Make the Mouse Pointer Snap to an Open Dialog Box in OS X (Like in Windows)

I recently bought a Mac Mini with OS X Snow Leopard, and one of the annoyances I found is there isn’t a way to get the pointer to “Snap To” open dialog boxes like in Windows. Today we take a look at a shareware utility that will add that functionality to OS X.

Snap To in Windows

1. In Windows you can go into Control Panel and click on Mouse. Then in Mouse Properties under the Pointer Options tab, check Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialog box.


2. The convenience of this is when you’re performing a function and a dialog appears, you don’t need to drag the pointer across the screen to click on it – the mouse automatically jumps to the box. This is a great time saving feature so you can be more productive…especially if you have multiple monitors.


LazyMouse for OS X

1. Unfortunately the option isn’t available in OS X by default. But with the help of the shareware utility Lazy Mouse, that functionality can easily be added. Download Lazy Mouse and double-click the LazyMouse icon to install it.


2. Go through the installer like normal and make the selections you want. Like here you’ll need to choose to install for all users or not.


3. When installation is complete, make sure to check Whenever a new window appears, snap the cursor to it.


4. You’ll get a message letting you know that Access for Assistive Devices needs to be turned on for LazyMouse to work. Click the button to open the Universal Access Preferences Pane.


5. Universal Access opens and at the bottom check Enable access for assistive devices…then close out of the screen.


6. Now open System Preferences…


7. In System Preferences you’ll see LazyMouse listed under the Other section.


8. Click on the icon to open the LazyMouse options where you can customize it to act how you want. LazyMouse is shareware, so there will be a Please Register LazyMouse nag message while you’re using it.


9.If you want to get rid of the nag message, you can purchase a license for $9.95. But if you can deal with it, you can continue to use it. If you like LazyMouse though, you might want to slap down 10 bucks for it.


The “Snap To” feature may seem like a minor setting, but it’s one of the first things I set up when rebuilding a Windows machine…it saves a lot of time.

If you’re moving from a Windows world to a Mac environment…this handy utility will bring a familiar Windows feature to OS X.

2 thoughts on “Make the Mouse Pointer Snap to an Open Dialog Box in OS X (Like in Windows)”

  1. FYI, LazyMouse has not worked since OS X 10.6 (e.g., in 10.9 Mavericks, clicking the LazyMouse icon in System Preferences immediately crashes System Preferences). If you’re fairly Mac-savvy, there is a work-around detailed here in the “Review/Comments” area. This worked for me in 10.9 Mavericks. Your milage may vary.

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