These folks have the best of everything Mac; multiple displays, extra hard disks, fast SSDs, loads of RAM, and all the accoutrements of being a professional who requires professional tools. Here’s a Mac utility that many of them use and most of the rest of us do not.
Steering The Mouse
A close friend who works as a graphic designer has a Mac utility I’ve used but had difficulty appreciating. I use Apple’s Magic Mouse and it comes with a few extra control settings which simply are not good enough for my graphic designer friend. If you’re a mouse user, check out the limited Mouse settings in System Preferences on your Mac. What do you see?
Smart zoom, swipe options, Mission Control, and a few scrolling and right-click options. Many Mac users who really need control over the mouse’s tracking, buttons, and speed use a non-Apple utility called SteerMouse.
When I first heard of SteerMouse I had thoughts of a mouse with Texas longhorn-style horns. It’s not. It’s purely a third-party mouse tool with more granular controls than Apple provides in System Preferences.
Setup is straightforward and won’t take long to apply, but daily usage is an acquired taste that requires some trial and error, inevitable adjustment, but once you get to that sweet spot you won’t look back (so say all my friends who use SteerMouse).
The newest version has control for Siri, Spotlight, Dictionary lookup, Notification Center, LaunchPad and even Screen Zoom. I’m not sure I understand why, but I see many graphic design pros listening to iTunes, so SteerMouse now has music controls. Each button on most compatible Mac mouse models can have up to 24 different functions.
Use SteerMouse to gain more granular control over screen cursor movements and scrolling, ‘snap to’ for dialog box options, as well as use it to setup specific shortcut keys implemented with a mouse click.
It even switches windows between apps, and gives you full control over modifier keys. That’s because many of the Mac-using professionals move on to input devices with more options, and more ergonomic design than the mundane hardware supplied by Apple.
The SteerMouse site even has recommended devices that work with the utility, including those from Microsoft and Logitech. This is a cool tool that many Mac-using professionals love, but for the rest of us it’s an acquired taste.