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5 tips to have a better setup when you're live streaming from a MacOS computer


In this post:

  1. Adjust your screen's resolution

  2. Zoom in on available applications

  3. Use the accessibility settings

  4. Display your clicks

  5. Display your keystrokes


I've been doing a lot of live streaming lately. Either alone or with guests. And I noticed some things that could be improved (from a streamer perspective) to create a better experience for the people watching our screen.

I'll give you some MacOS-specific tools, but I'm sure you can find a replacement for these for other operating systems.

Let's take a look!

1. Adjust your screen's resolution

This applies to any kind of screen, regardless of the operating system. Before starting the stream, whether you're using your own laptop/computer or an external monitor for screen-sharing, make sure you adjust the screen to a 1080 or 720 pixels resolution (if you want Full HD or HD resolution).

The reason behind this is that everything on the screen will look bigger and clearer in the live stream. A lot of people watch live streams on smaller screens. Don't assume that everyone will be able to just keep your stream on a full screen. Try to show your tools and other things as big as possible without pixelating the image and also keeping a high resolution.

Here are some examples of why this setting is important. Look at the next two screens. Which one looks better for you? Can you read everything on the screen?

Higher resolution, more space for the streamer, smaller/more difficult to see for the viewer.

Lower resolution, less space for the streamer, bigger/easier to see for the viewer.

Both are exactly the same screen, just with different resolution settings. The same effect will be on your live stream. It may be more comfortable for you to stream in your regular setting - which might be something similar to the first screenshot - but it will be harder for the viewers to follow/understand exactly what you're doing.

You don't have to use the lowest resolution possible if it's uncomfortable for you or makes it harder to present the live coding on the screen. But try to adjust this setting where it feels better for you and also keeps a bigger image. Like the following picture.

To do this from a MacOS computer, go to your System Settings > Displays. Now, depending on whether you're using the actual MacOS computer or an external monitor for screen sharing, you will have different options.

Option 1 - MacOS computer/laptop

Change your screen resolution by selecting a larger text resolution from the thumbnails. You may have to play around with these a bit to make sure the image is good and you can still do your demo comfortably.

Option 2 - External monitor

Change your screen resolution by selecting either 1080p or 720p.

  • 1080 will give you a higher resolution (Full HD or FHD) but will result in larger data (more GB for the video size). If your internet connection is not very good when live streaming, you can try changing to 720. If the data size and internet are not a problem, you can use 1080.