How can I make the mouse in OSX "feel" like the mouse in Windows?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Jigglelicious, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Ever since I started using a Mac, one of the first things I realized is that the mouse movement/sensitivity feels awkward. When you move the mouse slow, the cursor moves way too slow, and it makes it hard to make precise little movements like trying to hover over little icons or buttons.

    Its never really bothered me - until today. A friend asked that I play an online game at with him. Basically you draw pictures and everyone else is supposed to guess what it is. Now, i'm no artist, but what i've realized is that I draw like 100x worse in OSX than I do in windows, simply because I can't control the cursor well. I can't draw nice perfect circles, my lines are crooked and jittery. I don't have this problem at all in windows, even using the same exact mouse. It has something to do with the mouse acceleration in OSX, but I can't seem to fix it. Changing the sensitivity slider doesn't help at all. I'm sure other switchers have noticed this too, so i'm wondering, has anyone found a fix for this? Its really starting to get on my nerves. When I can't even draw decent stick figures, then I know something is really wrong.
  2. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    Go to System Preferences, and there should be a setting for Mouse Tracking in the Keyboard & Mouse preference pane.
  3. t300 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 10, 2004
    Add another button and a scroll wheel?


    But really, I am unsure about what you are talking about...I made the switch months ago and never noticed any kind of thing like that. Everything has been fine...Did stoid's remedy solve your problem?
  4. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    it bothered me at first. But i am on my mac soo much that i can actually use this mouse more intuitvely then the ol' beige box.
    edit. there is one thing i hate about os x when you want to highlight something (like the url bar in safari) you click it once. wait click it again and it puts a random "highlight"everwhere you get me? if you click it again, it highlights the whole thing. then if you click it one more time it highlights just one space. Now if you want to highlight it with your mouse by moving it across...well sometimes it does that too!
  5. Jigglelicious thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    As I already said, all that does is change the sensitivity of the mouse to cover more ground in less movement. It does nothing to change mouse acceleration. Acceleration means the cursor will move a greater distance depending on how fast you moved the mouse, not how far you moved it. There is something screwy with the way OSX accelerates (or doesn't accelerate) its mouse.
  6. Jigglelicious thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    USBoverdrive does not seem to support the changing of mouse acceleration, only tracking speed. So it won't be of any help. Believe me, i've already searched for everything involving mice under versiontracker, and found nothing that corrects the acceleration curve. Correct me if i'm wrong.
  7. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    It's simple. In ANY text field, clicking once sets the insertion point. Double-clicking selects the word double-clicked on. Triple-clicking selects an entire line.

    Re the original post: Studies have shown that the Mac's acceleration curve actually makes it easier to do fine movement of the cursor with the mouse. This is especially handy for selecting icons that are close together. You're simply dealing with having to learn a new system. The old, however, may be too deeply ingrained to unlearn. It's sort of like how they used to force kids, even left-handed kids, to write right-handed when learning. Even though they're left-handed, they could never re-learn how to write with their left hands, even though it would be more natural once learned.
  8. gekko513 macrumors 603


    Oct 16, 2003
    I also found the Mac mouse acceleration a bit awkward when I switched last December, but at some point since then and now I must have adapted, because now it feels natural.
  9. raynegus macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2003
    The Apple optical mouse is just about as precise a mouse as I've ever used, and I've used a lot of them. However, it is very sensitive to the type of material you use underneath it. Don't use anything reflective, such as a magazine or paper. Use something with texture to it and NO reflectivity. A black cloth based mouse pad works pretty good for me.

    Hope this helps.
  10. macidiot macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2002
    If your open to 3rd party mice, the Kensington mouse software allows you to change acceleration. Also Microsoft's driver adjusts the acceleration, though its a fixed curve. Same thing with Logitech's drivers. And you get a nice extra button and scrolling capabilities... ;)
  11. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    I know what you are talking about, I find it awkward as well, even annoying sometimes, specially when im doing repetative excel work it can even case cramp etc...

    I bought myself a Microsoft Intellimosue optical wireless thingie, its the moonlight blue version, the software that comes with it completely replaces the mac's mouse handling software and is like 50* better. I don't think this is restricted to mac's most *nixes the mice are no where near as good as they are on windows, IMO (I grew up with windows so may be a little biased).

    I suggest you try the microsoft intellimouse driver, it will work with any mouse and should help things a bit.
  12. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
    osx doesn't accelerate the cursor movement at all, and imho that's a good thing. once you adjust your right (or left?) hand to that non-accelerated movement, you can actually draw more precise circles than with a cursor that has an accelerating movement. just think about it - there's no way you can predict the amount of acceleration when you are drawing your circle, the movement must be linear if you want precise results.

    the slower the cursor, the more precise it is, until it's too slow and you have to constantly lift the mouse. windows cursor movement is almost always too fast and too accelerated, and the way osx cursor moves is just beautiful, and did i alrealy mention precise? ;)

    just because you have used to something doesn't mean that you have used to the best alternative. hell, i have used to my small japanese car, but it still doesn't mean i didn't want to drive a porsche...
  13. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    As has been said above, you're simply having a hard time adjusting to a different way of doing things.

    Now that I've used my Mac almost exclusively for close to two years, I hate using a Windows mouse, because I can't put the dang thing where I want it.

    I know it's not much help, but have patience. And get rid of the hockey puck, if you still have it.
  14. kettle macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    Yay, very good point Daveman.

    This is the sort of stuff that should be in an easy to use mac book that comes with every Mac.

