Normal Mouse Behavior Please
November 24, 2005 1:11 AM   Subscribe

How do I modify the mouse acceleration/scaling on my Mac?

I'm not talking about the simple mouse speed adjustment in System Preferences. I've noticed that the Mac mouse input (trackpad or external) actually covers more distance depending upon how fast the mouse is moving.

Example: Move your mouse slowly about 3 inches to the left. Notice how the cursor doesn't move very far. Now, start at the same beginning point, and move the mouse quickly about 3 inches to the left. The mouse has probably hit the edge of the screen.

This behavior is useful for traversing lots of screen real-estate, but is absolutely infuriating for applications that need quick accuracy like point-and-shoot flash games. I'll move the mouse quickly to an area on the screen, but as I slow down in order to be accurate, the mouse characteristics change.

How in the world do I turn this 'feature' off?
posted by jsonic to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
have you tried USB Overdrive?
posted by slater at 1:36 AM on November 24, 2005


also, a quick google for "switch off mouse acceleration "OS X"" gives tons of links, one of which recommends Steermouse
posted by slater at 1:38 AM on November 24, 2005


I searched google and found those links, but is there really no way of modifying such a simple property from OS X itself?
posted by jsonic at 1:40 AM on November 24, 2005


Why do you hate additional apps so much? ;-)

But seriously, I assume there IS such a property file. Wouldn't know where to look, though, and I just realized that I'm not really helping, so I'll shut up!
posted by slater at 1:52 AM on November 24, 2005


I don't mind using other apps, but buying a $20 piece of shareware in order to turn off a 'feature' seems kinda annoying.
posted by jsonic at 1:57 AM on November 24, 2005


I have not used it myself, so caveat downloador, but MouseFix (GUI version) is a free utility that claims to fix the acceleration.

However, it uses an API that is (as of 10.4) deprecated, so who knows when Apple will decide to break it.

(Out of curiosity, how long have you been using the Mac? I remember switching from Windows and finding the mouse motion really weird. But I got completely used to it after a few months, and now I actually prefer it to the Windows mouse motion. You might find the same thing will happen to you.

In fact, Windows uses mouse acceleration as well, but the acceleration ramp is different, which is why it feels different.)
posted by chrismear at 3:04 AM on November 24, 2005




(I should have used preview.)
posted by D.C. at 3:20 AM on November 24, 2005


I've had a powerbook for over 2 years now. I find that I avoid the mouse as much as possible and use shortcuts. Normally the mouse acceleration isn't much of an issue, but anytime I need quick and fine-grained control at the same time, I find the acceleration to be annoying.

I'd have thought that I would be used to it by now. I'm extremely accurate and experienced with first-person shooters. I guess I've just gotten to used to a constant mouse response.

But really Apple, how hard would an on/off button be?
posted by jsonic at 3:23 AM on November 24, 2005


Speaking of Mac Mice, is there a hack that will give my trackpad's One Big Button the ability to right-click when I press-and-hold it for a second?

That is, short-click = left-click, long-click = right-click.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:28 AM on November 24, 2005


FFF: I don't know about that, but iScroll2 will let a click performed with two fingers on the trackpad work as a right click.

(iScroll2 is a free preference-pane that allows the two-finger scrolling feature on newer Powerbooks to be used on some other models, eg my 2004 iBook G4 so it may or may not be appropriate for your machine / OS)
posted by nowonmai at 11:51 AM on November 24, 2005


The weird thing about Mac mouse accelleration control is, it used to be part of the OS, and of course you could adjust it. Why would they take it away? I distinctly remember using in in pre-OS X Macs.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2005


FFF: Sidetrack will do that
posted by Lanark at 3:29 PM on November 25, 2005


The weird thing about Mac mouse accelleration control is, it used to be part of the OS, and of course you could adjust it. Why would they take it away? I distinctly remember using in in pre-OS X Macs.

Actually, you were able to adjust only the speed. However, many third-party device drivers (e.g. Kensington's) allowed fine acceleration control. You could also adjust the acceleration curve using ResEdit on your System file if you were brave. Trivia: the units used in the acceleration curve are called "mickeys" and the resource type was thus 'MCKY'.
posted by kindall at 7:30 PM on November 25, 2005


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