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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu Web Browsers
I just noticed this behaviour in Firefox. If you hold down the mouse button, after about two seconds the contextual menu will pop-up. This seems to only work in Firefox. This is a real boon for laptop users who use the built-in trackpad. Now if only the rest of OS X could adopt this behaviour, Apple's one-button mouse philosophy would work great.

[robg adds: I've gotten so used to control-clicking for the contextual menu that it's almost second nature ... but it's nice to know there's a no-keys alternative.]
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Been around for years...
Authored by: the_webmaestro on Aug 11, '04 11:22:59AM

If I'm not mistaken, every web browser since Netscape 2.x has had this feature (IE, Netscape, iCab, Opera, OmniWeb, etc.). I doubt it's been posted to many web sites, so I'm glad you did. Now everyone who's anyone will know... 8-)

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Father of Jeremy Logan



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Been around for years...NOPE
Authored by: Anonymous on Aug 11, '04 11:43:27AM

Safari doesn't behave this way...

...and I tried it on Firefox, and it is cool!



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Even IE
Authored by: hamarkus on Aug 11, '04 01:52:24PM

This feature has been around in Mozilla as long as I can remember, even IE has it, which means it really has been around for years (when did the last feature update to IE happen, 2001?).



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Much much older
Authored by: zzen on Aug 11, '04 07:59:18PM

Dude, this thing is really old. You know - it's older then the whole IE on the Mac. The even older then the whole IE! I've been using Netscape since version 1.1 (was that back in '95 or am I already too senile?). I think the contextual menus were really implemented in 2.0 as the original poster said. So about '96 or so. Which is like a millennium before 2001 in web terms.

Actually, at that time, there was still System 7. No contextual menus there! And the Mac had a one-button mouse. So the Netscape engineers had to think of a work-around to implement the Windows features. That's where this click-and-hold came from.



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It's just Safari
Authored by: zzen on Aug 11, '04 08:01:48PM

So, just to sum it up, I believe Safari is the first Mac browser NOT having this feature. I guess Apple wanted to unify the contextual menu workings of OS and browser.



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Been around for years...
Authored by: JimMueller on Aug 11, '04 04:22:20PM

I had become so accustomed to this hold-for-drop-down behaviour in my Mac browsers (Netscape 2+, M$IE, Mozilla and now FireFox) that when I use Safari (Adobe's Help files always open in it, even though I have FireFox as my default) I wind up wondering why nothing happens when I continue to hold the button down...



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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: BSS on Aug 11, '04 11:42:00AM

I requested Apple to implement this click-and-hold-for-contextual-menu as a systemwide feature a while back. My argument is that this feature works great with Apple's one button mouse. If you click and hold any item on your dock, a relevant contextual menu will appear.



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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: bdjones on Aug 11, '04 12:39:32PM

or break down and buy a two button mouse....



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control-space works as well...
Authored by: gschueler on Aug 11, '04 12:48:00PM

it is a common keystroke for the auto-complete feature of software IDEs, and that is how i stumbled upon it.

helpful I guess if you are typing in a text field and don't want to use the mouse or something.



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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: CarlRJ on Aug 11, '04 12:50:21PM
I've seen this in Mozilla as well. Actually, I find it somewhat annoying, since I occasionally highlight text to keep focused on what I'm reading, or to improve the contrast, and then, if I hover too long, Mozilla pops up a "helpful" context menu over the text I was trying to read. But then, I use Safari for most things these days.

As for button use on laptops, I'd go nuts without SideTrack, and highly recommend it to all iBook/PowerBook users. Not just more mouse buttons, but also vertical and horizontal "scroll wheels". And freeware, at least until it emerges from beta (more stable as a beta device driver than some "released" apps -- never had the slightest bit of trouble from it).

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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: lucashaley on Aug 11, '04 01:25:59PM
There is an app called "FruitMenu" from Unsanity that does a good job organizing the Apple Menu, but also provides a click-and-hold contextual menu for the Finder. Check it out!

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The real trick
Authored by: heavyboots on Aug 11, '04 01:30:11PM

... would be to *stop* the behavior from happening in the Toolbar Bookmarks area.

I have lots of folders in there, which become menus. I tend to click once to open the menu, then click and hold on a menu item while I decide if I really want to go there. The bloody contextual menu pops up and is very hard to get rid of if you hold too long. You either end up trying to ignore it or hitting escape which disappears both your contextual menu and the Bookmaks Toolbar menu you were trying to make a selection from.



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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: Fuzzle on Aug 11, '04 01:42:18PM

Or you could use the newest version of the SIDETRACK driver on your laptop, and map a corner to "Mouse Button 2" and have a corner to hit for the contextual menu.

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Another alternative powerbook button setup
Authored by: amarlin on Aug 11, '04 02:31:16PM

I suggest using sidetrack to map the mouse BUTTON on the powerbook to be the RIGHT-CLICK, then use the "tapping" on the powerbooks trackpad to function as the LEFT-CLICK. Just a suggestion.



