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I'm looking for suggestions for a three button mouse (clickable scrollwheel, plus left and right button) to use while drafting and modeling in Vectorworks and Rendering in Cinema 4D.

I have a powerbook, so small is nice, but not necessary.

Reviews, experiences, and suggestions appreciated.


- n

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Well, there are some very small USB mice with 3 buttons and scrollwheel. But if you use your mouse for a longer time (and use it a lot, like you probably will using VW), then I would choose a bigger mouse that lies well in your hand. They don't have to be expensive I think. Also choose a optical mouse (also available very small), they are more precise. Hope this helps. I'm not an expert, so this is just my experience with mice.

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Thanks for replying. My question is a little more specific though. I'm trying to find a three button mouse that will definitely work with Vectorworks and allow me to program the scroll key to zoom as well as choose a function for a right click.

I'm doing this on Mac.

Will any mouse with three buttons allow me to do these things? I've gotten the impression that this isn't the case. Essentially I want a mouse that will let me operate Vectorworks on my Mac, like I operate AutoCAD on a PC.

Any advice?

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WEll I use Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer (5 buttons), and Microsoft Intellimouse Blue 93 buttons).

Both on the PC, both USB, both zoom by holding CTRL+rolling the wheel, both have the same customised right-click menu in VWA10.5. I don't know if you can add functionality to the other 2 buttons on the Explorer, but in any event I wouldn't want to.

I haven't customised any of the buttons for C4D, but the scroll wheel acts as a zoom (I think it changes the cameras F setting or something). I don't use the wheel to zoom.

HERE's what sould happen NNA:

The wheel should zoom without needing to hold down CTRL....

Pushing the wheel down (yes the wheel is also a button) should pan the drawing.


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I never seen on OSX a right button that operate a VW function or tool (he open the contextual menu): we normally use the keyboard shortcuts with the left hand. Zoom and horizontal scrolling can be done by defect: with the well and holding the option or shift buttons (space for the hand and boomerang mode). On my trackball (5 buttons+well) one set the auto scrolling that will use the ball to zoom or scroll. The other 2 extra buttons open folders or apps.I use them on both of my computers, dual G4 and Ibook.

Since I use my thumb trackball, my elbow don't complain after 10h of VW. Once learn, they can be fast, really fast, specially if your desk is a mess like mine. But not everybody like them, and I can only say that is worth to give them a try (they come in two models: finger tips, and thumb ball).

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I have always been surprised I don't see more people using it, but the Kensington Expert Mouse is fantastic in my opinion. Four programable buttons Plus cording (two buttons at once for different functions). The large ball will roll so easy you can spin it when you need to move the cursor a long distance, but it is very precise at short distances. http://www.kensington.com/html/1436.html

BTW, I build and support computers, and the Kensington software is second to Microsoft in reliability (my opinion / experience only).

[ 10-02-2003, 11:16 PM: Message edited by: raylibby ]

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Yes, I use the Microsoft: the inertia of the big ball send the cursor all the way across the screen (even on a apple 23"), I still remember push all the junk of of my desk with the apple mouse on a vain attempt to reach the opposite side!

Is just a bit annoying to have to clean the metal inserts few times at day: is the Kensington any better?

I must say that a lot of us spend more time the mouse "in hand" than on our car or bed, for a few bucks more (much less than a screen upgrade) is worth to get the best we can find, and save a elbow tendinitis.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by nwm:

I'm looking for suggestions for a three button mouse (clickable scrollwheel, plus left and right button) to use while drafting and modeling in Vectorworks and Rendering in Cinema 4D.

Of all the mice I've used, my favorite is a Logitech MX500. Its optical tracking is first-rate, and it fits my average-sized right hand very well.

I'm never going back to ball mice.

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i know this doesn't really answer your question, but you should really consider using a trackball. i use a logitech trackman marble wheel which is thumb operated. it takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, there is not way you'd go back to using a mouse. besides, it only uses up a little space since it doesn't have to move around.

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