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Friday, August 17th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Shortcuts & Keyboard Tricks


We all have heard a lot about keyboard shortcuts, but have you ever thought about mouse shortcuts? They really can be very useful! You don’t even have to look down at your mouse. You just draw whatever you need to with your mouse. It’s so cool! Not only does this make you look very professional, but it can save you loads of time too. Now, you might be thinking, “Where can I get a program that lets me do all of that?” Well, don’t stop now. Keep reading to find out!

I stumbled across a great program called StrokeIt by pure coincidence and let me tell you, I am so glad I did! StrokeIt allows you to program different mouse gestures so that you can perform common functions, right within all of your favorite programs!

To get started:

1.) Click here to download StrokeIt.

2.) After you install the program, you will be prompted to restart your computer, so go ahead and do so.

3.) When your computer restarts, open StrokeIt and the program will look like this:

4.) As you can see in the left pane, there is a list of several programs you have on your computer. Internet Explorer should be listed there as well. Click the listing for that and two sub-entries will appear. They should say Back and Forward.

5.) Click on the Back link and in the right pane, you will see this:

The programmed gesture for Back is drawing a line to the left. If you click the Forward link, you will see that the gesture for going Forward is drawing a line to the right. Let’s test those shortcuts out, shall we?!

6.) Minimize StrokeIt and it will appear in your taskbar like this:

7.) Open Internet Explorer and visit two or three Web site. Then hold down the right mouse button and draw a fairly straight line to the left and release the button. A blue line should appear. When you let go, the page should go back to the previous site you were on.

8.) Try the same thing with a line to the right. The browser should go forward. See how easy mouse gestures can be?! You’re starting to get the hang of mouse shortcuts now, aren’t you? That’s great! By the way, all you Firefox fans, these same shortcuts work with Firefox as well.

Now, there are a lot of gestures programmed into StrokeIt, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with them right from the start.

1.) To do so, open StrokeIt and go to Edit and then click Learn Gestures.

Try drawing a line to the left and StrokeIt will recognize it as Left.

2.) Next, draw an A and, if you do it neatly, StrokeIt will recognize it.

3.) Now, close that out and then look over the list of programmed gestures. You’ll probably see some of your most used programs, like WinZip and Windows Media Player. You can click on them to see the actions and the mouse gestures. How cool is that?!

Next, go up to the very top and click on Global Actions. A large list will then come down, like this:

These are going to be your favorite gestures, because they work in all programs! For example, up is copy and down is paste. Or, a down slash (/) for minimize and so on. There are so many more too. You just have to check them all out!

Have fun with this tip!

~ Neil Patel

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