MenuMate for OS X puts an app's menu bar in easy reach

If you're tired of having to mouse back to the top of your Mac's screen to access an app's menu bar options, Alice Dev Team has a solution for you: MenuMate.

The software -- available for Mac OS X 10.6 or higher at the Mac App Store for $4.99 -- serves up a copy of an app's menu bar items right next to the cursor. You set a hot key combo to make the menu bar pop up (though you can't use the left or right keys). Mine is control Z.

If you have a Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad, you can use Magic Prefs (a free app) to create a virtual center button for MenuMate. To access the utility's preferences to set things up as you like, just click on the octopus icon that appears in the menu bar when you install the Alice Dev Team utility.

MenuMate is especially useful if you have a big screen (say, a 27-inch iMac), twin screens or a tablet screen combo. It's also very helpful for those who switch from other systems to the Mac. On our favorite computing platform, the menu for the applications isn't located where it is in, say, Windows. Switchers don't understand this, and those who have to work in a dual platform work (such as my wife, who uses a PC at work but a Mac at home) tend to get confused over the location of the menu bar.

MenuMate takes care of all this. With it, the menu of active apps opens exactly where the cursor is located. MenuMate hooks itself right into the Mac's menu bar. As mentioned, the icon has to be accessed only once, in order to configure the app.

Once you've gotten used to using your hot key combo to use MenuMate, you'll wonder how you lived without it. Especially if you're a switcher or dual-platform user.