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Problem!! This is in Violation of Patents! (ones that shouldn't exist)
Authored by: MacOSXAddict on Aug 11, '04 02:42:08PM

If I rember correctly, Micro$oft just recently applied for and recieved a pattent on how the mouse works and the methods in which you can do different things with it depending on the number of clicks or the length of time the button is depressed. For myself I think Micro$oft should be taken out and shot for even sugesting that they had anythng to do with the development of the Mouse, that is short of copying the idea from Apple and xerox.

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Bob



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MS patent not applicable here
Authored by: hayne on Aug 12, '04 10:26:57AM

The MS patent referred to in the parent comment (and in the following comment) is not applicable to the Mac. That patent is applicable only to "substantially smaller palm-type computers".



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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: rhowell on Aug 11, '04 08:15:19PM
Folks, We shouldn't even be talking about this! Just as the previous poster mentioned, Microsoft has a patent on this, as well as the double-click. Stop using your browser (and Finder) this instant!

Patent number 6727830

From the patent: "Alternative application functions are launched based on the length of time an application button is pressed. A default function for an application is launched if the button is pressed for a short, i.e., normal, period of time. An alternative function of the application is launched if the button is pressed for a long, (e.g., at least one second), period of time. Still another function can be launched if the application button is pressed multiple times within a short period of time, e.g., double click."

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MS patent not applicable here
Authored by: hayne on Aug 12, '04 10:28:47AM

The MS patent referred to in the parent comment (and in the preceding comment) is not applicable to the Mac. That patent is applicable only to "substantially smaller palm-type computers".



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MS patent not applicable here
Authored by: Fuzzle on Aug 13, '04 08:34:58AM

And it only referred to specific type of inputting on a touch screen with a stylus. I love the slashdot herd mentality.

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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: mweissen on Aug 12, '04 02:39:33AM

Heh... this is how contextual menus were introduced on the Mac in the first place. Control-clicking was an alien concept and appealed mostly to power users who didn't like to wait two seconds for the menu to appear. Two-button mice were even more alien.

Try holding down the mouse button on icons in the Dock, or on the back button in Safari.



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Opposite: Keyboard stroke for CM?
Authored by: TF on Aug 12, '04 07:35:34AM

So, pressing and holding the mouse is nice, but I find myself with the opposite question: is there a way to bring up the contuxual menu with a key stroke in OS X? Often I'm in a text field typing and want to make a spelling correct without reaching for the mouse. Windows keyboards have a special key for it. Is there a way to do it on the Mac?



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ittec pref pane
Authored by: Siecho on Aug 12, '04 09:05:44AM

I use ittec pref pane to achieve this.

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/8025

It works perfectly with 10.3.5.



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this feature finally available for Safari...kinda
Authored by: rkchang on Aug 20, '04 01:45:56AM
I found out about a browser called Shiira, which is an open-sourced browser pretty much built from the same engine as Safari. Anyway, among other features, the click-and-hold feature is offered in Shiira, which allows not only contextual menus for links, images, etc., but also a nice back/forward history simpy by clicking and holding on the respective button on the button bar. Oh, and by the way, the button bar can also be customized, a feature that I was surprised Apple left out of Safari.

Another nice feature for those of you who are into simply testing the browser alongside Safari, but not yet ready to completely ditch Safari, there's also a feature that would allow you to syncronize and share bookmark sets.

I've just started using Shiira, and I'm already in love :-)

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"I have seen the evils of procrastination, and I vow to change my ways tomorrow."

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One-button access to Firefox's contextual menu
Authored by: rodl2 on Aug 20, '04 03:11:39PM

let's not forget good ol' finderpop [www.finderpop.com] from the OS 9 days! when i upgraded to X, i was very sad to let finderpop go.

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"He who limps still walks." -Stanislaw Lec

"If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40." --CC



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You LIKE this?
Authored by: brandondrew on Aug 20, '04 07:51:18PM

I can't believe anyone LIKES this. It was cool back when Netscape was brand new (or maybe 2.0, as another post suggested) but it's downright annoying now. Since every mouse I own except those that have shipped with my Macs are multi-button mice, and since I don't really mind using Control from time to time, I find that the only time I use this feature is when it rears its head when I don't want it to. If I hold the mouse down for a second for whatever reason, I get the stupid menu in my way. And there's no way I know of to disable it.

I guess I'm glad you like it, as it means it's doing some good, but I can't imagine why. For $29 (or a lot less by now) you can have a nice optical mouse with two buttons.


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Brandon Z



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And don't forget the scrollwheel. I can't live without a scroll wheel!
Authored by: brandondrew on Aug 20, '04 07:57:42PM

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Brandon Z



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yes - I LIKE this?
Authored by: alexmathew on Oct 04, '04 03:04:44PM

Obviously you are not a laptop user - you will be one day - as Apples sales have increasingly been dominated by laptops.

For a laptop only user like me, Click-and-Hold, is the ONLY way on a flight crammed into a seat - or in a factory floor with the PB on my lap - or holding the PB with one hand and mousing wih the other in a line at the Airport counter - etc..

Click-and-hold is the ONLY reason I dont use Safari and Camino - both of which are faster than FireFox.

AM



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