Is there a way to open the context menu (a.k.a. "the right click menu") at the text cursor, using the keyboard when typing in a text field in OSx? If not in general, at least for Google Chrome?

The background for this is that as a developer, I've become used to using Alt+Enter to open context menus at the text cursor, for example to fix some common mistakes.

Now when I was filling out a form in Google Chrome, I realised just how utterly backwards it is to have to switch from keyboard to trackpad and move the mouse over to a misspelled word, right click, move the mouse again and finally left click just to fix a spelling mistake.

This seems like one of those features that should have been there from day 1 when spell checking was introduced, but at the same time I haven't been able to find any clear info on how to do it, so I wouldn't be surprised if it can't be done either.

A mispelled word

1 Answer 1


I got right to the end before realising that the cussed anti-Apple Google Chrome cannot do a lot of this [even the ones that are actually in the menu don't work]. I'm leaving the answer here for anyone who uses Safari.

The Mac has always been mouse-driven. It was the philosophy right from the start. It's changed somewhat over the years, key commands can now be linked to just about anything - but there's never been adoption of any structure to open the right click menu that doesn't involve a click. [Ctrl/click was added several years ago as the rise of laptops seemed to make actual right clicking less popular.]

Perhaps you could use Karabiner-Elements to generate the right/ctrl click. It's not an app I've ever used, but seems to be a common solution for any kind of key substitution.

Alternatives I can think of…

  • Cmd ⌘ ; [Edit menu > Spelling & Grammar > Check Document now] will rapidly step through misspelled words. It might be faster to do this, then just retype the word correctly.

  • Switch on Correct Spelling Automatically [Also in Edit menu > Spelling & Grammar >].

The downside of these methods is you will have to spend some time teaching it words it doesn't know. You only have to do this once per word, but it's an ongoing task - and you have to watch out for it making wrong guesses with 'Automatic' on.

Both of these methods are common to most apps. Some apps may require individual switching.

Unfortunately, Chrome, which usually manages to avoid using proper Mac toolbox structures, doesn't have these options. Even the advertised 'Check Document Now' doesn't actually function :\

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  • This actually helped me find a workaround. By using the keyboard shortcut for "Show spelling and grammar", I'm able to bring up the "Spelling and grammar" dialog and easily chose the correct word. This worked great in Chrome, but less good in Safari, because the dialog didn't receive focus. Also, I was able to use "Check document now" in Chrome, albeit with slightly different functionality (pressing the right arrow button doesn't bring up any suggestions). While none of this answers the actual question of using the context menu, it does make spelling corrections a lot easier.
    – Magnus
    Jun 21, 2022 at 12:00
  • I'd noticed the spellchecker in Safari doesn't naturally come to the front. it's not something I usually use, so it was just 'hmm… why not?' & I moved on. I did notice if you click the tiny top bar of the window it will come to the front. I'd assumed the full spellchecker wouldn't be useful to you, as it's a whole lot more clicking.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 21, 2022 at 12:03
  • 1
    It turns out it is actually very useful - it can be opened with the keyboard shortcut and automatically selects the first misspelled word. One can then use the down arrow key to select the correct word and press ENTER to use it - no need to use the trackpad or click anywhere. It's weird and unfortunate that the dialog is unfocused in Safari though, but as I'm usually using Chrome, it works for me. The "Check document now" option also seems useful for quickly stepping through all misspelled words with the keyboard shortcut. I wasn't even aware of these two functions before!
    – Magnus
    Jun 21, 2022 at 12:22
  • Glad it helped. I couldn't get the check now to recognise the key command in Chrome [but again, as I never use Chrome, this was of brief academic interest ;)
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 21, 2022 at 12:24

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