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Want to use your new MacBook in clamshell mode, but don't have an external keyboard and mouse?
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: June 07, 2006 02:11PM
I figured this out last night. Don't know if this is a known thing or not, but I was pretty psyched about it.

If you want to use an external monitor with your MacBook in "clamshell" mode, but don't have the peripherals, here's what to do:

1. With your MacBook on and running, plug in your external monitor and turn it on (if the monitor isn't already on).

2. Depending on the way you have your display prefs set, you'll either be in mirror mode or extended desktop mode. If in extended desktop mode, change to mirror mode. If in mirror mode, keep it that way.

3. Close your MacBook. The whole system (including external display will go to sleep).

4. Take any kind of USB device and plug it into the MacBook (I used an external media card reader).

5. This will wake up the external monitor and the MacBook. You should have your desktop displayed on your external monitor at it's full resolution (as long as it's equal to or less than the MacBook's highest achievable resolution - I think).

6. Now, you don't have an external keyboard and mouse, so how do you control the MacBook?

7. Well, just open the MacBook up now. The screen will stay off (and it is off, not just dimmed), but the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad will be fully functional, controlling the pointer on the external monitor's desktop!

Why would someone do this instead of just keeping the MacBook open in the first place while in mirror mode?

Well, I find having the external monitor *and* the MacBook's screen both on in mirror mode to be quite distracting. Since you are using the MacBook's keyboard and trackpad, you pretty much have to have it sitting in front of you. And, you pretty much have to have the external monitor sitting in front of you as well. With both the screens on, your eyes tend to wander from one to the other, even though they are both showing the same desktop (ie, mirror mode).

However, with the MacBook's screen off, there is no distraction. In fact, you can partially close the MacBook, keeping enough room for your hands to access the keyboard and trackpad, so you would have even less distraction.

Another benefit is not having to worry about the MacBook overheating with it completely shut (clamshell mode), but on. With it open (either fully or partially), I'm sure it helps to vent heat away from the MacBook.

Anyway, I just thought I would share.

Again, this may be a known thing, but it was completely new to me! I swear!

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