Tear-off menus and more

by Giles Turnbull

My wife doesn't like OS X. A long-time Windows user, she finds OS X an alien environment. Perhaps that's because she only ever uses it for short periods of time (a quick surf to a weather web site before breakfast), but anyway that's how things are.

I remember one of her criticisms related to the way windows are manipulated. She tried to enlarge a window by dragging on one of its edges, and was frustrated when I told her the only way to do this was by dragging the bottom-right corner.

"That's stupid," she said. "Windows is much easier to use."

I didn't want to argue this one (we have more important things to argue about) but inwardly, I conceded that she had a point. It would be nice to be able to resize windows with more flexibility.

OCSmartHacks has come to my attention and offers not just a solution to this, but dozens of other UI hacks for OS X.

Among the features it includes are access to the Menu bar from anywhere, via a pop-up menu; tear-off menus, NeXT style; and resizing windows using any edge.

Those of you who've been using OS X since it was NeXTStep may be very interested to try out the tear-off menus.

Screenshot taken from OCSmartHacks documentation
This is the result

The software is shareware ($29 for a license) and I have not tried it myself; I was sufficiently intrigued by the online documentation to mention it here.

Are tear-off menus and resize-by-any-edge useful additions to OS X, or needless tinkering?


2005-07-26 09:30:53
I remember a mate of mine having a copy of Rhapsody, which was basically the OS 9 look & feel sat atop NeXT.

That had windows that could be dragged from any corner and they worked really well.

But, being the complete GUI whore, I'll have to pass this one up for now.

I've had tear-off menus before and nice they were too!

That and the scalable window option really did interest me.

Then I had a quick play with the demo .. it's crude and clunky.

Just not for me.

Why Apple dropped that feature, I have no idea...