Right Click

40 Comments

A few years back when I came back into The Fold, I was immediately aware of the lack of usable ‘right click’ on Macs. Sure, CTRL + Click does the job and brings up the contextual menu when needed, but I’m spoiled and want an actual right click solution. I quickly found SideTrack from Raging Menace, and it’s the cat’s meow – I continue to use it on my less than a year old PowerBook.

If you’re not familiar with SideTrack, here’s a quick rundown:
– allows you to assign hotkeys to the corners of your trackpad
– allows vertical and horizontal scrolling
– allows tapping the trackpad to function as a CTRL + Click. Bingo!

I personally prefer the tap action for a right click. It fulfills my need and it’s super quick and easy to access. (It drives everyone NUTS when they use my PowerBook, and keep brushing the trackpad and getting contextual menus all over, but not my problem…) So yeah, I dig it.

Now with the release of the MacBook, it appears Apple is making their own option available. Keep 2 fingers on the trackpad when you click, and BAM! Right click contextual menu at your service. (I have not yet tried this myself.) It’s different enough from my current way of working that I wonder how easily I’d be able to convert myself. But the idea is good, and it doesn’t require 2 hands, as the CTRL + Click method does.

So our right click options continue to grow. I appreciate that Apple is making an effort to build it in. But for now, SideTrack is doing me just fine. How do you right click? What’s your preferred software/method for accessing the contextual menus on your system?

40 Comments

Eric L

I have it installed but can get the right click menu to come up consistently on my MBP 15″. Can someone share some best practices on where you should rest your two fingers and do you have to double tap the 2 fingers? Thanks

Josh

Mark, thank you for the link…the quickie installer to put the files on my MBP 15 worked and are awesome. this was the one feature missing from my Mac

wormbuff

Last time….

COMMAND CLICK DRAG or OPTION CLICK DRAG (as SHIFT and CTRL combinations are already used)

wormbuff

Rather….

“Ideally, I’d like to tie a DRAG or an DRAG (as and combinations are already used)”

wormbuff

Is anyone aware of a way to map a keyboard combination to send a “right click” command? Specifically, I’m looking for a way to perform a “right click and drag” function, and not a simple right click. Ideally, I’d like to tie a DRAG or an DRAG ( and are already used)

Mark

You might have seen it on Digg already, but “John the Geek” has solved this for us MBP early adopters. Download the missing files (in an easy to use installer no-less) from the OSx86 Project Forum thread.

MacBook Pro early adopters rejoice!

Eric L

iscroll2 doesn’t work with MBP’s yet. Sidetrack was recently updated to work on MBP’s.

yyy

iscroll2 kicks ass, and it’s free unlike sidetrack. Sidetrack has some nice features, but I prefer the rotary ipod-like scrolling that iscroll offers. And the two finger right click is nice

Eric L

Another good program is One Finger Snap. The only crappy thing is that it’s shareware. Although $7 is a small price to pay until this becomes standard on all laptop’s.

Tim

Just to add to the list, in addition to Sidetrack and iScroll2, there’s FFScroll. Like iScroll2, though, it only works on certain models.

chris

The new macbook pro revision has the two finger right click, my one which is the earlier one does not. I hope they post an update though or someone figures out how to enable it.

kevin

i’m at the fifth ave apple store typing this on a macbook pro 15″ and i can confirm that it has this feature

tim

Strangest thing – I was just at an Apple store and the MacBook Pro 15″ had the two-finger right-click option in the preference pane. Mine here at home doesn’t.

Can anyone confirm aany other in-the-wild sightings of the feature on a MBP-15?

kevin

im at the apple store glass cube mega store mania right now, and typing this on a macbook. i discovered, several hours ago, that you can actually just tap with two fingers to bring up the contextual menu – you dont even need to press the button. will wonders never cease.

Rambukk

Microsoft is all about the “one solution-solution” (almost) when it comes to frequently used features. With Mac, you will find a variety of solutions. For switchers, however, it may take some time to get used to the freedom of choice.

JR

Do iScroll2 or Sidetrack work on the MBPs? I know both don’t have Universal binaries, but it’d be nice if they did.

If they don’t, anyone know anything about any updates to them? I Don’t currently have a MBP, but planning to get one soon.

However, I’m planning to get the 15″ and the fact that apple didn’t include an update (yet, who knows if they will) to provide the right click with two fingers on the trackpad makes me red with rage. I was hoping one of these two programs could accomodate apple’s lack of updates for 15″ users.

