Large screen productivity: How I optimize preferences to utilize spaces

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Boost productivity on large displays - Make best use of screen real estate by optimize system preferences


Say, you‘ve bought a big screen to “improving studying efficiency”, are you imperatively making up an excuse for your empty wallet? This article will offer all that you want to know. With no floods of ink, Only concise empiricism by a high school student. With 5 minutes to learn about many special but useful tools, you will definitely enjoy the time and add this series to your feed.

Optimizing system preferences

Display more by adjusting the resolution scaling



When using a small screen on a laptop, the default resolution scaling is optimal for most sit and work usage . But on a bigger display, you can adjust the resolution scaling to display more windows and content with plenty of free space.

Method: Apple Menu > System Preferences> Tap “Display”> Hold ⌥Option and click on “Scaling”> Choose a suitable scaling ratio


Screen_Shot_2021-01-05_at_21.30.42Note: Most applications will adjust the window size and font size scaling according to the system resolution scaling. Feel free to to adjust them to your liking.

Most screens work at 60 HZ, but when plugged in the first time, MacOS might not output highest refresh rate avalible. For a smoother experience, you can adjust the display refresh rate on the same interface.

Method: Apple Menu > System Preferences> Tap “Display”> Hold ⌥Option and select “Scaling”> Check “Display Low Resolution Mode”> Choose a suitable refresh rateScreen_Shot_2021-01-05_at_21.30.42 1

使用 「RDM」 快速切换分辨率

如果你觉得以上得方法较为复杂,可以使用开源菜单栏小工具 RDM 来快速切换分辨率。根据 RDM 作者 avibrazil 的描述:

Use “RDM” to quickly switch resolution

If you think the method above is too complicated, you can use the open source software RDM to quickly switch the resolution. According to the description of the RDM author avibrazil:

This tool allows you to use the highest and even unsupported resolution of MacBook Pro Retina. For example, the maximum resolution of Retina MacBook Pro 13” can be set to 3360×2100 instead of the maximum resolution supported by Apple of 1680×1050.

The operation is very simple: click the “RDM” menu bar icon to switch the resolution and refresh rate in the drop-down menu. If you are interested, you can download “RDM” or give the “RDM” project Light the Stars


Windows management skills

On a large screen, you can modify window size and position to your likings, with the help of split-screen browsing and multi-workspace management.

Window size adjustment

  • Double-click the window toolbar or hold ⌥Option while clicking the full screen button in the upper left corner of the window: make the window size fit the screen length but not maximize
  • Hover the pointer on the full screen button in the upper left corner of a window, then double-click ⌘Command: Enter split-screen browsing

If split-screen browsing does not work properly, please choose Apple menu > “System Preferences”, click “Control Center”, and make sure that “Displays have a separate Spaces” is selected.




Workspace management

A large display can be divided into workspaces by classifying programs . For example, In document processing tasks, We can divide the screen real estate into writing area, reference area and communication area.



Using a large display also makes comparison of files much convenient, as the large horizontal scale benefits multi-file comparison and there are more lines in the vertical aspect.



In addition, we can decorate each virtual desktop in macOS with different wallpaper to remind us about different workspace. From my experience, here are some shortcut keys that comes very hand when navigating through desktops and programs.


  • ⌃Control + ⬅️ ➡️ Left and right arrow keys to switch workspace
  • ⌘Command + Tab to switch programs
  • ⌃Control + ⬆️ up arrow key to open the dispatch center (you can easily assign programs to different workspaces here)

handy tool recommendation

One Switch

  • Icons on the desktop you don’t like ? Try hiding the desktop icons
  • Tired of the boring light mode? Switch to dark mode
  • Keys mistouched when cleaning the keyboard? Why not lock the keyboard
  • More functions are waiting for you to discover…


If there is a “universal switch” that can help you do these trivial operations, isn’t it gonna save you a lot of time learning? With One Switch, you can perform these operations with one click in a much more elegant way. But sadly there isn’t one on windows.


If you are interested in One Switch, you can visit its Official Website or Digital Lychee / Sspai .

One Switch

Thanks for reading! Author: @Yulin Chao

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