Application menu as a “context” menu?

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    Posted: 28 August 2009 03:26 PM

    Right… I’ve seen this on windowing systems like NeXT OS and X11 where you can right-click and pull up the application menu close by the mouse pointer. The menu items are vertically stacked and pull to the right or left when the submenus open up.

    Why do I need this? Well, as screen sizes (and the number of physical displays) grow - it becomes harder and harder to mouse back over to the primary display and select items from the application menu.

    Surely someone has written a software doohickey to do this…

    John, Dave, feel free to answer this on the air on the next MGG smile

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    Posted: 31 August 2009 10:49 AM #1

    Do you mean just the application menu (About [App], Preferences, Services, Hide, Show, Quit), or do you mean the whole menubar (App Menu, File, Edit, View, Etc…)?

    I think the closest you’ll get is the ability to put Services and Automator actions in the context menu in Snow Leopard.  Sal Soghoian has a great website called Mac OS X Automation.

    You could use GUI Scripting to create scripts to run common menu shortcuts (or you could just learn the shortcuts wink )

         
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    Posted: 31 August 2009 02:09 PM #2

    Whole menubar, actually… Hmmm.. looks like an opportunity for a utility… :D

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    Posted: 31 August 2009 05:07 PM #3

    Here’s a reference to the NeXTSTEP Menu… there’s a screenshot midway down the page - near the section entitled “More than the Mac?” (remember this was in 1997 - OS 9 days). Now that’s what I want - a popup application menu…

    NeXTSTEP Technical Review

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    Posted: 02 September 2009 11:55 AM #4

    While not really the same, you may find this helps you get to menus faster Control-F2 (or Control-Fn-F2 if you have a laptop) highlights the menubar.  You can then navigate it with the arrow keys.

         
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    Posted: 02 September 2009 06:23 PM #5

    Hmmm… that’s true - hadn’t remembered that key combo! But then… that’s one more key combo to remember (that’s why I didn’t remember it).

    From the user interface perspective, doing an action to bring up the app’s menubar close to the mouse pointer is preferable to me since your current focus is on the where the pointer is at. Having to draw one’s focus away to the menu bar (even via a key combo) at a distance away from the mouse pointer is a little distracting.

    Thanks for the tip, Steve!!

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  • Posted: 09 September 2009 12:25 AM #6

    Before we got FinderPop back on OSX (personal fav, but doesn’t do the menubar items thing), I had tried a contextual utility called Zingg, which did what you are after. Just checked though, it’s not Intel compatible though. Looks to be discontinued.

         
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    Posted: 09 September 2009 05:36 PM #7

    Jeff, thanks for the tip re: Zingg… Unfortunately that’s not quite it… I’m looking to pop up the menus for the current application in a vertical fashion near the mouse so I don’t have to go up to the top left hand corner of the screen.

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