Sunday, April 22, 2007

right-mouse click for XP/Vista on MacBook / Remote Desktop for Mac

As I run both XP, Vista and Fedora in VMware Fusion on my MacBook Pro 17", I was struggling with the fact that since the MacBook only has one button below the trackpad, I did not have access to a right mouse button to get the contextual help and properties menus in XP and Fedora.

Well, if I had looked longer and harder in the System Preferences -> Keyboard and Mouse -> Trackpad properties of my MacBook, I would have found an obscure option called "Place two fingers on trackpad and click button for secondary click."

This option is an advanced finger technique applied to the trackpad. To enable your context-sensitive right-mouse click, just stick two fingers on the trackpad and click an object in XP or Fedora. Voila! You should see your right-mouse option menu appear! Sweet!

Enabling this option allowed me to do everything I needed to do in XP and Fedora, as well as in Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) for Mac:


One caveat, though, is that apparently, this option is not available in MacBook 15" models. I don't know why this is, but if I have time, I will find out.

Finally, I learned about three additional key combinations while editing this post. First was using Function (fn) key in combination with the directional keys in the lower right corner of my MacBooks' keyboard. The Function (fn) key is in the lower left hand corner of the corner. The directional keys on the opposite site of the keyboard are PageUp PageDown, Home and End.

Secondly, Fn-delete works as a normal delete key within a Windows session when using Mac RDC. Finally, press the Mac delete key alone to function as a backspace in a Windows RDC session.

Both of these keystrokes are very useful and available cross-platform when you use the freely available Remote Desktop Connection from Microsoft.

7/30/07 Update: I put a more definitive list of keyboard shortcuts and key symbol names here for your enjoyment:

Here is the most awesome list of key bindings for the mac:



Sri Sankaran said...

Talk about the solution being right under my nose! Thanks a lot. I have been using the two-finger touch to scroll (which btw is sweet).

Cacasodo said...

Glad I found, too! I was pulling my hair out for a while.

Feel free to drop me a line or ask me a question.