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[How to] Become less Trackpad dependent in Lion, empower your mouse.


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Nakkor

Nakkor

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Here's a tip on how to enhance the buttons of your mouse to become multi-function-buttons. This allows you to access more functions in Lion (works in Snow Leopard as well), without letting go of your mouse or moving your keyboard hand much. You don't even have to memorize "hard-to-remember-keyboard-shortcuts".

The trick is to assign a single-key keyboard shortcut to your mouse button of choice and then customize your keyboard shortcuts in OS X (Lion/SL/..) accordingly. In theory you could have as many as 16 ( ;) ) functions on the same mouse button, using different combinations of Cmd, Alt/Opt, Ctrl and Shift with that button (please see exception at the very end!).
Ok, less talking and more action, this how you (can) do it:

1. First open your mouse configuration panel/software and assign a single-key keyboard shortcut to your mouse button of choice*. I used F12 and will use that as an example below. You can choose any key you like, just make sure it's not used in any applications and if it is and you don't want to chose a different key, reconfigure those particular shortcuts for those apps.
* If your mouse software doesn't allow you to assign keyboard shortcuts to mouse buttons, you can use a third party app like USB Overdrive, SteerMouse or ControllerMate.

2. In System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard Shortcuts I've set (Alt = Opt):

- Mission Control = F12
- Application windows = Alt + Cmd + F12
- Show Desktop = Alt + F12
- Show Dashboard = Ctrl + Alt + Cmd + F12
- Show Launchpad = Ctrl + Cmd + F12
- Move left a space = Ctrl + F12
- Move right a space = Cmd + F12

Done!

Now all you have to do is to click that mouse button and any modifier key combo you've set up to access the corresponding function above. So simple and so intuitive!!! It's even faster than using the Trackpad. ^_^
As you can see I've only used 7 out of 11 combinations (not 16 in this case, please see exception below!), as I don't know what other functions to use on that mouse button.

I hope this tip inspires someone to try this out and/or make his/her own configuration!

/Cheers ^_^

3rd party mouse software:

* USB Overdrive: Didn't work with the 6th button on my Logitech M705 at the time of testing.
* SteerMouse: What I use. Sometimes looses connection with some of the buttons on the mouse, remedied by clicking "Reconnect" in steermouse or pulling out and reinserting the mouse dongle.
* ControllerMate: Hardcore functionality, but also a little more complex to use.

Exception:

Due to the shift slow motion effect in OS X, Mission Control (Lion) and Exposé (Snow Leopard) doesn't play nice with Shift + [keyboard key] nor _any_ Shift + Alt + combo.
Shift + Ctrl, Shift + Cmd and Shift + Ctrl + Cmd _does_ work, so that leaves you with 11 functions for buttons that will control MC / Exposé.
If anyone knows of a working method to disable this slow motion effect in OS X please let me know!





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