Mouse Behaviors and a Little Tip

I love the Logitech products but I hate that a wireless optical mouse eats roughly 4 to 6 AA batteries per month! (That’s 2 batteries changed 2 to 3 x per month). I have yet to test whether longevity might be preserved with the removal of the batteries when the mouse is not in use.  Stands to reason that it would be better but the key is remembering to remove them at the day’s end.  On the other hand, it might be a wise financial move to invest in the world of Energizer stock.

The other reason I am here today is to post something that I learned via the Logitech support page.  I was there to look for driver updates and noticed an FAQ for erratic mouse behavior, so out of curiosity I read it.

There is a feature in Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 called “enhance pointer precision” that was added to SP2 only.  So if you don’t have SP2, you shouldn’t have this feature.  Apparently, it tends to conflict with some mouse and trackball devices.  Maybe the mouse doesn’t track as smoothly (assuming you enabled the feature).  Or drawing lines in graphics programs are a problem.  Sometimes when quirks like this happen, I write it off to the optics of the mouse.   Here I found that this isn’t necessarily so.  I never would have thought to check out the following….

Here’s how to tell whether you have the “enhance pointer precision” enabled:

Click Start
Click Run
Type:  control mouse
Click OK

Tab to “Pointer Options”
Under the header “motion” you will see a box for the enhance pointer precision.  If it is checked on and you are experiencing erratic behavior, uncheck it and see if it helps your situation.  Make sure you click Apply before exiting the Mouse Properties.

Next….
Before exiting the Mouse Properties window, check out the tab called “Buttons.”  The very last section on that tab’s window is called “ClickLock.”  Now I’m assuming here that this option is part of Windows XP SP2 as well and not necessarily an elite option of Logitech products.

I decided to turn this feature on today to give it a try; see what it does and so far I’m liking it.  However, I can see where it might be a headache at times too.  So the ability to quickly turn it off on a whim would be nice.  ie a desktop shortcut to the mouse properties.

What I like:

  1. The ability to drag and highlight without holding down the left mouse button.
  2. The ability to have more control over the speed and accuracy of my highlighting efforts.
  3. The fact that it works with open windows on my desktop as well.  Hold down the left mouse button for a couple of seconds, anywhere on the frame of the window you want to move; let go of the button and move your window.  It will ‘stick’ to the cursor until you click the button again to release the window to its new position on your desktop.

You can set the length of time you need to hold down the left button before the ClickLock option kicks in.  I have mine set in the middle (medium) and am finding that for some things, I’d rather have it set faster and for moving windows on my desktop, I’d rather it was set slower.  However, there is no way to pick and choose actions vs speed.  It’s one size fits all. 

The real trick is getting use to the fact that it is implemented and working!  I still find myself wanting to highlight and edit the usual way and suddenly find myself highlighting a lot more than I intended once I’ve released the button where I thought I wanted to end my edit. 😉  Takes a bit of getting use to but I can’t express enough how useful this option can be if you highlight and edit often.  I’m impressed with the accuracy, meaning it’s easier to manipulate the highlight right to the point you want it to end vs playing with the mouse (manually) to get it to end precisely where you want it to.  Maybe it’s just me, but I sometimes find myself re-highlighting or re-typing words / letters that I didn’t intend to remove in my edit.  Less of that happening with the ClickLock feature.

I have not yet worked in my PSP8 or PS programs since turning on ClickLock.  I am hoping that it doesn’t cause me grief, which is why I plan to put a shortcut on the desktop for quick access to turn it off if / when necessary.

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