Jump to content

Spare Mouse Button... Ideas?

Recommended Posts

  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

A number of years ago, I had a mouse with a right and left side button (for thumb and ring finger to push).  I mapped the left to "Cmd-[" and the right to "Cmd-]".  In Vectorworks, this let me easily navigate in and out of groups and symbols.  In web browsers, it let me easily navigate to the previous or next page.  It was great and I used it for many years.  Hmm... Maybe it's time to get a new mouse with this buttons again.


I'm really looking forward to that poem. 😉


  • Like 1
Link to comment

Yes you got me thinking - I must pay more attention to those buttons.

The one I use the most is Previous View/Next View

other useful ones are:


Selection Tool

Activate Class

Show Other Objects in Edit Modes <- I don't think this is mappable as it's a preference

Flyover (ctrl + mmb is less handy for me than shift c)


  • Like 1
Link to comment

I am not able to remember more than 2 extra Button Mappings, so I ignore

further Buttons.


My standard 2 extra Buttons for VW are "X" for Selection(*) and CMD+6 for Zoom "Fit to Objects"



Explicitly Keystroke "X" and not VW's "Selection" Command, which 3DConnexion Driver

offers, as this will not work as a "double X" to skip an existing Selection.



Generally for all the extra Buttons on Wacom Remote, 3DConnexion Devices, 3rd party Mice ....

I gave up on setting special App Commands for each Software as I forget it soon.

Instead I use it just to map simple Option Keys, standard Operations like View Navigation,

File Save and such.

Each App may need a different Key or Macro but the Function is basically the same for

all Apps, so I can remember them.


Often used App specific Commands find their way into my customized, context sensitive

right click Option Menus.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

My hands down favorite is <escape> 2x in a row.  That allows me to exit the text tool and other stuck operations.  I use it ALL the time.


Another good combination is the toggle keys for the mode groups.  Found in the workspace under "keys" I have both the first and second mode groups set to a button.  That allows me to quickly change the behavior of tools while I'm drawing rather than having to navigate to the top bar each time.


@Matt Panzer 's recommendation about forward and back is a good one as well.


Right click and "undo" are also classics...

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I have a couple of buttons by the thumb which I think are most commonly used for forward and back in browsers. I map these to Cmd-up and Cmd-dwn to cycle through layers. Very handy for sheet layers when checking large amounts of sheets. I also have a button just behind the scroll wheel to toggle smooth or indexed scroll, I map this to Cmd-4 or whatever the keyboard command is for 'Fit to Page Area' so I can always quickly centre back on the whole building.


Mouse is a logitech MX master 2 I think.


I must say, double esc would be very useful - I still have a button spare below the thumb so will maybe use that.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
1 hour ago, bcd said:

This would be a good candidate for a voter survey once you have all the ideas in. (I'll not be double voting 😉 )

I'm in for 1st prize.


Great idea!

We might need another survey for favorite multi-button mouse!


I'm starting to think I need to buy something to replace my regular 2-buttons.


  • Like 1
Link to comment
2 hours ago, Asemblance said:

(and might wish I had more buttons).


I think if you work 80% with the same Application, like VW,

it might be a good option to have many extra buttons.

Like you would also have on a Space Mouse Explorer or some

other input devices for musicians or gamers.


I would just look for something standard with good Drivers and

comfortable Options on per App basis.

(like from big vendors Wacom, 3DConnection, Logitec and such)

That is not given under Linux in general or more exotic vendors like

MadCatz with my beloved R.A.T 5 Mouse.

Link to comment

ctrl up and ctrl down for VW for switching thru pages.

and if mouse driver is application aware switch it to page forward and backward for browsers and windows file explorer.

and similar for Bluebeam or Acrobat Reader.


although if there are even more buttons than two thumb buttons, I think I would try forward delete and keypad enter if you are a left-hand typist on a full size keyboard. That way you don't have to release the mouse quite as often.

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I have a razor naga trinity with 12 macro button under my thumb I have:


duplicate array

Move by points

select similar 

Normal perspective view
orthogonal view

paste in place



Custom renderworks

set lighting options. 

Spotlight numbering 

Find an Modify

after some practice I can find those buttons without thinking now. 

it has left, down and right scrollwheel click and I put spaces and Expose under that. So it can do everything the Magic Mouse can do. 

Spacemouse and streamdeck on the other side. 






  • Like 2
Link to comment

My favorite that I've added: DOUBLE CLICK (mapped to a single mouse button, the one near my thumb).


There's so much double clicking in Vectorworks that this has really helps reduce the number of clicks each day, and in return reduces wrist pain.


It's even useful outside of Vectorworks, such as opening files and folders in Finder.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

Good evening all - as promised!



Thanks to you all for your tips (or pointers should I say),

on using my mouse in a more effective way.


I've tried them all out, there were quite a few,

from move-by-points to flyover, activate and redo.


Its hard to pick a winner, I'd like to use them all,

I wish I had a bigger mouse, now it seems a bit too small.


But It is @Taproots top tip, about group modes hencewith,

that I'll be picking to keep when I'm through.


Cycling selection types, wall junctions, polygons and end caps,

Theres a lot you can do changing modes forth and back.


You've saved my arm from making some unnecessary movements,

thanks once again for your suggested improvements.





Link to comment

Well a promise is a promise!


On a more practical side, here is a consolidated list of suggestions for anyone looking in the future (shout me if I missed any).


Selection Tool (X)

Double Click

Paste in Place

Escape (x2) to exit text editing etc.

Move by Points

Undo / Redo

Open GL (and other render mode options)

cmd-[ and cmd-] (previous and next layers etc.)

Activate class

Flyover mode

Camera (top down plan, perspectives, etc.)

Zoom to Objects / page area

Toggle mode (left, right)

Duplicate Array

Select Similar

Find and modify

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...