Vista’s Flip3D is one of the most notable features, and something you frequently see in demonstrations of the operating system. It presents a unique way to flip between your open applications, and for the longest time I didn’t think it would ever make me more productive. I was proven wrong when Logitech launched a new version of their SetPoint software that gave their mice a quick way to launch Flip3D without needing a keyboard shortcut.

I ran into a problem, however, when I was using my laptop’s Touchpad mouse which didn’t have such capabilities. It left me yearning for a way to launch Flip3D from my Touchpad so that I wouldn’t have to touch the keyboard, and after thinking about it for a minute I got an idea! Using AutoHotKey I could doing something similar to my middle-click Touchpad script.

Note: Vista is required for this to work. It is not a Flip3D clone or anything of that nature!

So what do you need to get it working? Download Mouse Flip3D and run it. There’s nothing to install, and the only indication of it running will be a Vista-like Orb in the System Tray. Anytime you press and hold the left mouse button, and then press the right mouse button you should see Flip3D come up:

Flip3D Mouse Shortcut

If you want the program to start with Vista just copy it into your Startup folder, and you should be all set! Here are a few pointers on why this is great and how exactly the script works:

  • One of the reasons that I never thought Flip3D was productive was because of how much time it takes to shuffle through all of the windows to find the one you want. With the mouse that is obsolete because you can click on any of the windows to bring it to the front! Go ahead and try it, and you’ll see just how fast it really is.
  • If you decide that you still want to flip through the windows just use the scroll wheel on your mouse or Touchpad. Alternatively you can hit the Tab key to shuffle through the windows, and use Enter key to select the foremost application.
  • You may not have realized it, but there are two different ways that you can launch Flip3D from the keyboard. The WinKey+Tab is the standard way that most people know about, but you can also launch it using Ctrl+WinKey+Tab. The difference between the two is that using the Control key makes Flip3D remain open until you click on one of the windows. That’s what we ended up using for the script. For the code junkies out there here is the entire AutoHotKey script for launching Flip3D with the mouse:

    ~LButton & RButton::send, {lwin down}{lctrl down}{tab}{lwin up}{lctrl up}

Some mouse gestures that you use, such as navigating forward in Opera, may not work because of the overlapping shortcut that is used for this script. Personally I’d rather have Flip3D at my finger tips than anything else, so I was willing to sacrifice that mouse shortcut.