Cool Mac OSX Tips I Learned Today

I have been studying my Mac OS book today, along with doing some searching online for specifics I needed, and I even got an email from a peer’s son on how to overcome my frustration with the Mac’s lack of a right button.

I was in a generous mood, so I figured I’d share the ones that were cool enough that it made me go ‘ohhhh!’ outloud. Since I don’t notice when I do this, I rely on my daughter who immediately comes in from her desk (using any excuse to escape her math sheet today) to ask me what I’m ‘ohhh-ing’ about.

1. The mouse DOES have a right button! I’m going to copy my email from my friend Bron Robertson‘s son here, hopefully it will help others with this frustration. Never occured to me to look in preferences on this, it really didn’t:

Hi Angela,

Basically I read your blog about the iMac and you said how you can’t right-click without using the command key/two hands. This really annoyed me when I first got my iMac about a year ago, but I figured out after about half an hour that it’s really simple to change.

I assume you have the mighty mouse (as you got your Mac recently or at least more recent than me and I have it) as opposed to the old one. With the mighty mouse there are four buttons even though they’re covered so it just looks like 1. There’s a left button, a right button, a middle button under the scroll wheel and the side buttons on either side which you squeeze. As a default factory setting, and I don’t know why this is, Apple assign both the right and left buttons to do the same thing. In order to assign it a new function, you need to go into the setup, go to ‘mouse and keyboard’ I think it’s called (I don’t have my Mac here and can’t remember exactly) and then assign buttons on the mouse.

There’ll be an aerial view of the mighty mouse in the middle with arrows coming off. Just to give you an example, The controls I’ve assigned to my buttons are: ‘click’ for the left button, ‘command click’ for the right button, and ‘show all running apps’ for the side squeezy ones. For a click on the middle button/scroll wheel, I’ve assigned the ‘alt tab’ function you’ll probably be familiar with from Windows, just as a quick way of cycling between programs.

Hope this helps, all the best.


2. Clicking the title bar on any window twice makes it minimize. This saves me an enormous amount of stress while trying to get used to the controls on the Mac’s windows being on the left, rather than the right. Now, maybe there is some way to set a preference to have the sides swap, I don’t know. But, if I’m going to stay with the Mac I want to just learn the standard layout for this OS. (Also, using the options button and the double click on the title bar will shrink everything down to the dock at the same time. Nice!)

3. Keeping my desktop clear. I was searching for a program to do this last week, before I found out that it’s an easy fix using the preferences in Finder. Just go there and click on the general tab and uncheck the boxes you don’t want to see on your desktop. Keeping Finder in your dock means you can see all the disks hooked up to the Mac with a single click. I also changed the preferences on where my downloads reside. Since there’s already a downloads folder, I created my own “Repository” folder and put a shortcut on the dock. Using these two tricks keeps my information close and my desktop is clutter free!