Software

Five Apps for customizing a mouse

A number of utilities allow you to reassign mouse buttons or change a scroll wheel's behavior. Brien Posey lists a few he has found.

Computer mice have been used for decades and are easily taken for granted. Even so, it is possible to make your mouse a little bit more appealing by customizing its behavior. A number of utilities exist that allow you to do things such as reassigning mouse buttons or scroll wheel's behavior. There are even utilities that can record macros of your mouse movements. This article lists five such utilities.

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Five Apps

1. Mouse and Keyboard Center

Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center is a free utility for customizing the behavior of Microsoft mice. The Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center allows functions to be assigned to individual mouse buttons. Although this basic functionality is helpful, the utility's best feature is that it allows for application specific button assignments. As such, the right mouse button could be assigned one function in File Explorer and a different function in Microsoft Office.

2. WizMouse

WizMouse is a free utility that can be used to customize mouse behavior. The utility's main function is to enable the mouse wheel for applications that do not natively support its use. There is also a handy "reverse" function for use those situations where the mouse scrolling is backwards. WizMouse can be enabled or disabled from the system tray.

3. KatMouse

KatMouse is a free utility that allows the mouse's scroll wheel to be used in the window beneath the mouse cursor. This can be done independently of the window that is currently selected. In other words, KatMouse lets you scroll a non active window.

The utility can also be used to assist with task switching. Since the wheel button is not normally used in a consistent manner, KatMouse allows it to be used for switching tasks by pushing the current window to the back of the stack of open windows. KatMouse also has the ability to assign custom scroll settings to an application.

4. MouseWrangler

MouseWrangler is a free tool that is designed to automate otherwise tedious tasks. Holding the right mouse button initiates the recording of a macro (which MouseWrangler refers to as a gesture). Macros can be used to automate any task that would normally be done with a mouse. In a roundabout way it is even possible to simulate keyboard input. For more complex operations, MouseWrangler can be used to launch external macros (such as those found in Microsoft Office).

One of the nicest things about MouseWrangler is that it is portable. Although the utility comes with an installer, you don't have to use it unless you want to.

5. Ghost Mouse

Ghost Mouse is a free utility that is designed to record macros. This tool offers a very simple user interface that is easy to learn. The macro recording process can capture mouse movements, mouse clicks, delays, and keyboard input. Once captured, macros can be saved or played back immediately.

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About

Brien Posey is a seven-time Microsoft MVP. He has written thousands of articles and written or contributed to dozens of books on a variety of IT subjects.

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