BetterTouchTool makes TouchBar an absolutely killer feature

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by PeteLP, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. PeteLP, Dec 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017

    PeteLP macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    BetterTouchTool is providing TouchBar customization for an incredibly deep range of global and app specific shortcuts and user created Macros.

    BetterTouchTool TouchBar support includes
    - Global or App specific TouchBar buttons available for all of its shortcuts and macros
    - Any combination of custom Icons, text, and or Emojis for each button
    - Complete Color Customization for each button
    - Button location control, within the TouchBar's "app panel" (sticks-left, sticks-right, scrolls).
    - Order of BTT buttons within each of the above categories

    Here's a photo of my touchbar. All buttons displayed were created within BetterTouchTool


    Here's a description of my shortcuts, from left to right:

    This first group are global buttons that appear for every app
    - Start Siri (I wanted to move it away from the touchID button to avoid accidental hits)
    - Start Dictation
    - Bring up Screen Capture Tool
    - Maximize active window (without going to full screen mode)
    - Start Split screen Mode
    - Resize Active window to left two thirds

    The Next two are shown only when Firefox is active
    - "previous page" command for the "Next Please" Firefox extension
    - "next page" command for the "Next Please" Firefox extension

    The remaining are global commands but are specified to stick to the right side
    - Screen Brightness Down
    - Screen Brightness Up (you can't see it from the photo but the yellow is much brighter than the brightness down button, and it's very easy to see the dif)
    - Volume Down (all of my volume buttons are actually bright green)
    - Volume Up
    - Mute Volume

    Here's a video that shows how it's used
  2. poorcody macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2013
    Totally agree with this. For those not familiar with the tool, the buttons you create can do practically anything... the underlying software is like a macro system; you can create buttons which execute commands like sending keystrokes, selecting menu items, copying to the clipboard, moving windows, perform system functions, open files... quite endless. I feel like this tool makes the TouchBar ten-times more useful.

    Toolbars can be customized per application or globally: they automatically change as you switch apps. I even have custom toolbars under Parallels so I can use it with Windows apps.

    Highly recommend trying it. It has a 45-day trial period, then is "pay what you want" (developer suggests $6).

    (You can also customize touchpad and keyboard macros, and even remotely control your Mac from your iPhone.)
  3. GatorGhost macrumors regular


    Jun 30, 2014
    Nice find...I will definitely try this out. I am finding more ways too use the touchbar everyday. It is a learning curve. New ideas develop in due time and if I remember there were many computer users that dissed the touch screen. Each to their own ways a I guess.
  4. BlueParadox macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey. Thanks for posting this - I had no idea about this application and have loved using these last few days, since getting myself a 15" tbMBP about 2 weeks ago. Really liked the TouchBar before this; love using it now! Cheers.
  5. PeteLP, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017

    PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    Glad you're enjoying it. It's been totally reliable for me, and keeps getting better and more flexible.

    Here's how I customized the right side of the TouchBar.

    - In Better Touch Tool Preferences, (and from within the TouchBar Section),
    - Click "General TouchBar Settings", (at the upper right of the window)
    - Uncheck "Show MacOS Control Strip"
    - Click "Close", to close the General Settings window

    - Click any Touch Bar Button that you'd like to appear at the far right of the TouchBar
    - From within the configuration panel for that button,
    - Click "Advanced Configuration"
    - Click the "Item Placement ..." popup menu
    - Choose: "... Stick to Right Side of TouchBar"

    You'll need to add buttons for anything that you want that's been removed with the Control Strip. I didn't like the multi step process for volume and brightness apple used in the control strip and have been really happy with these fixed individual up-down controls

  6. Boneheadxan macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2009
    Is 'Stick to Right Side of TouchBar' working already? I thought only left side was functional. I don't have the Control Strip disabled.
  7. PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    Working for me and has been since I got BetterTouchTool over a month ago
  8. cheezeit macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2010
    Dallas, TX
    I'd like to see your setup in action. Sounds nice. Can you make a video?
  9. MrGuder macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2012
    Does this software use a lot of your battery? How much on average is used in Energy tab on Activity Monitor?
  10. PeteLP, Jan 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2017

    PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    BetterTouchTool 1.36

    Firefox 31.98
    TimeMachine 3.69 (manual only)
    Spotlight 1.59
    --- Post Merged, Jan 31, 2017 ---
    I'm not really up for doing the video, but feel free to ask any questions
  11. TrueBlou macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2014
    Nice to know, haven't used BTT in a while, used to use it a lot with my Magic Trackpad until the app had a bit of a wobbly (quite some time ago) and I've just never got round to re-installing it.

    But offering that much control over the Touch Bar is very appealing. I think I might just install it again when my MacBook arrives.
    Thanks for the heads up.
  12. jpma macrumors 6502

    May 31, 2009
    I've used custom gesture years back during the time of an app called multi clutch and switched to BetterTouch Tool I believe it was around 2009 or 2010. It has proven to be the app that I cannot live without.

