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Program a Gaming Mouse for CAD
Tip# 4407 By Robert L. Soyars Jr. On 05-Jan-2015
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Misc. User Tools
Software type : AutoCAD 2015
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Save time by using a gaming mouse to execute AutoCAD commands.

About three years ago I purchased a gaming mouse to play some PC games at home. The one I purchased was the Logitech G700, which has 10 programmable buttons. The Logitech Gaming Software allows the user to set macros and key presses to any of the buttons. After getting used to having so many buttons I realized I could use this for my work in which I use Civil 3D, 3ds Max, and Revit. My work mouse was an older, simple Logitech Marathon mouse that was falling apart after many years of use. I convinced my boss that I needed a new mouse and that a gaming mouse would benefit me because I could program the many buttons with commands for AutoCAD, Revit, and 3ds Max. He agreed and I purchased the Logitech Gaming Mouse G700s.

I use Civil 3D almost every day, so that’s the first one I’ve programmed. I set up a profile in the Logitech Gaming Software for C3D (AutoCAD) that has the buttons programmed for the commands I use the most: Qsave, Pline, Trim, Esc, Undo, Offset, and Matchproperties. This allows me to work very efficiently and saves time.

Below are two screenshots from the Logitech Gaming Software. One is the overall button mapping, and the other is the Command Editor. Before AutoCAD will recognize the commands, you must make each one a text block, and the Use Unicode Playback checkbox must be turned on. Some commands such as Qsave can be performed using CTRL+S, but it’s easier and consistent to keep with the text block setup.

Another nice aspect of this is that the Logitech Gaming Software allows you to import and export the button mapping into an XML file. The G700s also allows you to keep the mapping on the mouse’s internal memory itself, which means you can take the mouse to any other Windows computer and it’ll remember the button configuration.

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer R.K. McSwain: This tip is a good idea if this sort of user interface fits your needs. Long ago, many users had digitizing tablets that were supplied with multibutton pucks. With Windows came the standard two-, then three-button mice, which eventually phased out those multibutton pucks. What's old is new again!


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User comments
Comment by Weichel,Steve
Posted on 2015-01-05 14:50:42
This is an excellent tip. I've been using gaming mice for years as I like the extra buttons. I actually use a Logitech G400s myself and it is also programmable, though I use it with AutoCAD. One thing I like is you can program a button to perform one task in say AutoCAD and then something entirely different in say Navis Manage. The only scary thing is when you try to buy a gaming mouse your boss looks at you funny because it is labeled "gaming".
Comment by Maeding,James
Posted on 2015-01-05 16:13:42
I do some of the same on my mouse. You have to think though, which hand do you usually see the infamous black brace on? Its the mouse hand. I tell people to use keyboard for all normal draw, edit, and zooming, with exception of the wheel. I even dislike realtimepan, as its a stressful click-drag, though convenient. Still a great article IMO.
Comment by Welsh,James
Posted on 2015-01-05 16:19:17
Some of us still use a digitizer. Until someone comes out with a 16 button mouse I plan on keeping my digitizer for a long time.
Comment by Croker,Jeffrey
Posted on 2015-01-05 18:02:40
I was a dedicated digitizer tablet user for many years, nothing like their accuracy and having 16 buttons with 4 levels of commands mapped to them. but after battling with driver issues I reluctantly gave it up for a gaming mouse and gaming keypad. My current set-up is a Logitech G600 with 19 programmable buttons x 2 levels. Before that I used the Razer Naga which has 17 programmable buttons. I also use a Logitech G13 Programmable keypad with 29 programmable buttons (+Joystick) and 3 levels of commands for each for 87 total mapped commands.
Comment by Welsh,James
Posted on 2015-01-06 14:44:28
Thank you for that info. I will have to look into your suggestions. As you stated, digitizer drivers can be an issue. It gets harder and harder to marry a digitizer to each new O.S. and get the buttons to work properly.