I found a workaround to enable (a 50%) focus-follows-mouse functionality on MAC OS X Mavericks after reading pages and pages and testing various snippets and techniques that failed. The thing is I always use focus-follows-mouse on all platforms including Windows (recently found a way for Windows 8).
The only thing that worked (50% what I was looking for) for my Mavericks was the following:
- Download and install MondoMouse using this link: http://www.atomicbird.com/about/mac-apps. This will install MondoMouse in Settings of the system. Open Settings and run MondoMouse. Download the licence file that accompanies MondoMouse and register the installation.
- MondoMouse brings up its preferences but with a message that it can not be activated until assistive devices are enabled
- Enable access for assistive devices and applications through Settings using this tutorial and enabling at first for “System Preferences.app”
- Head back to MondoMouse and start enabling settings. It will probably bring up another message that MondoMouse requests access to assistive devices and it needs to be accepted. By default MondoMouse enables focus-follows-mouse functionality just fine.
One major issue in this functionality on MAC OS is that the menubar is always on top and displays the menu of the last active window, keeping the keyboard focus also on the foremost window. Focus-follows-mouse with MondoMouse makes it possible to scroll, move, resize, etc other windows (in the background) but does not affect the menubar and the keyboard, which still work on the foreground window…That is why I say it works as a 50% focus-follows-mouse…
2 thoughts on “Mac OS X Mavericks and Focus-Follows-Mouse (x-mouse) functionality”
In the latest 1.4.4b4 of Mondo Mouse the menubar now shows the menu for the application that has the focus. However, the application with the focus also gets sent to the top, which I don’t want to happen. Was this the behavior in the older versions when the menubar doesn’t get updated? I’d rather have the menubar not update if it means keeping the app underneath.
You are right. It is (and has been before) a major issue in Mac OS X the fact that (using apps like Mondo) focus not only follows mouse but also brings applications to front. But this is essential and expected to happen since the menu of the application in focus has to be displayed on the global menu bar. So it is difficult to move focus to an application without bringing it to front.
In fact focus always follows mouse in Mac OS X (without any additional application to handle it) since for example you may scroll on the application the mouse is focusing without having to click on the application. The issue here is that you cannot transfer keyboard “focus” along with that mouse focus so you cannot actually type anything on the window under mouse and this is why we still search for an app to handle it.
On the contrary, on MS Windows or other Unix/Linux systems, it is fairly simple to do it, since every application has its own distinct window and mouse focus also includes keyboard focus.