How to add commands to the OS X "right-click" menu

This tutorial will show you how to use OnMyCommand to create customized “right-click” (contextual) menus in OS X. If you’re a recent Windows ‘switcher’, you might have noticed that the right-click options lack some of the commonly used tasks (move-to, copy-to etc). OnMyCommand allows you to add these, and hundreds of other commands, back to your contextual menu.

customize the contextual menu items for os x

For the sake of this tutorial, I’m going to refer to “control-click” as “right-click”. As much as I love OS X – and it has become my primary OS by a long shot – I don’t think I’ll ever be happy using a single-button mouse.

  1. Installing OnMyCommand
  2. Installing some examples
  3. Installing more commands
  4. Editing your commands

Installing OnMyCommand

  1. First things first, download OnMyCommand from http://free.abracode.com/cmworkshop/
  2. Unpack the archive by double-clicking it. After it extracts it should automatically open the .dmg file. To install OnMyCommand, double-click the file Install OnMyCommandCM
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  4. Decide if you want to install this program for all of the users on your Mac, or just yourself. Select the appropriate button.
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  6. After the installation has completed successfully, you’ll need to restart Finder for the program to take effect. Click Do it for me now.
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  8. Click Quit Finder. Finder will shut down (your desktop items will temporarily disappear and any open Finder windows will close) and then restart.
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  10. Congrats – you’ve now installed OnMyCommand.

Installing some examples

  1. If you right-click a file or anywhere on your desktop, you’ll notice the menu hasn’t changed at all. Lets change that and install some of the example commands.
  2. Back in the .dmg file locate the folder titled Examples and then inside it, the folder titled First time users start here. Double-click the file Install example commands.
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  4. Click Yes as you have no preferences to worry about.
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  6. Click OK after the installation was successful.
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  8. Finder will restart on its own (again, your desktop icons will momentarily disappear). Now right-click somewhere in a Finder window and in the context menu you’ll see an entry titled On My Command. Select it and click the entry titled Change dir and list contents in Terminal.
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  10. A Terminal window will appear and show a detailed list of all the files in the folder that you right-clicked in.
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Installing more commands

  1. Once more back in the .dmg file, open the OMCEdit folder, and drag OMCEdit to your Applications folder.
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  3. Launch OMCEdit, make sure you’re connected to the Internet, and click the Download Commands button.
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  5. Click Connect
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  7. and about 500 pre-created commands will be downloaded.
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  9. Find one that interests you, highlight it, and click the Append to Commands button.
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  11. Try right-clicking a file or folder (depending on the command you installed) and confirm your newly added command is a part of the contextual menu. If you want to add more commands and you’ve closed OMCEdit, re-launch it and click the Cached Commands button.
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  13. Since there are hundreds of commands, you may want to narrow down the list by using the Find box. If you’re interested in the commands that relate to MP3 files, use mp3 as a keyword.
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  15. When you’re done, right-click on a file or folder and check out your new menu.
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Editing your commands

  1. After you’ve installed a few commands, you can customize their location in the contextual menu, name etc. To do so, open OMCEdit, highlight the command you want to change, and click the Edit button.
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  3. From here you can change just about everything relating to the command. If you want to put it in the “top level” of your right-click contextual menu (as opposed to being in the On My Command list) – select First Level from the Location: drop down list.
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  5. For more info on using OMCEdit, see the OMCEdit ReadMe.rtf file in the .dmg, or visit http://knut.macdisk.de/.
  6. If you can’t find a command in the list of pre-created commands, see the Tutorials folder inside the OnMyCommand .dmg file to create (and share) your own.
{ 34 comments… add one }
  • Alison June 13, 2007, 1:59 pm

    holy hell this is exactly what i’ve been looking for thank you SO much!

  • Anon E Mouse June 13, 2007, 9:35 pm

    thank you! its funny last week i was complaining to a friend that it was impossible to do this i guess i should tell him i was wrong haha

  • Rodrigo June 13, 2007, 11:23 pm

    Why isn’t this prog featured on more mac sites it’s fantastic – thanks!!

  • Alain June 15, 2007, 2:42 pm

    I’m looking for “Send with Thunderbird”, but i don’t find it. Thank you so much if you can help me!

  • Roxyhwfa June 20, 2007, 2:32 am

    Brilliant, what a really useful app!

  • george November 22, 2007, 11:30 pm

    How do i make a right clock “open url” and “make link” something happen and now i cannot make a link in a email… please help!!

  • Christian January 6, 2008, 4:18 pm

    Is this also working with Leopard?

  • David June 22, 2008, 2:51 am

    Has anybody figured out how to use “Send to Mail” to work with Thunderbird?

    I’m desperate.

  • ojak July 29, 2008, 2:04 pm

    Is there any way to flatten the “More” menu in Leopard (ie. the way it was in Tiger and the examples above)?

    When I set “Location” to “Top Level”, they do not show up in the top level, rather they show up in the “More” menu, which is painfully annoying. Any ideas?

  • Simius September 22, 2008, 11:30 am

    Will it work with ProTools commands?

  • Angel October 24, 2008, 2:15 am

    Thanks for explaining this so well. You think you know macOS, and then something new comes up…again

  • Containers January 11, 2009, 1:24 am

    Thankyou for this!! There’s always more you can find with macOS. Here’s looking forward to Snow Leopard!

  • Steve April 19, 2009, 10:50 am

    Having a problem getting burn to disc to work, when I select the add-on.. on my command and try to run the add-on to test it, it gets an error message: return error 1703. Also I don’t have the edit button on my app.
    Thank
    Steve

  • Lars Hundere August 6, 2009, 10:53 am

    WHY HASN’T ANYONE ASKED ABOUT SNOW LEOPARD COMPATIBLITY?

    (maybe it’s already been mentioned and I overlooked it?)

  • Guido September 16, 2009, 8:38 am

    It seems that OMC is not compatible with Snow Leopard. I tried with my MacBook Pro with no look.

    Can anybody confirm this?

    Cheers,

    Guido

  • Guido September 16, 2009, 9:03 am

    Ok, I sorted it out! Snow Leopard does not support contextual menu items anymore; rather, it uses services. You need Shortcut from the same software house of OMC in order to run OMC. Everything is explained here:

    http://www.abracode.com/free/cmworkshop/macosx_10_6_snow_leopard_and_contextual_menu_plugins.html

    Cheers,

    G.

  • Giovanni September 16, 2009, 4:07 pm

    @Guido from the link you posted it looks as though you must go to “More items” to get.
    All I really want is to add a “Rename” option directly above Copy on my right-click menu. I assume this is not possible and it would end up under “More items”?

  • Guido September 17, 2009, 6:04 am

    @Giovanni
    I do not know how you could do that, Giovanni… however in Finder you can rename a file by selecting it and pressing the return key.

    The solution I pointed out involves using a customizable keyboard shortcut to call the contextual menu; moreover, Shortcut allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to contextual menu elements. It is particularly useful in conjunction with On My Command. For example, I created a “Create new text file and edit it in default text editor” element with OMC and then I used Shortcut to assign assign to it the Command + Alt + N shortcut.

    Cheers,

    Guido

  • Bob August 23, 2010, 8:51 am

    Has anybody figured out how to use “Send to Mail” to work with Thunderbird?

  • Roger January 11, 2012, 10:55 am

    this is not working on Lion.. or what… I did everything like here, but its not showing anything on menu, nor in services.

    Any idea?

  • John Orban May 1, 2013, 12:00 pm

    NO HELP – I’m using Mountain Lion!

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