Look and Feel
El Capitan has a similar appearance to its predecessor (Yosemite), however there are several worthwhile refinements to the user interface that make it easier for users to interact with the system. A few of our favorites are listed below. For the purposes of illustration, the examples given assume the user is working with a mouse rather than a trackpad.
New System Font: San Francisco
A subtle but useful change, especially for users who work with a Retina® display, is the new San Francisco system font. Scanning system menus, dialogs, and button text is now easier, whether you're looking at the tiny screen on an Apple Watch® or the 5K screen on a 27" iMac. Keep in mind this new font is accessible only to the system itself; you will not find it in any of your application font menus, as it was not designed for print or web output. The first screenshot in the gallery below shows a portion of the Yosemite Apple Menu (in both standard and dark menubar mode), captured on a MacBook Pro retina screen, while the second screenshot shows the same menu from El Capitan. The default window and menu transparency is turned off in both examples.
Mission Control is a feature that's been available in OS X for a few years now, and it has been further enhanced in El Capitan, allowing you more flexibility in managing your application windows. Now all windows for a given application are displayed on a single layer, rather than being stacked on top of one another. You can add a new application to an existing Space simply by dragging an application window in the central part of the screen, onto the Space's icon at the top of the screen. When you add an application to a new or existing Space, its relative position on screen is maintained within that Space. The default behavior for showing a list of Spaces now shows the text label only, saving vertical screen space. Mouse over the label to see the Space thumbnails for the active screen.
One of the nicer changes in El Capitan is the new Split View feature. It allows you to split the OS X full screen mode between two related applications or application windows, hiding anything else on screen that might be a distraction. To activate Split View, open the two applications that you would like to share a full screen, mouse over the green window expander button for one of the apps, then click and hold until half the screen is highlighted. You can then drag the selected window to the left or right side and release the mouse button. This will snap the window to one half of the screen. To complete the process click the other window to expand it into remaining space, then drag the black divider to make one window larger or smaller. Keep in mind this is a form of the Full Screen workflow, so the menubar for your apps will be hidden unless you mouse over the top edge of the screen to reveal the menu of the active application. Additionally, once you've split the screen, Mission Control will automatically add a "Space" for the two apps you chose, allowing you to jump back and forth between a split view and other application Spaces.
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