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Bill Lueg’s Tech Blog

Mac and Right Click

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MacHaters, Get over it!

I read a lot of PC vs. Mac stuff in my travels and one thing that comes up time and again from PC nuts is that there is no right click on a Mac. Yes, I said “PC nuts”. Remember how people used to like Macs and hate Mac people? They’re just as rampant in the PC world. The reason you give Mac fans a break is, like any new convert, they are so relieved to have found a better way. The PC biggots tend to be ignoramouses.

Case in point: Macs have no right click. Ignorance can be the only way this myth has stayed around so long. That and Steve Jobs insistance that there only be one mouse button on his input devices. Yes, it’s true, there is only one physical button on any pointing device that Apple ships. But since the Mighty Mouse was released, you could still click on the right side of the mouse (if you’re a righty) and voila! right click! But even before that, you coud pick the USB multi-button mouse of your choice from any manufacturer and it would work as expected instantly (which is more than Windows allows the first time you add a new USB mouse). Now come on PC biggots, which of you has ever stuck with the cheapo mouse that shipped with your PC?

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the Mighty Mouse. My experience with it is not happy. I found right click to be hit or miss, so like the rest of the PC biggots, I bought a new one more to my liking.

This is how you right-click on a MacBook

This is how you right-click on a MacBook

“But what about laptops?” Actually, this is where MacBooks shine. I would not have a second button on any future laptop. The Apple solution is more elegant and comfortable. My 2007 MacBook uses multi-touch to achieve right-click. It’s as simple as laying your middle and right finger on the trackpad and clicking with your index (left or right). While it sounds more complicated, it’s actually easier to execute. My hand is completely relaxed doing it. On a PC with a traditional two button configuration, you either have to pull your middle finger all the way back under your palm to get at the right click or you move your whole hand to let your index finger do it. After a day of using that, my hands get tired. Not so on my MacBook.

This same multi-touch gives you scrolling left and right capabilities. Just swish two fingers up, down, left or right to scroll wherever you want. It’s great and it’s all in one place. The newer unibody MacBooks just have one large trackpad that clicks and no button and it works even easier. Just click with two fingers to right click. Multi-touch on these newer machines is nothing less than amazing. You can check that out here. Now that’s a pointing device that I have some serious techno-lust for.

Apple does an amazing job with human factors. That’s why they spend so much more money on R&D than your typical comodity PC maker does. They make the computer and the operating system that runs it which allows them so much more flexibility in adding truly innovative features to their computers.

Just get a Mac!


Written by walueg

April 30, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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