Monday, February 3, 2014

NeatMouse: How to Control the Mouse With Keyboard

Keyboard shortcuts are possibly the fastest way to interact with a computer, but that might not hold true for all scenarios, especially since most user interfaces are designed to be used with a mouse. Indeed, some programs don’t even have keyboard shortcuts associated with all its actions. While I haven’t seen anyone without a mice close at hand, if not in hand, the mouse could be broken or the battery could be dead and you might not have a spare one close by.

We know its not the end of the world - you can use the touch screen of your Android phone as a mouse or even your gamepad, if you want. Then there is always the keyboard. Years ago I wrote about Mouse keys, a function available on Windows that allows users to move the mouse pointer and interact with objects onscreen using the Numpad keys on your keyboard. NeatMouse is a free software that offers a lot more than Mouse keys.

The schematic below shows how the pointer can be controlled using NeatMouse.


In addition to the four direction of movement (up/down/left/right) shown above, there are four more directions the pointer can be moved (not shown above), and those are diagonal movements. Using the Numpad keys 7, 9, 1, and 3, the pointer can be moved diagonally towards the four corners of the screen.

The speed at which the pointer moves can be adjusted using the speed setting. The value of 20 indicates the pointer moves by 20 pixels per key press. In order to make finer movements, the program provides an Alt-speed that can be enabled by pressing whichever key the “Alt. modifier” is bound to. As you can see the Alt-speed is set at 1 pixel. In other words, the pointer moves at 1 pixel per key press when used together with the Alt. modifier.

NeatMouse works on all version of Windows newer than Windows XP SP2. Portable version is available.



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