Mac & PC Mouse Motion

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by j3tang, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. j3tang macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    Not sure if this should go in the peripherals or if it should go into the help section, feel free to move it if necessary, but here goes:

    I've been a mac user since 2005, and i've noticed the different "movement" in the mouse from a Mac and PC. I use my Mac exclusively at home, but PC entirely at work. The movement on the mac seems a little "sluggish". So i thought it was just the mouse.

    I interchangeably used a microsoft intellimouse explorer from work on my mac, and it performs a bit better, but still sluggish. I've used my logitech MX1000 laser mouse on my mac and it still feels weird. I can't really get a grip on describing it .. but it's just not "PC like" .. i find that i have to use a bit more strength in using a mouse on a mac to control it, which is probably a no-no for ergonomic and health reasons.

    I've played a lot with the speed and acceleration in the mouse settings and have yet to mimic mouse movements on a PC.

    Am i the only one that notices this? are there others out there that feel my pain? or am i just plain weird? :rolleyes:

    (the very last comment is rhetorical, no need to answer)
  2. erikamsterdam macrumors regular


    Apr 21, 2006
    I have noticed a difference in the past between Window$ and Linux. But I got used to the Linux mouse movement and it does not bother me anymore. The Mac seems the same as Linux, now that I have switched.
    The difference is that in Window$ you can define the "acceleration", and I always put that on way high cos I'm impatient. The Mac does not seem to have separate settings for "speed" and "acceleration". Maybe it's automatic, I don't know...
  3. j3tang thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 19, 2006
    Toronto, Canada
    The use of steermouse and/or other mouse drivers allows for speed and acceleration to be set individually.

    Thing is, i've mucked around with both settings and have yet to come up with a combination that yields similar movement patterns to the PC :(
  4. Sesshi macrumors G3


    Jun 3, 2006
    One Nation Under Gordon
    Yup, me too. I've however got used to the movement that the Intellimouse Explorer has on the Mac. It's not as - well, as you say its tough to describe, as PC-like as the PC but it's better than most. Some of the Logitechs I've tried plugging into the Mac behaves too quickly.
  5. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    It is the acceleration curves that are different. The Mac has a well-defined curve such that if you're moving the mouse slowly, the cursor will move a shorter distance for each unit of distance that the mouse moves. If you move the mouse quickly, the cursor will move a longer distance per unit distance that the mouse moves. This allows for precision in small movements while retaining the ability to quickly move the cursor across the screen.

    You're not strange for noticing a difference, because there is one. It's just one of those minor differences between Macs and PCs. I find using a PC very awkward and frequently miss the things I'm trying to click on because the cursor moves so fast. To be honest I hate the way the mice on PCs feel. That said, I realize that for some people it's the Mac feel that's bad. I think the only choice right now is to use third-party utilities to try to bring the acceleration curve settings closer to Windows' settings.
  6. KuttyJoe macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    I've been a Mac and PC user for many years. About 3 years ago, I bought an Imac. Got it home and it was the first time I noticed that something was "wrong" with the way the mouse was moving. I talked with Apple tech support about it and they had no idea how to help me and could not offer any advice. I believe they were deliberately avoiding telling me that this is simply the way the mouse works. But using the Mac mouse was making me feel motion sick. I actually took the Mac back to where I bought it and got my money back. The guy at CompUSA looked at me like I was crazy. The strange thing was that I use Macs for a living, have been for over a dozen years. I was perfectly fine on my Mac at work, but totally different on my new home Mac. About a year later, the earliest Intel Macs came out. I went to a store and used one, essentially to find if the problem with the mouse had been "fixed". I found that it indeed had. This new Mac's mouse movement was exactly like using a PC. 1:1 movement which is predictable. I bought it. Everything is fine with it. Fast forward to now. New job, new work Mac, latest OS Leopard and I'm right back to the screwed up mouse movement! Even Steer Mouse doesn't seem to be able to correct it. When making small moves (which is always the case when editing nodes in Illustrator), it's making work impossible. I move the mouse a tiny amount, but the pointer doesn't move at all. I overcompensate and go too far. I move the mouse a little, expect it to move, but it doesn't which creates the motion sickness feeling. It's terrible. This issue may the the one that causes me to be done with Macs, something I never thought I'd say, but this problem is really serious for me.
  7. FMINUS macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Chino Hills CA
  8. portent macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2004
    There's no "fix," because there's no "problem." It's like noticing that a Ford handles slightly differently from a Volkswagen. They're different, but equivalent.

    You will get used to it after a while, if you try.

    (Or you can keep fighting it and frustrate yourself to no end!)
  9. FMINUS macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2008
    Chino Hills CA
    good to know I guess, as long as its not "broken" just different. I hate trying to click on small things, it takes too much effort.. :(

    But then again Ive only had this mac for about a week or 2.
  10. KuttyJoe macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    "(Or you can keep fighting it and frustrate yourself to no end!)"

