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Author Topic: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?  (Read 1914 times)

DonationCoderTransmit

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Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:48:19 AM »
The 'problem': my mouse cursor sometimes dives below my (XP SP3) Taskbar buttons, and always dives below my Trayicons. I think this is an irritating UI design failure: if I want to click a Taskbar button, or Trayicon, I should be able to fling my mouse to the bottom of the screen, not aim 1 pixel up from the bottom.

I fear this is partly a Theme issue, because if I change Themes (to and from any or no Theme) and re-boot, the 1px 'dead' area below the Taskbar doesn't exist. But if I re-boot again without switching Themes, it's back, lying in wait ...

And there is always a dead area (2 or 3 px, I'd guess) below the Taskbar icons, no matter what. I don't know if this varies with hardware, but I've seen the same on some other PCs. So far I've been automating the Theme switch shuffle on shutdown and startup, but that's a slow kludge.

What I think I need is a tool which restricts the movement of the cursor to a slightly smaller area than my desktop, e.g. to 1280x1022 instead of 1280x1024. That way, hitting the bottom of the mouseable area would always trigger any Taskbar button or Trayicon underneath.

Oddly, I'd already found what would be the perfect tool for this problem, if only it worked better ...

Quote
Lock Mouse Cursor with Mouse Lock Utility

 Use given below software utility to lock your mouse cusror within defined rectangle / area. Define upto two rectangles to limit the mouse cursor movements. Lock / Unlock Mouse Cursor with a simple key press within defined rectangle or close the Mouse Lock application to unlock mouse cursor and allow the mouse cursor to freely roam on your computer screen. You can even enter whole desktop width and height to limit the mouse cursor movement, which in turn can be helpful in a dual monitor computer setup avoiding mouse cursor movements to the other monitor / display. Free to try download of Mouse Lock utility allows to Lock Mouse Cursor upto 20 times.  Download Trial Version of Easy Mouse Lock utility now and try it for free.

It does exactly what I was after. Alas, with it running, the cursor moves around any edge of the desktop as if it has been coated in treacle, which is a cure worse than the ailment.

Searching here on mouse/cursor restrictions led me to various dual monitor tools, including DDMM, but it has no effect at all on my system (perhaps because it isn't a dual monitor system).

And there are some AHK or AutoIt threads here, but programmatically moving the cursor up a few pixels when it hits a defined area, seems too slow to be comfortable (at least as I tried it using PowerPro).

So, does anyone know of a similar tool which works better?

Or another way to solve or workaround this problem?

Am I the only one bugged by this? ;)
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:51:05 AM by DonationCoderTransmit, Reason: giving up trying to inline thumb »

PhilB66

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 02:01:47 AM »

DonationCoderTransmit

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 02:13:12 AM »
Give CursorUS a try.
http://www.loonies.narod.ru/cursorus.htm
Thanks, it does what it claims to do. But does nothing for this problem, I'm afraid.

Ath

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 03:31:47 AM »
The problem is probably somewhere in your Taskbar settings, like AutoHide or similar, or a rogue driver or tool disturbing your Taskbar behavior in some way :o

DonationCoderTransmit

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 04:05:03 AM »
The problem is probably somewhere in your Taskbar settings, like AutoHide or similar, or a rogue driver or tool disturbing your Taskbar behavior in some way :o

I don't use AutoHide. I only use "Lock the Taskbar" and "Keep the Taskbar on top of other windows", but changing those makes no difference.

I don't think I have any other tools messing with the Taskbar or screen real estate.

My graphics card and/or driver might well be to blame, but I'm stuck with them :(.

Can you not move your cursor underneath a Trayicon, such that it doesn't trigger the tooltip? I thought that much, at least, was standard (bad) design. Without a Theme, Windows (other people's, not just mine)  even shows a visible border around (and therefore underneath) the Tray. Maybe it is just me.

Thanks for the suggestions, anyway.

app103

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 10:07:23 PM »
I can verify that this is typical Windows behavior and seems to be a built-in "feature".

Running XP here, with classic themes and I also have an old WinME pc in which I observed the following:

I keep my taskbar on the right, fully extended, on autohide, always on top, on both systems. There is a 1-2 pixel border below the tray icon area. The area containing the icons is recessed. Only within the recessed area can you click anything or show a tooltip. Clicks on the border below it does nothing. If you move your mouse to that border area, you probably won't see much of your cursor showing.

This is also the case with the far right of my taskbar. But this time, there is no visible border or recessed area.

The issue doesn't bother me, as that tiny offscreen area where my cursor disappears to when I move to the far right, is the activation zone that makes my taskbar pop out for access. So, it serves a useful purpose, in my case.

DonationCoderTransmit

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Re: Looking for a Mouse/Cursor restriction tool ... ?
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 04:40:33 AM »
Thanks for the sanity check, app103 :).

In frustration, I went back to both Easy Mouse Lock and DDMM to see if I could bash them into workable order. Easy Mouse Lock remains hopelessly slow (as described above) on my system. But I found how to get DDMM working: turn it off and on again!. More specifically, using the "Save and close" button alone doesn't save anything, for me. But unchecking and rechecking "activate mouse management" after inputting user settings, and then clicking "Save and close" does the trick.

And once set up (essentially creating a 3 pixel virtual desktop across the bottom of the screen), it works perfectly (so far). The cursor stops just above the (invisible) border, and activates every Taskbar tab, Quick Launch button and Tray icon. No cursor sluggishness at all, nor any other drawbacks, so far.

I don't use autohide but, at least for me, setting a 1 pixel boundary allows both Taskbar tab/button activation and autohide. (Though it needs 3 pixels to activate the Tray icons too, and that scuppers the autohide trigger).

Anyway, I seem to have solved my problem. Thanks for replying, and to snouffelaire, a member here for DDMM.