Any way to turn off pointer acceleration in OSX?

ArcticFox

macrumors member
Original poster
May 22, 2005
66
0
Newberg, OR
One of my many beefs with OS X is that it accelerates the movement of the mouse cursor without giving an obvious option to turn it off. The mouse moves much differently than any XP box I've played with with correct settings.

I've tried the Apple mouse, an MX510, and my MX1000 which is connected now, and they both annoy the **** out of me.

I figure while I'm stuck with my PMac until it sells, I might as well make the experience a little more pleasant.
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,994
3
Citizens Bank Park
There used to be a good program called USB Overdrive. Search for it. It may have what you are looking for but I'm not sure because I haven't used it in a while.
 

Jigglelicious

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2004
421
0
NYC
I seem to have the same problem too. I've been using OS X for nearly 2 years now, and unfortunatly, I still haven't found a solution to this issue.
 

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
What? I don't understand the difference. I use both OS X and Windows XP and I don't notice any difference in the way the cursor moves. What do you mean that OS X accelerates the cursor? :confused:
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,330
0
Bay Area, CA
jamdr said:
What? I don't understand the difference. I use both OS X and Windows XP and I don't notice any difference in the way the cursor moves. What do you mean that OS X accelerates the cursor? :confused:
It's one of the most annoying things about a Mac. The mouse is "speed sensitive" and when you move the mouse more slowly, the cursor covers less distance. When you move it at a faster speed, the cursor jumps around erratically. This is a MAJOR pain in the butt when you're doing graphics work on the road and have to use a mouse. It's also just sort of annoying in general.

In Windows, you can just disable pointer acceleration and be done with it. If only OS X would do the same. I've found USB Overdrive to be a less than ideal solution, but that's just me. It's really amazing how many people say "it's better that way" when it really, really sucks if you have a good mouse and want to have direct control over the speed of movement on screen without any software alteration.

Of course, if you can't notice the difference, then it's not an issue for you :). Don't go looking for trouble, or you might find frustration.
 

Jigglelicious

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2004
421
0
NYC
ArcticFox said:
Well, at this point it's a non-issue for me now as I traded the Mac for a 3.6Ghz PC. Yay!
Well, I guess thats one way to solve the issue.

I don't really mind mouse acceleration so much (I do use it under XP and I find it to work great), but moving the mouse slowly under OS X moves the cursor WAY too slowly. So if i'm trying to make small movements - say, scrolling down a webpage slowly - I end up running out of space on my mousepad and I have to pick it up to keep scrolling. I NEVER have to do that under Windows.
 

jamdr

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2003
659
0
Bay Area
matticus008 said:
It's one of the most annoying things about a Mac. The mouse is "speed sensitive" and when you move the mouse more slowly, the cursor covers less distance. When you move it at a faster speed, the cursor jumps around erratically. This is a MAJOR pain in the butt when you're doing graphics work on the road and have to use a mouse. It's also just sort of annoying in general.
Well, okay. I think I understand what you mean. In Windows XP there is an option to "Enhance pointer precision". Is this how you disable it on a PC? I tried turning it off and didn't notice any real difference other than it is (slightly) harder to move the cursor across the screen. I guess Apple decided not to include this option because it really is a non-issue for most people. Oh well, I guess you got what you wanted.
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,330
0
Bay Area, CA
jamdr said:
Well, okay. I think I understand what you mean. In Windows XP there is an option to "Enhance pointer precision". Is this how you disable it on a PC? I tried turning it off and didn't notice any real difference other than it is (slightly) harder to move the cursor across the screen. I guess Apple decided not to include this option because it really is a non-issue for most people. Oh well, I guess you got what you wanted.
Yes, that's the option in Windows. It's not harder to move the mouse, it just goes where you put it. If you're used to acceleration, it seems less responsive. In any case, there are lots of people who don't like it, and it would benefit Apple immensely to include the option. I still haven't found a solution that works to my liking, and I've been using OS X for years. In Windows, it just works. Go figure.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,776
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
It's interesting, how much this comes up (there seems to be a thread about this about once every three weeks). I *love* acceleration. I honestly didn't know until I came to MR that people didn't like it. I don't think I'd heard of anyone in the Windows world turning it off. I guess I learn something new every day!

BTW, jamdr, if you look more closely at the difference between having acceleration on and off, you will find that if you move the mouse a small amount or slowly (in Windows, now), it will be very similar with and without acceleration. OTOH, if you flick the mouse quickly in one direction or another, you will find it to be very different -- the mouse will not move that far without acceleration, but will traverse the whole screen with it.
 

alex_ant

macrumors 68020
Feb 5, 2002
2,473
0
All up in your bidness
Acceleration is nice because it makes it less straining to make small movements. In Windows a lot of people overshoot the target, pull back too far, etc. until they finally hit it. It's harder to accurately hit small points. In some ways it's useful to have it this way, but if you have to make a lot of small, precise movements over a period of hours, your hand/arm/wrist may start to hurt. Acceleration on the other hand is just like driving, you go 70mph when you want to cover long distances and you go 15mph to cover short ones. I agree that slowly scrolling web pages is annoying, but I use a scroll wheel for that, or else I use quicker movements to scroll maybe 1/2 of the page at a time, or else I use the arrow keys.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,398
3
I think you all study your mouse movements too much! I noticed it was a little different but never all these things, and I've had a Mac since the IIe. :\
 

tech4all

macrumors 68040
Jun 13, 2004
3,400
489
NorCal
matticus008 said:
This is a MAJOR pain in the butt when you're doing graphics work on the road and have to use a mouse. It's also just sort of annoying in general.
I actually like the mouse on the Mac than Windows for the most part. At first when I've played around with a Powerbook or iBook, it was a little weird. But when I'm a normal mouse and doing graphics work, I actually prefer the speed sensitive mouse. If I'm doing something detail and move the mouse slowly I can be more accurate and careful.

