Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mac OS X: Mouse-Follows-Focus (Not Focus-Follows-Mouse)?

More from the Windows-Power-User-to-Mac-Power-User-Adjustments department: Windows has a really nice key on the keyboard that I use a lot: the context-sensitive menu key. It looks something like this on most Windows machines:
It allows me to perform a right-click wherever focus currently is without having to use the mouse.

So, Mac OS X has its equivalent of right-clicking, which is Ctrl-Click. So far, so good, except that I still have to use the mouse. Next, I discovered that Fn-NumPad-5 (which is Fn-Option-I on my MacBook Pro, BTW) does the same thing as a Ctrl-Click, so that I can do the Mac equivalent of a keyboard-only right-click. The problem is, instead of using the current focus (which I maniuplated via various keyboard navigations), it uses the current location of the mouse pointer as the location where the Ctrl-Click is effected.

Ideally, I'd like Fn-NumPad-5 to use the current focus to effect the click instead of the current pointer position, but I'd be willing to have the mouse follow the current focus. I've seen focus-follows-mouse, but that's not what I'm trying to do here.

Anyone have any ideas?

1 comment:

Don said...

Firefox provides Ctrl+Space as a keyboard shortcut to the context menu. I spend a reasonable amount of time in webapps so I expect that will ease my context-menu-key withdrawal a little. My (mac pro) keyboard doesn't even have a Fn key, so I can't even use the Fn-5 combo. Where did you find that one? I'm wondering whether the same source has a non-laptop combo.

I may have to get a cheap mouse, dismantle it, and glue the right mouse button to the side of my keyboard.

It's sad that I've just spent 5 minutes looking into purchasing a foot mouse. Sadly, they're hideously expensive.