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Section :: Rants and Raves

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Taming the Mac Mouse

Get the little blighter under control!
Tuesday 27 December 2011.

One of the thing that’s been driving me up the wall when using my Mac is the damn’ mouse’s habit of sending my documents whizzing off screen when I’m least expecting it. I’m using the iMac’s ‘Magic Mouse’ which is a cute looking thing that has no buttons at all yet pretends it has two buttons plus a built in touch-pad. Sounds a great idea. But in practice, it just tries to do too damn’ much.

The horizontal scrolling thing is especially infuriating. If I just happen to touch the mouse with a finger and then move the mouse to the left or right, my active document scrolls out of view. Whoosh! Now you see it, now you don’t! For example, if I’m writing in Word, all my text suddenly vanishes beyond the edge of the Word window leaving me with a seemingly blank document. Grrrrr….

Why would anyone ever want that to happen? What is the point of it? Is there any application that anyone has ever used in which this is a desirable feature?

I tried using the Mac’s built-in mouse configuration tools but they didn’t fix the problem. So I did myself some Googling and pretty soon I discovered that I’m not the only person who finds this behaviour frustrating beyond endurance. People have tried to solve it all kinds of different ways. Some have run configuration scripts in the Terminal (but these, alas, only work for the Snow Leopard OS and not for Lion which I’m using), some have taped sticking-plasters over touch-sensitive areas of the mouse. Others have just thrown in the towel and bought a non-Mac mouse.

Eventually I discovered that a much nicer solution exits and I recommend it to anyone who has fallen out of love with their Magic Mouse. It’s a free configuration tool called MagicPrefs and you can get it from http://magicprefs.com. It installs itself into the System Preferences folder. And it is just great!

I’ve used to disable all horizontal scrolling and to permit vertical scrolling only when two fingers are used (so that a random finger-touch won’t send my documents whizzing off the top of the screen). These two changes have relieved at least 90% of my Mac irritations. The program also lets you make other changes to the way that clicks and taps and swipes and drags work. If you have fallen out of love with your Mac mouse, MagicPrefs may help to heal the rift…

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  • Taming the Mac Mouse
    26 April 2012, by Fed up with iMac

    Thanks for the article. I’ve had it with this iMac m@%$@*-f%#@%*^# mouse!!!

    However, you seem to be "selling" a product rather than telling us how we may control this "Mike Foxtrot" mouse from within the computer’s software. Maybe the iMac mouse cannot be controlled in any way—perhaps Steve Job’s philosophy of ... (paraphrased and exaggerated) "They don’t know what they want. We’ll give them what [we want them to have] they should have." Bunch of BS, in my opinion.

    I am always leery of FREE offers from online sources. For those of you tuning in, this is what I found at the MagicPref’s FAQ page:


    Why is MagicPrefs free ? Because limited functionality is a common complaint for the magic mouse, so i want everyone with a magic mouse to be able to get MagicPrefs. Because it’s Apple’s merit, their great operating system made MagicPrefs possible, so did their great mouse.

    Will MagicPrefs remain free ? Yes.


    What-the-heck does "Because it’s Apple’s merit, ..." mean? Double-talk, it sounds to me.

    I’m ’gonna’ look for an old-fashioned three-button mouse.