Cory

The enter key is for when you have num lock turn on and can use some of the alphabetic keys for the numbers on a numeric keypad (10-key). Those have an enter and it’s an odd maneuver to hit return while using num lock (I think return functions normally whether or not num lock is on). The enter key is for convenience though it would be a great place for a righ-side option/alt key.

Mark

I’m an 8 month old “switcher”. I started with a iMac at home and personally invested in a MacBook Pro to use at work. So, I have always wondered … what is that “enter” key for anyway? Some legacy from pre-OS X? (forgive me if this is off-topic)

Indy

I use Doublecommand doublecommand.sourceforge.net and remap the useless “enter” key on my 15″ powerbook (next to the right command button) to act as a ctrl key. then i just hold the enter key down with my ring finger and click the button with my thumb. one handed right click. using two fingers on the trackpad and clicking seems a lot clumsier to me.

Mark

Ugh. I wish Apple would implement the two finger right-click on the MacBook Pro as well. The two finger scroll made me forget about my external mouse. But to right-click with a single hand as well … that would be the cat’s meow.

Twist

I just checked out the MacBook earlier today and the two finger right-click thing is pretty sweet. All in all the MacBook is pretty nice and I love the way the matte black finish felt under my hands (not enough to justify the price difference though). Reminded me of the satin finish photo paper I used to use to print black and white photos on (when I say print I mean in a darkroom in this case).

Nick Santilli

Todd, nice idea – I could totally see a one button look on an apple notebook, that functioned as 2 buttons…. I like it!

arcsine – sorry I didn’t spell it out. Yes, I’m obviously talking about Apple notebooks. I didn’t refer to external pointing devices (or “multi-button mouse”) because they – as you pointed out – already support dual button clicks (more than dual button if you want to get technical, though it’s beyond the scope of this post).
I in fact use a Logitech MX1000 Laser mouse when at home and at my desk – and I use the various 10 buttons for these and many other different functions – but again, that wasn’t quite the point I was trying to get at.

I gotta go grab a napkin, it’s getting sloppy around here. ;)

arcsine

“immediately aware of the lack of usable ‘right click’ on Macs.”

Obviously, you’re talking about laptops and only using the trackpad and built in button.

Unless, you don’t know that Mac desktops and laptops work perfectly well with a multi-button mouse attached.

Either way, it’s very sloppy writing.

All these solutions sound great. There doesn’t seem to be any lack of innovation or flexibility.

Seems to me Apple Laptops have an elegant one button design that supports innovation and flexibility.

I’d rather have all the internal invisible support than more buttons, levers, and doodads.

Todd Baur

The problem Apple faces with adding Right-clicking isn’t the demand, it’s the kids. Kids from about 6 years and younger have an extremely difficult time with two button mice.

In order to do it properly, a mouse (input device, to tag it properly) would need to offer both. The mouse/trackpad button should be configurable so it operates in 1 and 2 button mode, like the Mighty Mouse does. If anything should happen, it’s that Apple invents a trackpad version of the MM.

Nick Santilli

True enough Scott. I’d love to see 2 buttons built in – but wonder if it’s a way to differentiate a bit more between Apple hardware and the competition… Seems like a flimsy reason, but it’s possible.

On the other hand, I kind of enjoy all the hidden gems that Apple puts into their products. It’s kinda fun to find them out and start utilizing them once you’re settled into a decent workflow on your system.

And you never know if throwing that 2 finger on trackpad/click functionality at a switcher, or computer newb may confuse and frighten them. They’re out there, and it’s experiences like that which could turn people away for good, if presented to them before they’re ready. I’m just thinking here… In the end, I’m totally with you on 2 buttons though.

Scott Rose

More tricks from Apple Computer that 99% of users will never know about. Apple just needs to buckle down and add a REAL right-click button! That’s what EVERYBODY wants! Everyone, including long-time Mac users but especially Windows switchers, all use contextual menus on a regular basis.

Nick Santilli

CrzyMike –
Good idea putting the right click in the corner.

I’ve got my corners mapped to previoustrack/nexttrack, and play/pause for itunes. and then the 4th corner brings up dashboard (so I can check the weather and hockey scores…)

CrzyMke

I also use sidetrack, but I have a tap-corner for the right click (Bottom Left). It stays out of other people’s way, and is nice and convenient.

I also use two other corners for navigating webpages in Camino/firefox. All it takes is a little optimization of how big to make the tap areas.

Accidental tap clicks on the main track pad drive me into a blind rage – i find it better to keep the majority of the track pad tap-free.

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