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As with any new gadget, there’s a bit of a learning curve to it. The MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar is one such gadget, with a series of features and added functionality that’s not abundantly obvious on first use. Instead of trying to tap and swipe your way around the Touch Bar, we rounded up some tips to help you.
For Touch ID-related help, be sure to read through our setup guide as well as a guide on how to go broke, otherwise known as how to set up and use Apple Pay on your MacBook Pro.
Just tap and slide
Save yourself a few taps when using either the volume or brightness control. Instead of tapping the button, then moving your finger over to the slider to make an adjustment, tap and hold on the respective button. With your finger still on it, slide to the left or right. The Touch Bar will treat the gesture as if your finger were on the actual slider and will respond accordingly.
Disable in-app Touch Bar controls
If you don’t want the Touch Bar to change and morph its behavior based on the app you’re using, you can open System Preferences > Keyboard to tailor how it works.
Click on the drop-down menu labeled Touch Bar shows to select from one of three options: App Controls with Control Strip, Expanded Control Strip or App Controls.
Any changes you make will show up in real time on the Touch Bar for you to test.
Take screenshot of Touch Bar
Touché is a free app that not only gives those who don’t own the new MacBook Pro a chance to try out the Touch Bar, but it also includes the ability to take a screenshot of the Touch Bar.
Download Touché for free.
Expanded Control Strip
The Control Strip contains up to four buttons on the right side of the Touch Bar. You can customize which buttons are always shown by following the steps laid out here. There’s an expanded Control Strip, as well, which you can access by tapping on the “<” button to the left of the Control Strip for access to more commonly used controls.
Easiest way to use Siri
Instead of tapping on Siri’s button, giving a command, then waiting for your MacBook Pro to process it, try this: Press and hold the Siri button, give your command, then lift your finger off of the button.
Siri will instantly process and carry out whatever it is you asked of her.
Scrub a dub dub
You can quickly jump ahead or back while watching a video or listening to music on your MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar’s built-in scrub tool.
A button that resembles a bar graph will show up to the left of the Control Strip when scrubbing is available. Tap on it, then slide your finger over the scrub tool. If more than one app is available for scrubbing, an app icon will be displayed. Tap the app icon to switch between apps.
Bonus: If you use Safari, you can scrub through ads played before most videos.
Bring the function keys back
Hold in the “fn” key to display the Function keys, should you need to access them. Or if you know you need to access the Function keys each time you are in a certain app, open System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts. Click on Function Keys in the list of options, followed by the “+” sign to add an app the list.
Henceforth, every time you use that app the Touch Bar will only display Function keys.