Friday 29 July 2011

Just Gestures : Lets You Use Mouse Gestures To Control Windows.

Keyboard shortcuts are a well known strategy to cut a few corners and avoid navigating menus while working on the computer. Often, however, your hands are not on the keyboard and it would be much more practical if you could do similar tricks with your mouse. Using third party applications, you can in fact teach your mouse how to take shortcuts.

This article will introduce you to Just Gestures, a program that let’s you turn your mouse into a valuable time saving tool by creating mouse gestures and assigning them to specific actions. Just Gestures is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 in both 32- and 64-bit versions.

When you first launch Just Gestures, a wizard will take you through a brief orientation to teach you how to use your mouse buttons. If you wish to return to the wizard, you can re-run it any time via > Options and switching to the > Gestures tab.

Depending on your mouse, you will have a number of different buttons that you can use as toggle or modifier buttons to create various gestures. You can make a classic mouse gesture by moving the mouse in one of 12 different predefined paths while holding a toggle button. Just Gestures also supports double button and wheel button combinations, i.e. holding the toggle button and clicking a second (modifier) button or moving the mouse wheel.

Another element in successfully completing a mouse gesture is the sensitive zone, which is activated after the first (toggle) button is clicked. For example if your gesture involves the coordinated clicking of two mouse buttons, but you move the mouse out of the sensitive zone before you click the second (modifier) button, the gesture will not trigger an action. Finally, each gesture is subject to a deactivation timeout, thus if you are too slow in completing the gesture, no action will follow.

Just Gestures comes with a selection of useful predefined mouse gestures. For example holding your toggle button, which per default is the right mouse button, and drawing an upside down ‘U’ shape, will show the desktop. Making the same gesture again, will restore your open windows. Also, if you rest the mouse cursor in its final position for a moment, a tooltip will show the action this gesture is going to trigger.

You can create global gestures or gestures that work only in a specific application. For the latter, you first need to add a new application group. Click the > Add Application Group button in the Just Gestures toolbar, browse to the .exe file of the application you wish to add, and add it. Now click the toolbar button to > Add New Gesture and under > Application Sensitivity, select to use this action > Under specific application, then select the desired program from the list.

The actions you can create are limited to the ones provided by Just Gestures. They are sorted into seven different categories: Windows Options, Windows Shell, Volume Options, Media Options, Internet Options, Send Keystrokes, and Extra Options. As you see, they cover the most common operations and a little more. My favorite actions are controlling the transparency level of a window, opening applications or folders, and launching the shut down dialog.

With a little practice you can do crazy things with Just Gestures, depending only on the click of a button and a gentle move with the mouse.

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