Paul Makepeace ;-)

May 11, 2005

Handy extra mouse buttons

Posted in: Drivel

I have in the past raved about my keyboard volume control, an example of a frequently used interface "widget" made available in hardware.

As part of my recent NZ haul, I'm using my old Trackball Explorer which notably has two extra mouse buttons under the ring and pinkie fingers.

What to do with them?

By default the buttons are bound to forwards and back in the browser. The back button is so commonly used I think it's a great use for an extra button. (Other ways of achieving a quick back are right click->Back, or mouse gestures.) I spent some time thinking which actions I perform when I'm "on the mouse". The first thought was "Minimize" since I do that quite a bit. Then I realised I actually tend to close windows (or tabs) more often than minimizing. There's a certain symmertry too in having the middle (wheel) button click to "open a link in a new tab", and another button to close it. Similarly, we have a pairing with "open a link in current window" and another button to go back.

Having used it configured as such the last few days I can say, it's really useful. Extra buttons that would be nice (and require more intelligence) "click OK wherever it is" and "submit form".

PS Look in download the MS mouse software, and select a product. A little image comes up so you know whether you've selected the right product. Beautiful! Such an obvious and effective idea, I'm amazed not to have seen it elsewhere.

Posted by Paul Makepeace at May 11, 2005 19:06 | TrackBack
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