Archive for January, 2013

OSX: Using the second monitor while in full screen mode

I have an old macbook pro (circa 2008 I think) running 10.8 with an external monitor. Today I started running Avatron’s Air Display on it (a wonderful piece of software by the way), which runs in full screen mode. This left the laptop display itself useless, displaying that grey cloth background which apparently means “This is how OSX fullscreen works – get used to it”.

Anyway, I wanted to run on the main laptop screen, while running Air Display fullscreen on the external monitor. Apparently there are two ways:

1. It seems that you can “trick” OSX to allow this, by using the trackpad to slide between spaces, and opening (via spotlight) mid-slide. I couldn’t get this to work however, as my trackpad doesn’t do multi-touch (it’s too old), and it seems you need it. Works for a lot of other people though.

See this hint on macworld for details.

2. You can modify’s Info.plist file to make it a background app. Then, if you open (again, via spotlight) while viewing the fullscreen app, it won’t switch out of fullscreen mode.

To do this:
* Quit if running.
* Right-click on it, and Show Package Contents.
* Open the file Contents/Info.plist, and add the bold text below at the end (before the last “</dict>”):


Note that this has some serious side-effects! Most notably, the terminal will no longer appear as running in the dock, and you won’t be able to ALT-TAB to it.

(some general info regarding LSUIElement is available here)

That’s it. I’d be interested in hearing if there are other (easier!) ways.

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