Touch Bar for MacBook Pro: Everything you need to know

Touch Bar was not widely welcome at launch as it replaced traditional function keys at the top, something we had grown accustomed to for years. However, whether you love it or not, it’s still there on the Pro lineup. If you are new to Apple’s MacBook Pro, then we will show you all the best tricks you can do with the Touch Bar for MacBook Pro.

What Is Touch Bar for MacBook Pro?

The Touch Bar is a small strip at the top of the screen that features a panel that lights up giving you different options depending on what apps you’re using. As its name says, it’s activated by touch instead of clickable buttons and it removes the row of function buttons that you’d normally have on standard keyboards (F keys). The functions will change based on what you’re doing, for example, if you’re using Safari, you can touch it to navigate between websites.

On the right-hand side of the Touch Bar, there is a master control strip that you can use to change your monitor’s brightness, volume, Siri, and much more. The Touch Bar isn’t just a bog-standard touch piece of technology. It can also support up to 10 different simultaneous inputs, essentially one for every finger, so every finger will respond differently. This is a neat option for creative apps where you can use different fingers for different jobs.

There is no power button, instead, there’s a Touch ID button that will turn on your MacBook Pro based on your unique fingerprint. Not only can you turn on your device with your fingerprint but your Mac will encrypt your fingerprint securely so you can also use your fingerprint to make purchases using Apple Pay. To add to this, you add up to three unique fingerprints per account!

Touch Bar for MacBook Pro

What Can You Do With Touch Bar?

Now you know what the Touch Bar is, let’s look at all the different things you can do with the Touch Bar for MacBook Pro.

Control Strip

The Control strip sits on the right-hand side of the Touch Bar and is completely customizable based on your personal preferences. You can remove certain controls and you can also hide it completely if you wish to. If you do hide it, only the app controls are visible. On the flip side, you can make it visible and then hide the app control panel. This will depend on what you’re doing on your MacBook Pro. If you want to change the settings of apps, you can use the app control panel and hide the control panel. In this case, the app control panel will stretch across the Touch Bar, making it easier to control and more visible.

The Touch Bar acts as a master shortcut control panel that will let you quickly flip between apps and use all of their functions through the touch of your fingers. Here’s a list of the functions the Touch Bar control strip can perform;

  • Siri
  • Notification Center
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Screenshot
  • Dictation
  • Input Sources
  • Show Desktop
  • Screensaver
  • Screen Lock
  • Sleep
Touch Bar for MacBook Pro

Here’s an overview of some of the apps and functions that support the Touch Bar;

Quick Type

This is a similar function to what you get with your iPhone or iPad and it’s really helpful. It will suggest words to you when you’re typing so it’s just like predictive text, making it much faster to type out a long email, for example.


If you have the Messenger app, then you can use the Touch Bar to quickly accept or decline video messages by simply tapping it.


When using the Touch Bar for the photos and videos app, you’ll be able to edit them all by using only the touch of your fingers! Here’s a rundown of what you can do on the photos and videos app;

  • View albums and collections in a preview on the Touch Bar
  • Scrub through videos to move to a different spot in the timeline
  • Edit pictures, including Crop, Rotate, Filters, Lighting adjustments, Retouch, Straighten.
Touch Bar for MacBook Pro

Final Cut Pro X

Do you love using Apples’ Final Cut Pro X? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that you can now use all of the editing options through the Touch Bar on your MacBook Pro!

Here are just a few of the functions you can perform with the Touch Bar in Final Cut Pro X;

  • Timeline Scrubbing
  • Audio editing (volume, effects)
  • Video Trimming
  • Create and assign roles
  • Drag to reorganize roles
  • Playback controls


If Final Cut Pro X isn’t enough for you, Touch Bar lovers will be happy to know that with a new update, you can now control the following functions in Photoshop. This is great news and will make editing more streamlined for the pro designer.

Here are a few of the functions you’ll be able to operate through touch;

  • Blending options
  • Select and Mask
  • Resize
  • Layers
  • Brush control
Touch Bar for MacBook Pro

You Can Do So Much More With The Touch Bar For MacBook Pro

The MacBook Pro Touch Bar will continue to divide Mac users but it is becoming more powerful and is supporting more and more apps. Being able to control all of your control settings and app settings through touch is revolutionizing how we use our computers and Apple is at the forefront of the game with this brilliant technology.

Also read: Apple M1 13-inch MacBook Pro Review

What do you think about the Touch Bar for MacBook Pro? Let us know in the comments below.

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