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Macbook Pro Touch Bar tips and tricks: How to customise the Macbook’s Touch Bar

How to add and remove buttons from the Apple Macbook Pro’s Touch Bar, to fully customise the layout of the Control Strip and change the Touch Bar shortcuts for apps like Photoshop.

The more expensive models of Apple’s Macbook Pro feature the rather lovely Touch Bar, sat just above the keyboard. This is a touch-sensitive dynamic strip which offers up smart controls for supported apps, as well as general Macbook settings.

One of the best parts of the Touch Bar is that it can be quickly and easily customised. In other words, you can take out any controls that you rarely or never use, while adding in others that you’d rather have.

Here’s how to change and personalise the Macbook Pro’s Touch Bar.

Read next: Everything you need to know about the Macbook Pro Touch Bar

How do I customise the Macbook Pro’s Touch Bar, to change the button layout?

To customise the layout of the Touch Bar, click on the Apple logo in the top left corner of your screen to bring up the main Macbook menu. From here, click System Preferences and then select Keyboard.

On the main Keyboard settings window, you can dictate the general setup of the bar. With the ‘Touch Bar shows’ option you can choose to display the full Control Strip, which gives you toggles for screen brightness, media controls and other handy fast access settings. Alternatively, you can have a shrunken Control Strip, with the rest of the Touch Bar dedicated to app-specific settings.

To further customise the Touch Bar, guess what you have to do? That’s right, click on the ‘Customize Control Strip’ button.

In this section you can reorder the actual layout of the Control Strip, in both its shrunken and expanded forms. You can also individually pluck out any buttons that you don’t want and replace them with others from the selection that’s shown on your Macbook’s screen. This is accomplished by literally dragging and dropping them using the mouse cursor, to and from the Touch Bar.

If you want things to look less cluttered, remember to add in a ‘Space’ every now and then too.

Can I customise the Touch Bar controls for apps like Photoshop?

Yes, you can edit the standard Touch Bar shortcuts and layout for some of the supported apps too.

This is done inside of the app itself, rather than through the Macbook Pro’s main Touch Bar settings. So for instance, in the latest version of Photoshop, you can head to the View menu in the taskbar and then click on the ‘Customize Touch Bar’ option down at the bottom.

This brings up a menu very similar to the Control Strip editing tool. Like before you can reorder the buttons, remove any that you don’t need and replace with other from the available list.

Check back soon for our in-depth Touch Bar review, plus our full Macbook Pro 2016 tips and tricks guide.


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