I’m a big fan of the 3Dconnexion CadMouse, in fact, I proclaimed my love for it back in August… Why I Love My CadMouse when using AutoCAD & Inventor. If you haven’t heard about the CadMouse you should start with Scott’s review 3Dconnexion CadMouse – Hands On Review
The name doesn’t really do it justice though. The CadMouse name gives you the impression that its only good for CAD. I know that’s where the 3Dconnexion development was focused, but there is so much use for it outside CAD.
Outside of the great ergonomics, the comfort while using, and its overal robustness, the ability to customize the buttons really makes in shine. With the CadMouse, all the buttons are customizable – including the Gesture menu. The Gesture menu basically extends your mouse to include 4-additional “virtual” buttons.
“Effortless Access To Your Favorite Commands”
“The gesture button opens an application or environment-specific radial menu so you can access your favorite commands with a simple mouse gesture”.
So, if you can access the application feature via a keyboard shortcut, it can be made into a button on your CadMouse.
Here are three commonly used applications, which I thought I’d share my current mouse configuration. One thing that I’ve found in the 3-months of using the mouse is that initially I did tweak the options fairly regularly as I was looking for the perfect setup. This is not a bad thing, it just highlights how easy the customization process is.
My 3Dconnexion CadMouse with Microsoft Word
For Microsoft Word, I’ve configured the Quick Zoom buttons for page up and page down. This has actually reduced the amount of scrolling I do as it turns out my workflow is more page-centric than typewriterish (constantly scrolling with the text).
The Gesture Menu has also proven its worth within MS Word. By adding Save, I’ve reduced the use of the keyboard. This has allowed me to drink more coffee as I’m able to keep the coffee cup in my hand longer… I call this a win!
I was also able to add inserting page breaks (which I do often) and menu options to quickly go to the start and end of the document.
3Dconnexion-n-fy Adobe Acrobat
With Adobe Acrobat, I’ve adjusted the Quick Zooms for Page Up and Page Down, very similar to my MS Word setup. With Acrobat though I’ve configured the middle mouse button to be Ctrl, meaning I can hold the middle mouse button and roll the wheel to zoom in and out. This leaves the default rolling the wheel to scroll up and down the document.
The Gesture menu is still a bit of work-in-progress. I’ve added Zoom to Page Level and Zoom Fit to the right-left gestures, which is awesome. I just haven’t found the right tools for the other spots. For now I’ve reverted those spots back to the defaults of Undo and CadMouse Properties.
Google Chrome with the CadMouse
I’ve left the out-of-the-box Google Chrome buttons. Having Go backwards and Go forwards as the quick zooms rocks
I did build up my own Radial Menu, as the default one didn’t cut it (at least for me). I should probably rename #4 “Home” as it is not go to the home page, but invoke the home key. in Chrome the home key takes you to the top of the page.
F11 toggles full reading mode on / off which I didn’t use much before, but now enjoy using it. Show Bookmarks does as advertised and turns on the Chrome Bookmarks bar. I don’t prefer to have the bookmarks bar visible unless I’m using them. So having the shortcut on the mouse provides a nice happy medium – the bookmark bar doesn’t take up real estate, yet I can still get to them when I need them.
Now just to find something for #2 as I’ve already got Go backwards on the quick zooms… hmmm.
The Take Away…
The 3Dconnexion CadMouse is a great piece of hardware, designed for CAD, but really applicable for everything installed on your system.