Can the MacBook safely be used with closed lid ?

I'm wondering if the MacBook and MacBook Pro can be used safely with closed lid when connected to an external display. I know in the past there was an heat issue.
Many thanks

It says you can, right in the manual:
Using Your MacBook with the Display Closed
You can use your MacBook with the display closed if the computer is connected to an
external monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Important: To use your MacBook with the display closed, the MacBook must be
plugged into a functioning power outlet.
To operate your computer with an external monitor attached and the display closed:
1 Connect a USB keyboard and mouse to your MacBook.
2 Connect the power adapter to the MacBook and a power outlet. Check that the power
adapter light is on.
3 Close the MacBook display to put the computer to sleep.
4 Follow the steps in the previous section to connect your MacBook to an external
5 Wait a few seconds and then press any key on the external keyboard to wake the

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