Whether you have a 27″ or a 13″ Mac screen, drag your mouse to the menu bar of any application is a little time consuming, especially when you can do it faster with a simple finger gesture using BetterTouchTool.

BetterTouchTool ( a free download) is similar to the finger gesture navigation feature in OS X, but it has hundreds of more actions than the Mac does. While it’s not an attractive application, it’s pretty easy to use with dozens of actions and finger gesture options.

One of the BTT actions I use throughout the day is one that triggers menu bar items for an application, which means I don’t have drag the cursor to the top of my 27″ iMac. Instead, I simply do a four-finger swipe up, and an application’s menu bar items get shown in context, and exactly where my mouse is located on the screen. Here’s how it looks in action.

Create the Action

The menu items remain open, and I don’t have to hold down a modifier key while doing so.


Setting up this action is easy in BetterTouchTool:

  1. Select Global in BTT if you want to use the action in all applications.
  2. Click the Add New Gesture button.
  3. Select a finger gesture that you’re comfortable using, and that doesn’t conflict with another finger gesture.
  4. Click on the Predefined Action button, and select Show Menubar in Context under Controlling Other Applications.
  5. Describe the action in the Notes field.

Menu bar in context

BTT How-to Course

BetterTouchTool is fairly easy to learn, but I have created an entire course that teaches you how to get up and going with BTT, and how to use all its main features.

  • 13 video tutorials with step by step instructions for using all the main features in BTT with a trackpad.
  • 11 PDF guides with screenshots and step-by-step instructions.
  • A PDF guide of all the BTT actions I currently use.
  • Best practices for using BTT .
  • Setting up and using iOS BTT Remote
  • Free lifetime updates to all the course content.
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