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Update: This version of MenuPop Menu Utility is no longer freeware; the review has been edited to reflect the current price change of $4.95. For information about this change, you can check out the official site for more information.
As much as we love the Mac’s graphical menus-and-windows interface, taking repeated trips to the menu bar to execute commands is slow and cumbersome. In order to hone your Mac skills to ninja level, you need to get good with the keyboard. But remembering keyboard shortcuts for every menu command in all of your apps is asking a lot. Binary Bakery Software’s solution is the cleverly designed MenuPop, which instantly pops up the active application’s complete menus wherever your mouse cursor is located.
MenuPop works using a hotkey combination to invoke the app wherever the tip of the cursor is. The default is Control-Z, but you can customize it. Preferences settings let you fold in alternate menu items, and show or hide the Apple menu, Application menu, or keyboard shortcuts--handy if you’re still learning your way around a new app. You can even select larger font sizes for the MenuPop interface, which is helpful to anyone using a really high-res display like the 27-inch iMac (or anyone who is old enough to remember System 7).
Instantly pop up menus in any app.
With MenuPop activated, you can quickly select any command, using arrow keys to navigate around the menu hierarchies without lifting your fingers from the keyboard. The best part is that your cursor stays right where you left it, which allows you to pick up from where you left off.
MenuPop is well-behaved; we didn’t find any compatibility problems with the myriad apps we depend on daily. Unfortunately, MenuPop requires Snow Leopard, although the developers are working on a version for Leopard users.
MenuPop is a simplified version of Binary Bakery’s MenuEverywhere software, a more full-featured menu utility priced at $14.95. MenuEverywhere adds some nifty tricks, like putting full menus in every window. But MenuPop is useful in its own right, and after getting used to instant menu access on our Macs, we can’t imagine going back to our old mousing ways. It’s an idea so simple and revolutionary that we can’t believe Apple hasn’t bought the technology and integrated it into OS X already.
The bottom line. MenuPop is a simple, graceful utility. Boost your productivity—without having to pick up a mouse or memorize hotkeys.
Mac OS 10.6
Unobtrusive. Easy to set up. Selectable font sizes make it easy to read.
May not work in some apps. Requires Snow Leopard. Dynamic menus can be slow to load.