How does the touchbar work when...

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ahoydecoy, Nov 1, 2016.

  1. ahoydecoy
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    macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2015
    #1
    Hi,

    Apologies if this is covered elsewhere, but I can't find the answer. How does the touchbar work for applications that haven't programmed specific uses for it. Final Draft, the screenwriting software for instance?

    Does it just go back to displaying function keys, can you set your own uses, does it do nothing?
     
  2. teidon
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    macrumors 6502

    teidon

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #2
    The Touch Bar is divided so that at the far left is the esc button, at the far right side is system area (volume control and such) and in between them is application specific area. If the active application doesn't populate the application specific area, it will simply be empty. But even if the active application doesn't support the Touch Bar but uses some of the default dialogs provided by macOS (such as open document dialog), and if that dialog has Touch Bar functions, those will be shown in the Touch Bar. For example the open document dialog might contain a button labeled "New document" and this would be shown on Touch Bar even if the application has no support for Touch Bar.

    If you want to see F1-F12 keys, you can press the FN-key at any time. You can customize both the application specific and the system areas, but the customizability depends on the application. You can't add just any function or for example create your own macros. Those features must be provided by the application.
     
  3. Clint_Barton
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    macrumors 6502

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    Oct 23, 2016
    #3
    can you set it to always display the fn keys?
     
  4. ahoydecoy
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    thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 24, 2015
    #4
    Thanks. I'm sure that information is readily available, but I was still a bit confused - very helpful. I'm still conflicted about how useful I will find it, but I think it's an interesting prospect with potential.
     
  5. teidon
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    macrumors 6502

    teidon

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    #5
    Doesn't seem to be possible.


    The Touch Bar can be configured to show application and system controls (default), extended system strip or application only. The action of FN-key can be configured to show F1-F12 buttons, extended system strip or application functions. The extended system strip is basically the same that the normal Mac keyboard has (brightness, volume and the rest). This can be accessed at any time from the default Touch Bar view by pressing the small arrow button in the system area of the Touch Bar and it can also be customized.


    And if anyone is interested of testing the Touch Bar before you buy your new Mac, you can just download Xcode from Mac App Store. It is the application used to develop Mac and iOS apps. It's free and comes with a Touch Bar simulator. Just notice that you must be running the very latest version of macOS. Confusingly there are at least three different builds of macOS 10.12.1. You can download build 16B2657 from Apple if you don't have it installed (Mac App Store won't update to newer builds of the same version). Once you have both installed, in Xcode's Window menu there should be "Show Touch Bar".
     
  6. BarracksSi
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    BarracksSi

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    Jul 14, 2015

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