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  1. #1
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?

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    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    After 10+ years of using Macs with OS 5,6,7,8 and 9, my 80+ year old aunt just switched from Mac-OS 9 to a new Mac-OS/X system. She decided to keep her old one-button mouse. But the behavior of that mouse under OS/X is very different than it was for her under older OSes.

    Evidently in OS9, you could click very slowly, push down the button, wait a large part of a second, and then release, and it was just treated like a simple single click. In OS/X, if you do that, you may or may not get the behavior of a left click, but you will definitely get a context menu (which is normally right click behavior, I think).

    So, she clicks slowly, just as she has done for over 10 years, and now instead of getting the intended behavior, she gets a context menu, that usually does something VERY different than what she wanted.

    I want to find a way to get rid of the appearance of that context menu, and have it just behave like a slow left click, just like her OS/9 did. Is there a way?

    I figure it's probably some sort of timer. If you hold down the mouse for more than so-many milliseconds, it brings up a context menu.. If I could raise that number of milliseconds, to (say) 10,000 or 20,000, that would probably solve the problem. Is there a way?

    I talked her into giving up her old os/9 box and switching to OS/X so she could use more modern versions of Word and browsers. I figured she'd have a little trouble adjusting to slightly different menus and program behaviors, and the dock. I never dreamed she'd be unable to do simple single clicks with OS/X. Now she's unhappy with me. Help!

  2. #2
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I have one of those single button mice with an ADB to USB adapter. I will try this to be sure and get back to you but I feel Right Click is somehow selected for using a newer apple mouse. You open System Preference and Mouse and see what the settings are. Will get back to you in a few.

    I used both the really old ADB Apple mouse and the one button Apple USB mouse. Could not get the right click menu to pop up no matter how long I held it down. Also there is a setting in System Preferences with that old mouse plugged in for setting the primary button as either Left or Right. Check that setting as it might be her issue.

    Any reason why she is not using the newer mouse that should have come with her new Mac or is is a Laptop or Mini?

  3. #3
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    Oneironaut's Avatar
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    In System Preferences, if you go to Mouse, you can change how responsive some mouse functions are. If all else fails, you can turn off right clicking altogether. There will be a diagram of the mouse with a drop down menu corresponding to each button. You can have the right side do nothing if you want.

  4. #4
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?

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    Folks, She's not right clicking. (She can't, it's a one button mouse.)
    She's doing "slow clicks". She doesn't "tap" her mouse button. She presses it down for about a second, then lets go. She's done this for 10 years on her Mac OS 9 computer without any problem. OS 9 interpreted this as an ordinary click. But OS/X brings up a context menu.

    The problem is not peculiar to one button mice. It can also be seen using the left button of a two-button mighty mouse. Try it yourself. Put your mouse on any icon in your dock. Press the left mouse button for about one second and then release it. You will see the context menu appear, just as if you had right clicked.

    That's the "problem" I'm trying to solve. I want "slow clicks" to work like they did on OS/9, acting like ordinary clicks, not bringing up the context menu.

  5. #5
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I wish you would have said it happens when she clicks on icons in the Dock. That is a whole different behavior and is supposed to happen with the dock.

    I will search and see if there is a way to set the delay for that context menu with dock icons and when it comes up. Remember OS9 did not have a Dock and is thus very different.

  6. #6
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Of course, the other thing that's different about Dock icons, is that they don't have labels beneath them. Instead, the label pops up above them simply by moving the cursor over the icon. The other thing that happens, or may happen, depending on your Dock preferences, is that the icon you hover over "magnifies", and those next to it do also, to a lesser extent. So this behavior is sort of like a single click to highlight an icon, and the single click is sort of like the double click to activate it. (Magnification can be turned off.) Activating it either means opening an application (on the left side of the "divider") or exposing the contextual menu (on the right side of the "divider"). The divider is the dashed faint white line that appears to be receding in the distance. Items to the right are either there all the time (called Stacks - simply a pointer to a folder) or only when an application is running. So, say there's a Safari icon on the left side, and Safari is open. There will also be an image that looks like a mini Safari window on the right side, with a tiny Safari icon in the corner of the image. On the Stacks, a left click will bring up a contextual menu to allow you to navigate within the folder it points to. A right click will bring up a different contextual menu that allows you do specify a preferred behavior for sorting, displaying or viewing the Stacks contents, along with a few other options.

    But, I'm rambling. I doubt that there's a way to disable the contextual menu behavior in the Dock, or even delay it. That would defeat the purpose of the Dock. Having said that, the single click within a Finder Window has the same effect it always did. As stated in a previous post, the Dock is new. There's nothing in OS 9 that is comparable.

  7. #7
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    toMACsh, I am sure you are correct. I figured though I would look around just in case there was something I had never seen, but alas, I see nothing. That is the way the Dock works. It's not OS9.

    Before the OP's latest post I thought he was talking clicking on the desktop and having a context menu popping up.

  8. #8
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    You could hide the doc and force her to use other icons. The Dock would reappear if the cursor got too close to where the dock is hidden but she could just ignore it when it appears. Not perfect, but it might work for her.

  9. #9
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    Gandalph's Avatar
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    Try and get her to click the Mouse button faster.

  10. #10
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?

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    @dtravis7, @jackrich: There's nothing about this issue that is pecular to the dock.
    Any button with both a left-click behavior and a separate context menu will do it,
    and that includes such buttons that appear in programs.
    An example is the "Get Msgs" button in Thunderbird or SeaMonkey.

    @Gandalph: 80+ year olds who've been doing "slow clicks" for over 10 years do not suddenly relearn how to use the mouse, not ever after MONTHS of trying to do so.

    I've learned that this behavior ("slow click" bringing up context menu) may also be known as "click and hold". It is possible to raise the time threshold of when a click becomes a "hold"?

    Surely this must also be an issue for people with certain physical "challenges" that lead to slow motor skills. Is there no usability tool that helps them?

  11. #11
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    dtravis7's Avatar
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    What version of OSX is she using? You say it's not limited to the dock but any icon? I can hold till my finger hurts and not anything on my desktop or any icon in mail brings up a context menu when I hold down the left button. Only in the Dock. Don't know what to say.

  12. #12
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    What version of OSX is she using? You say it's not limited to the dock but any icon? I can hold till my finger hurts and not anything on my desktop or any icon in mail brings up a context menu when I hold down the left button. Only in the Dock. Don't know what to say.
    Same for me.... I spent the last 10minutes clicking all over the place, on every browser, mail app, file, and tab that I could find, and can still only get this behaviour on the dock.

  13. #13
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    IvanLasston's Avatar
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    I just tried this in a terminal

    Code:
    defaults write com.apple.Dock show-expose-menus -bool no
    killall Dock
    And it stopped the expose meuns from coming up - but then the context menu actually did come up with a click and hold.

    That being said if you are just using the dock as an application launcher and it is getting in the way, why not try something like Bevy
    Apple - Downloads - System/Disk Utilities - Bevy

    Or as stated hiding the dock and just have desktop icons to all the most used apps/directories?

    Otherwise as others have said - I have not seen a click and hold do anything anywhere other than the dock.

  14. #14
    way to prevent left click from bringing up context menu?
    toMACsh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MisterTLS View Post
    It is possible to raise the time threshold of when a click becomes a "hold"?
    There's no preference setting for that. Sorry.

    Quote Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
    I can hold till my finger hurts and not anything on my desktop or any icon in mail brings up a context menu when I hold down the left button. Only in the Dock.
    Same here.

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