One mouse button

January 3, 2018

Question from E-mail

Just a few questions regarding your opinion of various technical differences between MacOS and Windows:

What do you think of Macs having only one mouse button?

Also, do you prefer the Macintosh re-usable menu bar, or do you think a separate menu bar per window (like MS Windows) is a better design?

As you will be aware, with Macintosh, when a dialog box is displayed the user cannot switch applications – the dialog box must be dealt with first; but with Windows the dialog box still allows the user to switch and use other applications, they just cannot do anything with the application to which the dialog box belongs to until it is dealt with. Which do you see as a better design?


We only have one brain, and for many that are new, or just not computer savvy, or old, or slow, the single button is much more comfortable. But when you look at the cortex of the brain, the amount of space allocated to your fingers outweighs almost any other part of your body. Fingers are very efficient and controllable. It’s a shame to restrict this incredible operating plus. After all, we use all 10 fingers just fine to type. I love a 2 or 3 button mouse and find it as easy to use as going for command keys. I also love the scrolling wheels.

I don’t always have only one answer on the menu bar question. I think that the MS way is the more logically correct way, but I find myself getting lost much less on the Macintosh. You don’t have the desired menu per app or menu per window, but you always know where to go. Your fingers often learn to just instantly go somewhere, like on a video game, without having to partner with your eyes to see exactly where they are supposed to go this time.

Everyone hates modal dialog boxes, but a lot of them can be skipped. Often the application menu is not grayed out, and even if it is, command-tab might work.