot to take: Selected Portion, Window, or Entire Screen. Even better, you can choose where to save that screenshot! By default, macOS saves screenshots to the Desktop, but via the Touch Bar you can instead choose the Documents folder, you can send it to the clipboard, or you can open the screenshot in Preview, Mail, or Messages.

He also recommends BetterTouchTool, which can create custom Touch Bar buttons.

Previously: What’s Wrong With the Touch Bar.

Update (2017-10-03): Peter Steinberger:

Okay, this is a nice Touch Bar tweak. (when you have an external screen)

Update (2018-08-02): Joe Cieplinski:

I love how people still insist to me that Touch Bar is “useless.” Mostly people who have never owned one, or never even tried to use it.

Come watch me edit in Logic or Photoshop, or triage my email sometime. Then talk to me about useless. It’s all a matter of personal workflow.

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