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 Forum index » House Training » Users ( For the regulars )
Right-clicking with single-button mice
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James Gryphon

Joined: 25 Jun 2018
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep 2018, 21:13    Post subject:  Right-clicking with single-button mice  

I'm currently stuck with an old Apple Pro mouse, and it didn't take long for me to grasp that while the Macintosh interface is familiar with the concept of having only one mouse button to work with, the right-click is rather taken for granted in other operating systems.

I'm curious if anyone has experience with single-button mice (not trackpads) in a Puppy, or Linux in general, and if there's a quick way to solve it. If I could get a modifier key to modify the standard left mouse button, that'd be great -- then I could control-click, Mac-like, as needed.

Some possible solutions:
1) Buy a new mouse. All right: I admit this is probably the best and easiest way over the long haul, but I don't know when I'll be at the store next. Wink
2) Mouseemu used to be a solution marketed for this purpose. Tried it out. Seems to be inert now though; I couldn't get it to do anything.
3) Someone mentioned using xbindkeys. This isn't installed in Xenialpup, but I suppose it could be, easily enough. I'm curious if there's a better way.
4) Remap some key on the keyboard to the right mouse button. Kludgy. I'm also not sure I want to spare one for that purpose if it can be avoided. I only have so many!

Operating Xenialpup 7.5 CE
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Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 5404
Location: Republic of Novo Zelande

PostPosted: Wed 12 Sep 2018, 14:09    Post subject:  

With a single button mouse you have no way to access the "context" menu which is different for different programs, or when clicking on the desktop etc.

This makes your PC similar to "touchscreen" PCs - where there is effectively only a "leftclick" and thats all.

There are some ways you can get past this difficulty to some extent. Mochi Moppel highlighted the fact that when using ROX-Filer you can use the \ key to access the RoxFiler rightclick menu. Possibly this will be of some use to you in your situation. Open RoxFiler so that you can see - for example - the contents of the /root directory, then press the \ (backslash) key. You will see the rightclick contect menu pop up and you can use your leftclick only mouse to choose from the options.

Also - within that ROXfiler rightclick context menu there is an option for "next click". This is a very useful option when you only have a one button mouse or a touchscreen.

EDIT 1 : Here is another tip from MochiMoppel - use the "menu" key that is normally to the right of the spacebar. Who even notices that key?? It is very handy as an inbuilt shortcut to the context menus: http://murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=923672#923672

EDIT 2 : here is another option that may be handy if you don't mind sacrificing your "Windows" metakey : http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?p=784355#784355
(Presumably there is no other current function you need the Win key for??)

There are also other more complex techniques for making a one button mouse (or a touchscreen) more functional. I had a thread dedicated to setting up a Puppy to have better menu control when only a one button mouse or touchscreen is available. This post here describes the basic technique I used to make a left click "submenu" available. From memory it relied heavily on the xdotool utility (easily available and very handy - I have used it for all sorts of different uses)

To really get the substance of that technique it is probably necessary to read that whole thread - it also encompasses some other suggestions some people had for making a PC work without access to a multiclick mouse.

This video here may give a better idea what I am talking about.

Using an alternative context menu as described made my touchscreen Dell Duo quite functional - although using a onebutton mouse (or touchscreen) can never be as quick and easy as a threebutton mouse. Makes you wonder how Mac afficionados get anything done....
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Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 1149
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Fri 14 Sep 2018, 15:46    Post subject:  

May I suggest Mouse_keys? Activate by pressing shift-NumLock. (Lucid If you take a look at the numerical keys on your keyboard, they are usually marked with tiny arrows on the 2-4-6-8-keys, and tiny versions of the text on some other keys, and there is a reason for that.
Works every time, it's built into all versions of X.


True freedom is a live Puppy on a multisession CD/DVD.
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