    New users are just left to find this by accident, I bet some long time Mac users don't even know this.
  15. Doraemon macrumors 6502

    Aug 31, 2001
    Europe (EU)
    Jigglelicious' problem might not be hardware related.

    Windows XP has mouse acceleration - which sucks big time in my opinion - and if he's used to it, the Mac mouse (no matter what model) definitely feels differently.
  16. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    wow, how to make OS X feel like windows XP.

    step one: take computer to highest point near you. preferably a ledge or sharp drop off.

    step two: hold computer over ledge

    step three: accelerate computer to 9.8 m/s^2 or 32 ft/s^2 (let go of computer)

    step four: recover computer from the ground

    step five: return computer to original location and turn on.

    The result should be a computer that functions speradically, constantly loses data. You will notice your mouse will once again disable the use of programs in a single click, confuse the computer into freezing numerous times a day, and may result in computer being sent to the repair shop for high priced repairs frequently. I hope this gets your mouse runing more like a windows mouse! NOTE OF CAUTION: accelerating your computer in such a maner may cause permanant system modifications whcih will not be covered uner apple care!

    otherwise you might try a different brand of mouse to see if its tracking is more apt to what you are used to using.
  17. DavidLeblond macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    Funny on reading this post I relized I never noticed a difference between my work computer (WinXP) and my home computer (iBook)... it turns out, I have acceleration turned off on my WinXP computer. I turned it on for the fun of it and it was horrible.

    I say just get use to a nonaccelerated mouse.
  18. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    I hate to point this out but this is a pretty sad of how the mac cominite tries to help out this guy.
    What I am gathering "Because apple does not have it and MS does then it not good and apple meathod is better" I going to say you are wrong there. Neither way is really better but MS has one up on apple here in it has the opion of having mouse accerlation. The opion of having it on or off varries from person to person or how high of a setting it is because there is no right or wrong way to have it set up.

    I say it sad how you more or less flame the guy saying that he is wrong to want it and apple is better for not having it. he was asking for help and you did not give him a soltion.

    Now on to the problem at hand. Something you can try is you dont want to buy a new mouse is trying downloading drivers for another mouse off there web sit. Choose a mouse drivers that have it/ program to do it. It may give you the opition of doing it.

    *Disclaimer if it messes up your computer it not my fault do it at your own risk but chances are it will work.
  19. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia

    IIRC, Kensington Mouseworks offers some accel, but has no adjustable accel curve you may be looking for.
  20. Jigglelicious thread starter macrumors 6502


    Apr 25, 2004
    Thanks for the helpful comments. I guess I should clarify a few things:

    1.) The acceleration curve has nothing to do with what mouse I use. Its handeled by the OS. But just to convince you i've tried the original Apple Pro mouse, a Logitech 2 button mouse, and my current MS Explorer optical 5-button mouse. They all function the same way.

    2.) I switched back in January of this year. I find it hard to believe that in over 8 months I can't get used to OSX's mouse acceleration.

    3.) And yes, the OSX mouse works against me. I find it hard to make small precise movements because the mouse usually moves too slow during tiny movements. I sometimes find it difficult to reach the top-right of the screen because I run out of mousepad, so I have to pick the mouse up, position it lower, and continue moving upwards. I never have this problem in windows, and i'm running on a far higher resolution in Windows, too. Sure, I could just increase the sensitivity in OSX, but then the mouse moves too fast during normal operation, and is STILL too slow during small movements.

    When my friend, who's never used a Mac before sat down to give my Mac a try for the first time, his first comment was "whats wrong with the mouse"?

    4.) I tried the MS mouse software a while ago to see if it helped. It sorta did, but I didn't like the way it completly invaded OSX, and I don't think there was an uninstall either. Plus it made the 5th and 4th buttons inoperable for some reason (i use them for expose).

    I am pretty sure that OSX uses some form of acceleration too (otherwise it wouldn't be moving so slowly during small movements). Its acceleration curve is just very different from Windows'.
  21. Timelessblur macrumors 65816


    Jun 26, 2004
    have you tried logictech software? I dont know what it is like on mac but I know it has some features in it windows that I would be pretty surpises if they where not ported over.
  22. krimson macrumors 65816


    Oct 29, 2003
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    Is this something of what you're looking to be able to adjust?

    Attached Files:

  23. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    if you're using Apple's mouse, this is your problem. buy a 3rd party windows mouse (i have a wireless logitech, for uber-precision, try their new laser mouse). when i switched to mac's i noticed the mouse was FAR slower than on Windows. i read the manual and it suggested changing sensitivy using the "+" and "-" on the "belly" of the mouse. neither setting provided satisfactory results. i changed the tracking speed in sys. pref. still not what i wanted. i plugged in my OLD (read: maybe a decade or more) RF Wireles Optical by Logitech and it was far more "precise" IMO (meaning if i went slow with the mouse i could "hover" in a precise area, if i moved the mouse with a fast twitch of the wrist i could cover the distance of my screen without moving more than an inch).

    when i used apple's mouse i had to pick it up constantly due to lack of mousing space (on dual monitors). my logitech (i'm sure any decent 3rd part would as well) allows me to use minimal desk space for my mouse, and comfortably cover my entire desktop.

    if you are already using a 3rd party mouse, either try a new, or you are SOL.
  24. cc bcc macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2001
    Yes OS X mouse acceleration (which is does have of course) is the only thing I don't like. It was a lot better in the pre OS X days. I also like the windows curve more, and I used USB Overdrive to fix it. You can adjust not only speed, but also acceleration.
    OS X seems to have a weird threshold of somekind in where it switches from accelerated movement to non acceleration, I hope they either fix this or make it a preference.

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