    That's ridiculous. Nobody's fighting the mouse. If anything, the mouse is now fighting the user. People are only realizing that something is wrong and dealing with it best they can.
  11. wilsonaire macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    Yeap, I officially made the switch to Macs almost a month ago. I got a Macbook Pro. I use to be a HARDCORE Microsoft/Windows fanboy for my entire technology lifetime. And this is definitely one of the first things I've noticed, and it's sincerely bothered me as well. I'm a Gamer, and so this is a real problem when I'm playing games, because it feels like the mac mouse control is simply less precise. :(

    Its really sad to come to a forum topic thats been going for 2 years and no solution has been found. :(
  12. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    Motion sickness? Isn't that a little overboard? Seems like a tiny problem, since I havent noticed this.
  13. Chef55 macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    I'm relieved to have found this thread. Being an iMac owner for a little over 2 weeks I thought it was just me that had a problem with my mouse. It's fine for most things I've got used to it but when I have nothing better to do and want to play a few tame games it is utterly useless. It is almost as if the mouse likes to ram it's brakes on when I'm approaching my click point so it then takes me longer to line it up with the spot I need to be at.
    Am disappointed there is no solution...but will just have to put up with it as I am in love with the rest of the machine.
  14. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    Every OS update I pray to the sun gods that there is a checkbox for "enable mouse cursor acceleration"
  15. KuttyJoe macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    Most people with fairly little experience with Macs or computers in general seem to not notice strangeness with the Mac mouse. Those of us with more experience have a very clear frame of reference to how a mouse is supposed to work. Indeed, how the Mac mouse "used" to work.
  16. iWaldo macrumors member

    Sep 6, 2008
    Hmmmm, many years of Windows experience, and I haven't noticed a thing. Guess it's because of the trackpad.
  17. VoR macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2008
    Mouse acceleration works very well with a trackpad, would be pretty awful without it :)

    Personally I think it's the biggest issue in osx if you're trying to be productive on a desktop
  18. drifter7508 macrumors newbie

    Oct 8, 2008
    The mouse acc. on a Mac 2010 works like crap!!!
    Yes, there is a big problem! On my Air everything works OK, with the "touch pad". On my Mac Pro... its a nightmare with the crappy mouse acc.
  19. Carlm90 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2009
    So this is why I'm effectively finding getting used to this MacBook Pro a pain in the bum.

    I understand but there's still something wrong with my Magic Mouse as it works in bursts and chooses it's own speed.
  20. KuttyJoe macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    This and other threads like it have been going on for years now since Apple decided to make this change in mouse behavior. It's interesting though. At first I just thought it was simply insane and Apple were incredibly stubborn in not admitting yet another serious mistake. But I have since toned down my stance on it because of my experience with a younger generation who are growing up, socialized on the way Macs are today. Among the first thing I do when setting up a new mac is to disable almost anything that moves! LOL I make changes to reclaim key commands that have traditionally been reserved for programs like Illustrator and Photoshop, but which Apple decided to take over for Operating system functions, like the search function. First though, I install my Steer Mouse driver, without which, I would simply not use a Mac. But my young padowan and his friends see things differently. He gets a great kick out of things that fly across the screen. He regularly finds a reason to switch the workspaces, never bothered to notice that when he tries to do a zoom in Illustrator, the Apple search dialog pops up! Doesn't bother him one bit. He says, the new flat keyboard allows him to type faster though he also says that he has to look at the keys more. I believe that this is Apple's attempt at getting people "used" to the product that they've had better success selling, notebooks. And of course the default behavior of the mouse doesn't bother him one bit. And I've watched him work with the mouse and indeed, he's able to use it in a way that I simply can't. So, is Apple wrong? I suddenly feel a lot less sure of myself. The truth maybe that people can be socialized into getting along fine with either way. I force my Macs back to the simplicity of Windows XP and reject anything that I don't see as explicitly making me faster, but I'm an old military man. This young generation are very different breed.

    The new multi-touch mouse is far worse than any mouse that Apple has made. It has a large latency, similar to that of the touch pad on the Macbooks. It's highly inaccurate, just like the Mighty mouse with the little ball that only worked sometimes. I suppose it will also not be a problem with the youngsters. LOL. I'm not as old as I make it sound.
  21. MacTech68, Feb 7, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth
    It isn't "broken", it's what your brain has been trained to recognize as "normal".

    In any case, you might find the following utils help (YMMV).

    SideTrack $15

    SideTrack includes a "Redmond switcher acceleration" option


    MouseFix (link no longer seems to work, requires building yourself).
    iMouseFix GUI build based on MouseFix

    Please read the notes for each util before using.

    Personally, I always found the acceleration curve in Windows to be difficult and less accurate, but this is because my brain was trained to expect the mac mouse behaviour.

    glass bongs
  22. Carlm90 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2009
    Believe it or not, after removing MouseZoom from my PrefPanes today, I'm able to use the Magic Mouse as I'm training my little brain to understand it's not a Windows Mouse! I'm experiencing better accuracy and it's not too bad at all. Maybe I was too resistant to change.:apple:
  23. Blow up tre1 macrumors member

    Nov 7, 2009
    Getting used to it???

    I have had my mac since 2007!!!!! Trust me when I say if you use windows, then you will hate the mac mouse movement control. I have a really good mouse (g5) and it still behaves weirdly in mac, but not windows. Stuff that enables you to change more stuff helps, but it doesn't solve the problem. I am now only buying games for windows and will be converting my desktop to windows when I finally get a new computer. I hate not having the accuracy of windows when doing stuff in mac. You have to move the mouse to the general area, then to the exact spot you want. This is the only bad thing I can say about my 17 imac!
  24. KuttyJoe macrumors newbie

    Apr 21, 2008
    They used to behave the same way. The movement felt like a 1:1 ration with the speed of your hand. It didn't move a different speed and distance as you got closer to the target. But I suppose you can get used to anything.
  25. boskovitch macrumors newbie

    Jun 28, 2010
    Mouse motion on Mac compared to PC

    I just changed to Mac from PC and the mouse problem was the first thing I noticed. Went top my Apple store and they totally blanked me, as if there were no problem. I work with photoshop and need pretty precise mouse control, not sure if I'm going to be able to live with this. I've tried the Mac wired mouse and the latest mighty mouse and have reverted to my trusty wired MS optical mouse. It still has the same problem but at least the mouse feels familiar and comfortable.

    If there are any decent fixes please advise.


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