The world is divided into two: keyboard lovers and mouse lovers. Well, it might not be as extreme as all that, but we each have our own sitting arrangement in front of the computer which sometimes makes reaching the mouse much easier than getting to the keyboard.
If you’re a mouse lover and always wished you could do everything with it (on your computer, anyway), it might be time to try some gestures tools. Take your pick from the list below and enjoy a new way to move your body even less while using the computer. After all, the future is already here!
FireGestures is a Firefox add-on that adds the ability to associate mouse gestures with pretty much any action you want. You can choose which mouse button will be the trigger of the mouse gesture (left, middle or right), and from then on when you press that button, hold it and draw something, you will see the gesture in your Firefox window.
It’s rather customizable, and you can change the color of the line, its width, and the time interval for a timeout if you change your mind.
You can map mouse gestures to the many actions already available in FireGestures. The gestures are limited to Up, Down, Right and Left, so it’s not as efficient as it could be, but you can still create some pretty useful gestures. There are also a lot of scripts already available on the add-on’s website which you can add and use.
On top of simple gestures there are some more advanced gestures you can configure, such as scroll gestures, gestures when a certain key is pressed and multiple mouse button gestures. One I found especially useful is the tab wheel gesture which switches between tabs when you scroll your mouse wheel on the tab bar.
All in all, FireGestures is a fun addition for Firefox users who want to add some mouse action to their browsing.
Smooth Gestures [Chrome]
Smooth Gestures is an awesome gestures add-on for Chrome which lets you do pretty much everything with your mouse. Upon installation, a new icon will appear in your address bar which you can click on at any time to access the options.
In the options, there’s an extensive list of actions you can configure mouse gestures for, and each gesture can have a different meaning when it’s done on a link or off it. You can also create custom actions if the action you need is not on the list. Smooth Gestures is not limited to just regular gestures – you can configure wheel gestures, multiple-button gestures and more.
On top of that, you can of course configure things from line color and width to websites in which gestures will be disabled. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re a Chrome user and want your browser to work just so with mouse gestures, I highly recommend that you give Smooth Gestures a spin.
Just Gestures [Windows]
If gestures in your browser are not enough, Just Gestures provides gesture control for system-wide actions such as copy, paste, show desktop and more. It also offers mouse gestures for browsers, and will control the program that’s either under the cursor at the time or the one in the background (configure during setup).
As in the previously listed add-ons, Just Gestures let’s you create customized gestures for any action you wish. The gestures can be simple drawings, mouse wheel gestures or multiple-button gestures. It comes ready with some pretty useful gestures which you can add to by clicking the “Add new Gesture” button at the top.
As you can see, there are almost endless options. You can create your own gestures to restart your computer, load a specific program, control media applications, volume and much more. Each gesture you create can also be configured to be a global one or to work just when used in a specific application. A very versatile tool indeed. You can read more about all its options in Tina’s more extensive article.
If you want gestures outside your browser, but Just Gestures is a bit over the top for you, try Gest. Gest is a gestures tool made for Windows Explorer, and can also control browsers and Photoshop. The full version is free to try for 60 days and then costs $3.99, but you can also download Gest Basic which controls only Windows Explorer and is free forever.
Gest uses 5 types of gestures: Up, Down, Right, Left and O (circle). There is also a limited number of actions you can configure, but they’re all pretty useful for Windows Explorer.
When you draw a gesture Gest doesn’t recognize, it pops a window which lets you associate the gesture with one of the available actions. This is a quick and easy way to configure gestures while you perform them.
Gest is not the most comprehensive gestures tool, and if you want gestures for your browser you’ll probably do better with one of the add-ons mentioned above, but as a simple Windows Explorer enhancer is does a very good job.
Gestures, when configured right, can be a real productivity boost (at least for some). As long as you are either a Chrome, Firefox or a Windows user, one of these tools should be a perfect fit for you. Otherwise, you should check out:
- MagicPrefs: Another Powerful Mouse & Trackpad App [Mac]
- How To Use Your Trackpad To Powerfully Navigate Any App [Mac]
- How To Enable Mouse Gestures In Linux With Easystroke
Know of more good mouse gesture tools we haven’t mentioned? Think mouse gestures are a waste of time altogether? We’re waiting for your comments!
Image Credit: shutterstock