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Mouse gestures and keyboard shortcuts both provide a simple way to speed up your workflow. Power users would attest to the fact that switching between keyboard and mouse slows them down. When you know the important keyboard shortcuts for an application, say Photoshop, you won’t go to the toolbox each time to pick a tool, you would simply hit the b key for brush, v for the move tool and so on without moving the mouse away from the work area for a moment.

Likewise it is true for times you are working with the mouse, you want to be able to do the maximum amount of work with your mouse without having to switch back and forth. The very idea of being able to run commands and perform custom actions at the flick of the mouse pointer is inviting. This can be done easily with mouse gestures.


We have shown you how you can create gestures to perform various actions with your mouse using StrokeIt and Mazzick. Today we look at LiveEdge, an application that creates special hot zones on your screen which, when activated, with the mouse pointer would perform the associated action.

You can download and install LiveEdge from here. The installer is around 600KB, however you need .NET framework 3.5 installed. The application works on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

The first time you run LiveEdge you have to specify what action you want to be performed when you hover over a hot zone. LiveEdge divides the screen into 8 hot zones, each of which can run a separate keyboard shortcut command or action according to your settings. To specify the actions, right click on the tray icon and choose ‘Settings‘. You will see a window like the following:

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Go ahead and specify actions for the hot zones you want to use. This is done by specifying a keyboard shortcut you want to run when the appropriate hot zone is activated. As an example:

Let’s say you want to switch applications when you take your mouse pointer to the upper right corner of the screen. The keyboard shortcut to cycle through open windows is Alt+Esc. Now, there is a specific syntax for specifying keys, + specifies the Shift Key, ^ specifies the Control Key, % stands for the Alt key and so on and so forth.

So you will write ALT + ESC as %{ESC} and hit save. You can find the complete list by clicking the ‘Help‘ button in the Settings Dialog.

No doubt you will get the most out of LiveEdge if you specify actions for all the hot zones according to your favorite keyboard shortcuts, however if the above seems like too much work for you or you want to get started quickly, you can also choose from amongst two sets of built-in settings. Click on the ‘Load‘ button inside the Settings dialog and choose settings1 or settings2. Below is an overview of what each of them does:

You can also create more than one set of settings for LiveEdge. Doing so is simple, all you have to do is click on Save As and that will save the current settings as a text file. You are now free to create another set of settings perhaps for an entirely different purpose. Switching back and forth is easy as well, just hit the ‘Load‘ button to load any previous configuration.

The hot zones are activated only when you go to the extreme ends of the screen, up to the point where the pointer would not go any further. Although a bit of inconvenience, it makes sure that the hot zones are not activated when you didn’t intend to use them. That said, you can easily disable LiveEdge with a single click on the tray icon if you find it interfering with your work. Another single click re enables LiveEdge, while a double click exits the program altogether.

If you are a Linux user and like the idea of hot zones you can achieve similar results using Compiz or Brightside How to Get Screen Actions for your Mouse on Linux How to Get Screen Actions for your Mouse on Linux Read More , Firefox users can also use gestures by installing addons. Do you know of similar applications that let you use your mouse for various purposes?

  1. Sridhar Katakam
    October 1, 2009 at 2:12 am

    @skrell: You can using PowerPro.

    powerpro.webeddie.com/

  2. skrell
    August 15, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    so this won't work on XP???

  3. Victor Vasconcelos
    August 15, 2009 at 2:44 pm

    Stroke It? That's what she said.

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