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I have just bought a MacBook Pro 15 and I am finding the Menu Bar very difficult to work with.

For example; if the calculator is in the bottom right of the screen an I am focussing my eyes on it I can't even see the Menu bar. If I want to use something from the menu I have to push the mouse 3 or 4 times with the track pad to get up to the menu (e.g. for a convert function) then 3 or 4 times to get back down.

Is it possible to make the menus appear in the applications?

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  • Similar to apple.stackexchange.com/questions/46165/…
    – nohillside
    Aug 9, 2014 at 17:06
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    If it takes you 3 or 4 moves to get to the top of the screen, you might want to increase your tracking speed (in System Preferences -> Trackpad preference pane -> Point & Click tab). Aug 10, 2014 at 1:48
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    → Gordon: please make an answer of your comment since you've seen the real hidden problem and suggested the right fix :).
    – dan
    Aug 10, 2014 at 13:46
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    @GordonDavisson Then that means you don't have fine control of the cursor and even with the most speed it takes 2 moves
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 18, 2014 at 21:25
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    @danielAzuelos, the real problem is that the menu is at the top of the monitor. I have ~ 4000x3200 px screen. Having the menu at the top is really a bad idea. Nov 14, 2017 at 16:09

3 Answers 3

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No is the simple answer.

The Mac UI is based on the premise of the application menu always being at the top. The reasoning was that you just have to move the mouse to the top of the screen to ensure you were at the menu, no hunting to find the menu bar on a window that could be anywhere on the screen.

This has been the case since the beginning of Mac OS in the early 1980s

This can get some getting used to if you are coming from Windows.

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    Is there a complicated answer that ends in yes? :) e.g. an application that does some sort of compositing and duplicates the contents of the menu bar above the current Window? Why would you be hunting for a window anyway? The menu bar changes based on the active window so presumably you are already working in it.
    – opticyclic
    Aug 9, 2014 at 16:02
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    Unlesss an application is written specifically to put menus on the windows(and some java based apps are built this way) then the answer is probably no. Aug 9, 2014 at 16:03
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    @opticyclic there is no complicated answer that gets you to yes here I'm afraid. This is OS X. I can't speak for everyone, but after time, having menus attached to windows start to seem...wrong.
    – Ian C.
    Aug 9, 2014 at 16:41
  • On searching a bit more, it seems like there is an application called DejaMenu that makes the menus available in a popup (although not docking them to the applications themselves) gigaom.com/2009/01/20/how-to-add-mac-menus-on-multiple-monitors The homepage is down but I found a copy here d.asgeirsson.is/Yu6m and it works in Mavericks.
    – opticyclic
    Aug 9, 2014 at 17:11
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    Unfortunately the original screen was 9" now 3-4 times the size so yes you now have to move 3-4 times as far
    – mmmmmm
    Aug 18, 2014 at 21:27
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Yes! You can do this, sort of, but if you are willing to adapt to the Mac way of doing things, I think you'll eventually prefer it.

First, how to (sort of) achieve what you want. Download & install BetterTouchTool, a utility for all kinds of customization and automation. It's very powerful (but the UI is a little bit wonky).

Open BetterTouchTool, and go to the section called "Automations & Named & Other Triggers". Be sure that on the left side of the screen "All Apps" is selected (unless you want this behavior in only a specific app).

Navigating to the right part of BetterTouchTool

In the pane with the title "Groups & Top-Level Triggers", click the "+" icon at the bottom, and then click "Select Trigger" in the pane on the far right, and search for "Doubleclick Window Titlebar" and select it.

creating a trigger in BetterTouchTool

Then click the "+" icon in the pane entitled "Actions Assigned to Selected Trigger", and click the button on the right and choose "Show Menu in Context Menu".

enter image description here

Now you can open Calculator and have a menu (in a context menu format) available by double-clicking the window title bar: Calculator with Menu (in a context menu) available by double-clicking the Window Title Bar

This is as close to what you described as I think is possible.

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Short answer: No, it is not possible to modify the Mac UI in that way, any more than it is possible to modify the Windows UI the other way.

Long answer: You could code your own programs to put menus on the window. Mac users will complain bitterly about it. Every time I open Inkscape (which does put it's own menus on the window) I end up using another application's 'Save' on the main window.

You have obviously recently switched from Windows or Linux. Neither method is "better", it's a design choice. Like most other switchers (in both directions) you try to remake the new UI in the image of the old.

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