Customize Your Mouse With This Mac App
MacBooks come with some of the best trackpads around, but the experience of using a full-sized mouse with a Mac can definitely be better. If you need fine-grained control over your external mouse’s scrolling behavior, or want to customize it in other ways, BetterMouse is the tool you need.
Caveat: BetterMouse is a great tool, but not for everyone. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you may end up with a significantly worse mouse experience than before, but we’ll walk you through the different options to make sure it works for you. (Note that BetterMouse can also be used to customize the scrolling behavior of your internal trackpad, but works best with an external mouse.)
It’s also worth noting that the app costs $5 but offers a free trial for a week. You can install BetterMouse from its website or with Homebrew . (You will need to grant it permissions to make the most of its various features.)
Fine tuning scroll speed
Open BetterMouse and click the icon in the menu bar at the top of the screen to open all of its options. The Scrolling tab is where all the scrolling-related settings are (naturally).
The first three options – Duration, Brake Point, and Speed - are linked to the Smooth Scrolling option below these sliders. If you have enabled smooth scrolling, you can incrementally change these three settings to control the scrolling speed. These three sliders make the most sense if your mouse has a wheel – for trackpads or a mouse that uses gesture-based scrolling, your input is much less precise, making adjusting your scroll options less useful.
The Acceleration option mimics the scroll speed setting in macOS System Preferences. It’s nice to have BetterMouse, but it doesn’t offer anything other than what’s already built in.
The Hori speed setting allows you to control the speed of horizontal scrolling, which is not very useful on today’s web as most websites have moved to responsive design. But many video editing apps still make heavy use of horizontal scrolling, and tweaking this setting will also allow you to control the speed of scrolling in those apps.
The Scrolling tab has several other self-explanatory options. The only thing to note is that you must disable vertical inversion and horizontal inversion if you want your computer to scroll in the same direction as the mouse wheel.
When you’re done configuring these settings, click the ” Take a Snapshot ” button on the same page to save them. If you later change something and want to revert to your saved settings, click the Switch to Snap button.
Adjust cursor speed
If you find that your mouse cursor is too slow or moves erratically to different corners of the screen, BetterMouse’s cursor controls can help you find a sweet spot. Go to the ” Cursor ” tab in BetterMouse and change the “Speed” and “Acceleration” values.
Decreasing the speed will make the cursor move slower and increasing it will make it move faster. Once you’ve hit a sweet spot, adjust the Speed Up option to change the zoom speed to the scroll speed you previously selected. Warning: Selecting high Speed and Acceleration settings may make it difficult to control the mouse. For most people, the mouse scroll speed should be around 20 and the acceleration value should be around five.
Setting up custom mouse gestures
The best feature of BetterMouse is that it allows you to create your own shortcuts and bind them to your mouse buttons. For example, you can Command+Middle Click on the app’s Buttons menu and link it to changing your system’s volume. You can combine these keyboard shortcuts by using different modifier keys (Option, Shift, Command, etc.) for each one. What’s more, you can set app-specific shortcuts, allowing you to reuse the same buttons for different tasks.
For example, in Chrome, you can configure mouse button 3 to add a new tab and button 4 to reload the page, while in Slack, button 3 adds a hyperlink to the selected text, and button 4 clears all unread messages. Perhaps in Final Cut Pro you want one button to activate the blade tool and another to turn snapping on or off. You can set as many keyboard shortcuts as you have buttons on your mouse, and expand that list with mouse and keyboard shortcuts for just about every app on your Mac.
The interface used to map these labels is a bit complicated. In order to make it work, you must open the Buttons tab in the application and then press the shortcut you have in mind, after which the shortcut will appear in the menu. Once it appears, click the dropdown menu and choose what you want to map it to.
This feature will not work if you have allowed other applications such as Mac Mouse Fix to control your mouse buttons. You will need to disable button bindings in any other apps for BetterMouse to work properly.
Finally, you can manage these shortcuts on a per-app basis by going to the Exceptions tab in the app. Add the app you want to the list and change the shortcuts as you like.