Easystroke is a gesture recognition application for Linux. Originally created to work with Tablet PCs, it can be used equally well with a mouse or even your fingers if you have a touch-sensitive screen and your Linux distro allows its use!
In any case, you can use it with a simple 2-button mouse just as easily. Let’s get started and install the application so you can start using mouse gestures in Linux.
You can add Easystroke PPA to your software sources and then install using apt. Now simply issue “sudo apt-get install easystroke” and the rest will be done for you. Once installed, you can find Easystroke listed under Applications > Universal Access. Fire it up and let’s see what it can do.
I would suggest that you hop over to the preferences tab straight away. Here, you can customize which keystrokes and mouse button you want to use for drawing gestures. You should add a modifier key such as Shift, Ctrl, etc. to prevent normal mouse drags from being mistaken as a gesture and control when exactly to perform a gesture.
Other preferences include stroke color/width, ability to auto-start Easystroke at login, displaying the tray icon and showing the last gesture performed in the tray. Additionally, you can also specify certain windows as “exceptions” and the mouse movements will not be recognized as gestures when working within those windows. Specifying an exception is easy, all you have to do is click on “Add Exception” and then on the window. It will then be added to the exception list.
Next up, you need to create gestures and configure them to run custom commands. Go to the “Actions” tab, click on Add Action, provide your gesture with a name, click on type. You can then choose from amongst the different actions that you can perform with the gesture. You can run a command, send a keystroke, scroll a page and more. Then provide the detail for the type you chose. Click on “Record Stroke” and using the keys and mouse button you created above draw the stroke on the screen. That’s it you are done. The next time you draw a similar stroke again with Easystroke running the configured action will be executed automatically.
Mouse gestures can be configured to launch your favorite applications, send in some text, click a button to create a totally automated experience. Add to this the fact that you can run custom scripts via the command line and you have a truly indispensable tool at your hands.
Do you guys use mouse gestures in Linux to perform your tasks quicker? What are your favorite applications?