I’ve always been a rather keyboard-oriented person myself, but mouse lovers can enjoy their own kind of shortcuts. X-Mouse Button Control is a free Windows app that lets you customize all the various buttons on your mouse so that they are a bit more useful, and the best part is that you can customize it on a per-app basis. For example, in your web browser you may want to use the extra buttons on your mouse to navigate back/forward through your browsing history, but maybe in Microsoft Word you want those buttons to perform copy/paste operations.
This app will let you do all of that and more. Here’s a rundown of the more useful operations you can choose from:
- Volume Up/Down/Mute
- Media Player control
- Send a custom keystroke sequence
- Launch your email (or any other) application.
- Capture screen (or active window) image to clipboard.
- Click-Drag [Sticky Buttons].
- Save and restore desktop icon positions.
- Vista (and Windows 7) support including some Vista/7 only featurs such as ‘Flip 3D’.
The “layer” support I didn’t quite get at first, but then realized how it could actually be useful. How it works is you can designate different actions on each layer, and you can then choose which layer is active from the System Tray. It’s almost like having profiles for your mouse buttons.
Note: If you make a mistake in your mouse button configuration, you can disable X-Mouse Button Control any time it is running by holding Ctrl+Alt and double-clicking the right mouse button. To re-enable after this, right-click the icon in the System Tray and uncheck Disable X-Mouse Button Control.