    The good part is the developer is very helpful to user in sort out bugs or feature request.
    Using it now with touch bar, thou still very new but it's definitely opening more potential in the near future.
  13. NoWayBehind macrumors 6502


    Sep 9, 2014
    Rheinland Pfalz Germany
    This! A few days ago I reported on Github that 5 Finger Tap wasn't functional in its current build and 30 minutes later he acknowledged it. Again 15 minutes later an update with a fix already showed up in BTT.

    Couldn't be better support and the app is worth every penny, no matter how much you decide to spend.
  14. gigapocket1 macrumors 65832

    Mar 15, 2009
    Just downloaded better touch tool. Is their anyway to keep a button present at all time?? It seems like their is an option, but I can't figure out how to get it to work presently.. For instance, screenshot. I'd rather not have to go into the better touch tool container to click it.. if that makes any sense

    And yes, it is a global button
  15. poorcody macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2013
    If it is under "Global" it should be there all the time. It's possibly getting "pushed" out of view by local apps (try dragging the touch bar right or left to see if it appears). You may want to try setting the button to "lock" to either the right or left side. If none of that works, try making it appear only when you press one of the modifier keys like "Ctrl" or "Option".
  16. PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008

    poorcody's advice is good, and you should try his suggestions.

    Global buttons should appear in every app without doing anything special. So I'm guessing you likely did something, inadvertently, in one of the settings or options to change this.

    Here are some more questions for you.

    - Have you tried launching many different apps, including non apple apps that don't yet have their own Touch Bar buttons? Do none of your BTT buttons show anywhere?

    - Have you created button groups, and put all of your buttons into one or more button groups? (That would explain your problem with the "container" which might just be a button group. If so they would only appear when you tap the button-group button in the touch bar, such as you describe. Try having buttons that are not in any group.)

    - Have you changed "Touch Bar Behavior" ? from the app specific settings, just under the choice of apps? (ie You might have changed "app specific" "touch bar behavior" when "global" was selected.) If you have, try going back to "default" behavior.

    If you get this solved please let us know. If not, let us know as well, and we'll suggest some more things to try.
  17. invisibleshoes macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2014
    Is it possible to program windows to snap to left/right using the touch bar?
  18. PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008
    Using Better Touch Tool, you can
    - Make a Touch Bar button to do that,
    - Create a custom TrackPad gesture, or
    - Create a custom Keyboard command, to do it.

    The button, trackpad gesture, or Keyboard command can be setup to work Globally, or on any number of specific apps. If you create an app specific Touch Bar button for that purpose, the button would only appear when the specific app is active.

    If you want to do it automatically whenever the app launches, you can do it with a different utility: Keyboard Maestro. Which has a huge number of functions and potential triggers (such as the launch of an app). I use both Keyboard Maestro and Better Touch Tool.
  19. gigapocket1 macrumors 65832

    Mar 15, 2009
    It is under global... and regardless of what app Im in. It doesn't pop up unless I click on the container first...
    Swiping left or right does nothing

    -I've tried launching many different apps..
    -Haven't created any groups
    - Didn't change any of the touch bar behavior

    The image below is what happens in all of the apps.. I have to click the BTT icon to get my 1 created shortcut

    Attached Files:

  20. RockstarSR macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2011
    In BTT -> General Touch Bar Settings, UNCHECK Show Mac Control Strip.
  21. gigapocket1 macrumors 65832

    Mar 15, 2009
    Okay. Sooo.. Now the button is nowhere to be found.. In any application..
  22. PeteLP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2008

    The problem is that you've chosen "Screenshot (configurable)"

    "Configurable" means that this action brings up the screen shot configuration dialog box when you tap the button. I now realize that what you meant by "Container" is that configuration dialog box which is shown on the main screen when you tap the button.

    If you just want to go right to the screen shot, without the configuration dialog box coming up first, then instead of choosing "Screenshot (configurable)" for this button, you should Choose "Capture Screenshot then Edit in BTT"
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2017 ---
    OK, I looked at your pic more closely and I think we still haven't gotten to the real issue. hang on and I'll be back shortly
    --- Post Merged, Feb 1, 2017 ---

    Can you post a screenshot of your "General Touch Bar Preferences" ?

    And, do you have the newest version of the app?
  23. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I checked this app out. Very cool. Right now, I just have it set to show the icons of my favorite apps. Will look into more of the settings, but it is very convenient to be able launch apps by pressing the "button."

    I am using the trial, so I don't know what it costs, but I can't imagine that I won't be paying for it.
  24. ipodlover77 macrumors 65816


    Jan 17, 2009
    first one is the safari touchbar while the second is my regular day to day.

    I tried to set up the picture in picture short cut but for some reason I keep getting a "there is no application set to open"

    Attached Files:

  25. Pootmatoot macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2014
    There was a similar deep macro program for the Lenovo touch-bar 5 or 6 years ago, and it certainly made it more useful.

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