Swap Mouse Buttons – Left handed mouse

Which hand do use to control your computer mouse? Most computers are set up by default to have the mouse on the right. This can be useful for left-handers if you are taking notes or writing while you are also using the mouse as you can do so with your left hand.

On the other hand (!) most left-handers have better fine control with their left hand so would prefer to have the mouse on the left. Some lefties just put the mouse on the left and leave the buttons set at their default, with the main “clicking” button still being the left one and using it with their middle finger (this does not apply to Apple Macs which do not have 2 mouse buttons).

It is more common to actually switch the mouse buttons over so the left index finger is still doing the main clicking and this can easily be done in Windows…
Start / Settings / Control Panel / Mouse /
and on the Buttons Tab tick the box for “Switch primary and secondary buttons”

This can cause problems if you share the computer with a right-hander. Mauricio Tejada in Japan has produced a clever utility that allows you to instantly swap the mouse buttons for right- or left-handers by just pressing Ctrl-F12 instead of going through the Windows Control Panel.

Left handed mouse pointers It also changes the mouse pointer and hand icons to left-handed versions at the same time (shown on the left of this image).

You can also configure the “hot-key” settings to your own choice and set whether the pointers should automatically change or not. This clever programme is completely free and you can download it (only 313K) here
http://download.cnet.com/SwapMouseButtons/3000-2056_4-10767224.html

Many thanks to Mauricio for making this available to us.

A lot of the better quality mouses (mice?) are now being made in ergonomic designs to make them more comfortable and also with more function buttons available. As always, very few manufacturers bother to think about left-handers when designing their products so cthere are not many left-handed versions around.

Click here to see our left-handed computer equipment range

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2 Responses to “Swap Mouse Buttons”

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  1. Gerald McMullon says:

    More than half left-handers will use the mouse on the right hand side of the desk. This allows them to hold a pen in their left hand and still control the mouse. It also benefits family members or work colleges who may also use the computer.

    The market for a left handed mouse is therefore under 5%. This might still be large enough for manufacturing but even those using their left hand will pick a symmetrical mouse, again to share with other users.

    If I use a mouse on the left it is better to switch the buttons, but I swap hands all the time and switching is confusing. One solution I have done is to have a normal but symmetrical right hand side of the desk mouse and a left hand side of the desk graphics tablet mouse. Unfortunately Windows does not allow the pointer to switch automatically depending upon which mouse I am using. Right handers gravitate to pick up the left hand side mouse, even though the right hand side mouse is on the right hand side mat. Of course it will not work without the tablet and then they can’t get used to the fact that the buttons are switched.

    What has to be avoided is when left handers are “forced” to use an anti-symmetrical mouse with their left hand. It causes pain after a relatively short period and can result in long term damage. I had great difficulty in forcing a manger (chief accountant) to get his one of his staff a symmetrical mouse. The modest expense of £14 was dismissed as being un-needed and different to the standard mouse supplied with the standard PC which they could not allow! A week after using the new mouse and switching the buttons her hand pain went.

  2. kent john says:

    There is a useful tool “Left And Right Mouse” , another user-friendly tool that was developed in order to provide you with a quick means of swapping your mouse buttons. – See more at: http://www.fashiondigital.net/left-and-right-mouse.html.
    Free download :http://www.fashiondigital.net/free-download-left-and-right-mouse.html