Is there a way to turn my Apple Magic Mouse into a touch pad?
January 11, 2017 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to control the cursor by moving my finger on the surface of my Magic Mouse, rather than scrolling the screen. Insert long story about shoulder injury. Is this possible?
posted by obiwanwasabi to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
No, it does not seem the hardware or software supports the level of sensitivity/input granularity that would be required to make that work. Your best bet is to get an actual trackpad.
posted by so fucking future at 4:23 PM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

No, you'll have better luck and less shoulder strain with a Magic Trackpad IME.
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:18 PM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I haven't actually dug into the Magic Mouse drivers, but I strongly suspect it's not possible to extract anything but gesture data from it. So, it may actually be possible to write a new driver that treats the touch surface as a trackball, but I suspect using it as a trackpad is completely out of the question. And the trackball driver is completely theoretical, and I think you'd encounter significant problems getting it to work.

I'll second the Magic Trackpad suggestion, if you can afford one. But they're pretty pricey. I hate how almost every other trackpad I've ever used feels, so if you can't do the Magic Trackpad, I would actually suggest a trackball mouse as more affordable alternative.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:54 PM on January 11, 2017

So after some Googling and following some blog comments from 2010, I downloaded BetterTouchTool, turned on trackpad mode and it seems to be working fine.

A real trackpad won't do it for me. I just need to be able to hold the mouse in my lap with one hand and move my finger across the top.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:58 PM on January 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Glad BTT is working for you! I actually did just come across that trackpad mode myself, but I couldn't find if it was still a supported feature in the current versions.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:01 PM on January 11, 2017

Woo! Awesome! Glad you were able to find that resource!
posted by Hermione Granger at 7:46 PM on January 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

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