This article was originally published on August 1, 2008.
My freshman year of college, I knew a kid with a Logitech MX700 cordless mouse. The first time I used it, I knew I had to have one. It was only a few months before I bought the Cordless Elite set, with the Elite keyboard and the MX700 mouse.
I have since discovered that this is the number one best mouse in existence. I’m not a gamer, so I don’t need high sensitivity and hair-trigger response. What I do need on a daily basis are the extra mappable keys that the MX700 (and its siblings) provide.
Logitech canned the MX700 several years ago in favor of the (in my opinion, at least) inferior MX1000. They still, however, produce a corded version – the MX518 gaming mouse. This is what I have in my office at work.
I typically map the second button below the scroll wheel to
Ctrl+W, so that I can quickly close tabs and child windows in almost any application. There are, however, two applications I frequently use that do not follow the
Ctrl+W convention – Outlook 2003 and SQL Server Management Studio. In Outlook, you need to use Esc to close child windows (messages, appointments, etc.). In SQL Studio, Ctrl+F4 is the only shortcut that will close open tabs in the interface.
Today, on a whim, I Googled to see if there was a way to map each of the mouse’s buttons differently for specific applications. Lo and behold, there is! It turns out that the SetPoint software required for Logitech’s newer mice uses XML for the configuration settings, so someone figured out how to enable lots of additional settings via the aptly-named uberOptions.
Download Logitech SetPoint and uberOptions
This application was ridiculously easy to install and use. I didn’t have to restart, or even manually shutdown SetPoint before installing. Once it was installed, I was able to quickly specify mapped keystrokes for Outlook and SQL Server, and was off and running. Changes take effect immediately – you don’t need to restart an application for its specific mappings to work.
If you have an older MX700-like mouse (the MX500, 700, 510, and 310), you can use an application called LogiGamer, although it looks to be a bit clunkier (and requires the .NET 1.1 framework; it’s old enough that it may not be compatible with newer .NET versions).
If you have a Logitech keyboard, uberOptions will allow you to customize all the keyboard’s extra keys on a per-application basis. I’m just glad that I can finally use the same shortcut button for the same purpose in all my applications!