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Can I Swap My Third Mouse Button for the Left Button?

I have an Anir Mouse, which is the forerunner of the 3M ergonomic mouse. It
uses a rocker switch at the thumb for left and right clicking. I have a sore
thumb and I cannot click all day with it. The mouse also has a third mouse
button well placed in the handle. How can I make this button the regular
left-click button? In XP, in the mouse control panel, there is an option to
switch the left and the right mouse buttons but that is not what I’m looking
for. I want to make the third, middle mouse button into the left mouse button.
I’m using PCs running both XP and Windows 7. Thank you in advance.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #65
, I look at the possibilities of assigning a function to a
third mouse button, if it is not available in the mouse driver software.

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Swapping mouse buttons

So, I will claim that the simplest solution is probably to get a new mouse
that is more ergonomically appropriate for your situation.

The problem here is that if the drivers for your mouse don’t
support the kind of swapping that you’re looking for, it may not be possible to
do so.

Accessibility options

There is one other place to consider looking, which is going to be fairly
different in Windows XP versus Windows 7.

  • In Windows XP, in Control Panel, look for
    Accessibility.
  • In Windows 7, look for Ease of access.

What those are are controls for folks with assorted disabilities (or
difficulties) using mice, keyboards, screens, whatever. And there are various
options to change the behavior of the mouse.

I do not recall ever seeing anything about reassigning mouse buttons or
reassigning or even assigning specifically the third mouse button (the middle
mouse button) that you’re seeing.

But it’s worth something. I’m going to direct you at that simply to see if
we can get lucky. Maybe there’s something in there that would suffice as an
approach to modify the way the mouse works, in your situation, to make it more
palatable.

Control panel mouse driver

But ultimately, honestly, I think that, if there’s nothing in Control Panel
right now that allows you to control your third mouse button, I just
don’t see it happening.

I really think that the pragmatic solution is to find yourself a mouse (a
current mouse) that has this functionality – one that has the ergonomic
features, that you’re looking for to make it easier for you to use on a
long-term basis.

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4 comments on “Can I Swap My Third Mouse Button for the Left Button?”

  1. It’s way easier & less expensive to buy a new mouse, Logitech or Microsoft. They come with the driver disc & the ability to swap buttons how ever you like ’em. And most are wireless.!

    Reply
  2. The Anir Mouse almost belongs in the “assistive technology” category. I haven’t used one myself, but it really looks like a nice device. And if you need it, buying a new mouse at your nearest big box store isn’t going to replace it…

    It looks like the extra button on the Anir (or its successor) may act like the middle mouse button on many mice…

    You might try installing Logitech SetPoint. I know some older versions would work with any mouse, not just Logitech’s products. The same is true for older versions of Microsoft’s Intellimouse software. You should be able to download them from the Logitech and Microsoft websites.

    Fentek (www.fentek-ind.com) makes foot pedals that can be programmed for keystrokes and mouse clicks. That may be another great option for you.

    Yet another solution for your sore thumb (and free) is to turn on Mouse Keys. Mouse Keys is an accessibility feature for people with limited mobility that lets you use the numeric keypad as a mouse. The great news for you is that when Mouse Keys is on, the 5 key on your keypad works as a left mouse button.

    If you have connections with a doctor’s office or school that works with physically limited computer users, they may be able to recommend assistive technology for you as well.

    Reply
  3. I’ve been using MouseTool v3.13 by JR Software for the last 12 years, and now just can’t live without it – a wonderful little utility that clicks the mouse for you. It used to be free, but if you really need it, it’s worth paying for.

    There are others, just google “dwell click” to find them. Most Linux distros come with one that works fairly well.

    Reply

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