But that's just me :) :cool:
 

ravenvii

macrumors 604
Mar 17, 2004
7,582
490
Melenkurion Skyweir
I might be wrong, but I think Tiger has more Windows-like mouse movements than Panther. At least in Panther I remember the difference in distance that the mouse moves depending on the speed you move the physical mouse is very different. But in Tiger it's gone.
 

matticus008

macrumors 68040
Jan 16, 2005
3,330
0
Bay Area, CA
tech4all said:
I actually like the mouse on the Mac than Windows for the most part. At first when I've played around with a Powerbook or iBook, it was a little weird. But when I'm a normal mouse and doing graphics work, I actually prefer the speed sensitive mouse. If I'm doing something detail and move the mouse slowly I can be more accurate and careful.

But that's just me :) :cool:
That's a fair observation, and it's true for a lot of people. I'd agree with your assessment except that I have a very precise mouse and a smooth surface. I want to make many small strokes, and I want to make them quickly. If I move the mouse at a comfortable speed for me, the acceleration kicks in and makes arcs and lines that are much larger than I intended. I'd simply like the ability to control the speed of the cursor by controlling the speed of the mouse, rather than suffer some under- and overcorrection by "smart" software. I want my mousepad to have a 1:1 relationship with the screen, just like my tablet (I already have to compromise because of the difference in aspect ratio).

It's exactly like driving. OS X assumes that because you made a sudden hand movement that you want an extreme distance movement. In a car, if I jerk the wheel quickly but just a few centimeters, I don't want to turn around or slide three lanes over. I just want to swerve a little bit. Likewise, if I move the wheel slowly but turn it all the way, I don't want the car to assume that I actually just want to drift marginally instead of making a turn.
 

JW8725

macrumors 6502a
May 8, 2005
740
1
UK
The mouse acceleration was one of the 1st things I noticed when I got my mini. I recall trying to close the window on like the 3rd attempt every time. Im slowly getting used to it though but would rather it was just OFF!
 

alexstein

macrumors 6502a
Aug 23, 2004
737
1
i might mix some stuff up here. but can't you influence this behaveor of your mouse with the tracking adjustment tab in system preferences under mouse/keyboard? i know it does not turn off the acceleration but for sure does it change the sensetivity.
i have never had a problem with the acceleration at all and i never turned it off when i was using the windows platform.
 

macros

macrumors newbie
Oct 28, 2005
26
0
New Yorkshire, UK
It annoys me too

I have noticed this straight away after the switch.
You may say that I have been just used to windows, but I noticed how our tutor at college, who has been mac user for 15 years, is struggling to close windows with the mouse etc. (constantly overshooting)
So my theory is that both windows and os x have both mouse acceleration, but while windows has a linear slope, os x has concave slope. So this makes it really hard to get used to.
The other problem with os x acceleration (and Im not sure if everyone does this)is that when you move the mouse it is rarely a constant movement, its more like a bursts of small movements in a one single movement which is a mechanical side effect. So when each starting and stopping occurs the non linear acceleration makes them more apparent. Much more apparent then with linear acceleration.
I hope that makes sense :rolleyes:
So now its like a legacy thing with macs and apple wont to admit that its not ideal for everyone.
I am now using USB overdrive, but I wish apple included a free solution to adjust this.
Bu the way, the mouse wheel is also affected by the same acceleration.
 

bousozoku

Moderator emeritus
Jun 25, 2002
13,973
3
Gone but not forgotten.
ITASOR said:
I think you all study your mouse movements too much! I noticed it was a little different but never all these things, and I've had a Mac since the IIe. :\
You're probably right. I noticed that the Apple way was fidgety but once I installed the Logitech software, it became better. Anything else is my own fault. :D
 

rasp

macrumors regular
Jan 13, 2005
114
0
Easthampton, MA
macros said:
I have noticed this straight away after the switch.
You may say that I have been just used to windows, but I noticed how our tutor at college, who has been mac user for 15 years, is struggling to close windows with the mouse etc. (constantly overshooting)
So my theory is that both windows and os x have both mouse acceleration, but while windows has a linear slope, os x has concave slope. So this makes it really hard to get used to.
The other problem with os x acceleration (and Im not sure if everyone does this)is that when you move the mouse it is rarely a constant movement, its more like a bursts of small movements in a one single movement which is a mechanical side effect. So when each starting and stopping occurs the non linear acceleration makes them more apparent. Much more apparent then with linear acceleration.
I hope that makes sense :rolleyes:
So now its like a legacy thing with macs and apple wont to admit that its not ideal for everyone.
I am now using USB overdrive, but I wish apple included a free solution to adjust this.
Bu the way, the mouse wheel is also affected by the same acceleration.

Very well put, also a usb overdrive user. The only thing missing in usbo now is bluetooth support. It's funny, many of the one size fits all assumptions work well, but it's those little things that frustrate. A simple check on/off check box would go a long way.
 

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