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Author Topic: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop  (Read 3116 times)

pilgrim

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IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« on: December 28, 2012, 04:35:57 AM »
I am finding it increasingly difficult to use a mouse, one of the main difficulties is trying to use Drag & Drop with any precision.

I wondered if it was possible to create a small app that would allow locking the curser to the object/window that required moving and then make minor adjustments using the arrow keys.
The ideal would be to have options for how much the keys moved the object/window, i.e. Option 1: 1 pixel, Option 2: 10 pixels, although a 1 pixel movement would be sufficient.

I use both XP SP3(x86) and Windows 7 Pro(x64).
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Stoic Joker

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2012, 09:16:06 AM »
Have you tried using either the ClickLock or Mouse Keys features that are built into Windows? The combination should handle much of what your asking for.

The shortcut to the Windows Ease of Access Center is Win + U. Mouse Keys can be accessed directly from there and ClickLock is on the Activities tabe of the Mouse Properties dialog (which is accessable from the Ease of Access Center).

IIRC XP has both of these options available as well.

pilgrim

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 05:33:26 AM »
Have you tried using either the ClickLock or Mouse Keys features that are built into Windows? The combination should handle much of what your asking for.

The shortcut to the Windows Ease of Access Center is Win + U. Mouse Keys can be accessed directly from there and ClickLock is on the Activities tabe of the Mouse Properties dialog (which is accessable from the Ease of Access Center).

IIRC XP has both of these options available as well.
Thanks for that, I just gave it a try on Windows 7 and the movement is 10 pixels which is not accurate enough for what I am looking for and I could see no way of changing it.
I'll have to look and see if it can be changed in the registry, if I can find a key for it. (I just ran a registry search for 'Mouse' and turned up 790 keys but nothing for Click Lock.)

Update: Cancel the above I just discovered that if I use Ctrl + Arrow Key the movement is 1 pixel so you have given me a solution.
(I have just been experimenting and discovered that it does not work on everything. I have two desktop clocks, one digital, one analogue, it works on the first but while Click Lock works on the second the Arrow Keys do not, however I am sure that I will be able to do what I wanted to, so thanks again.)
After 7 years I am still finding things in XP I never knew about, I only started on Windows 7 six months ago so I have a way to go.

Incidently, Win + U has no effect on my computer, I tried it yesterday. I also tried clicking on the shortcut in All Programs\Accessories\Ease of Access for the Access Centre and that had no effect either although the rest of the shortcuts in that folder are all working. It might be because I removed it from the Control Panel, along with a lot of other things, as I have never had any use for it?
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 05:55:05 AM by pilgrim-online »

pilgrim

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 06:57:11 AM »
While Click Lock has answered the problem I originally posted about it has thrown up a secondary one.
When I put pressure on the mouse to click it I tend to involuntarily move it at the same time, which means that anything it is locked to also moves, thereby undoing whatever I have just done.
Is there a way to disengage Click Lock with the keyboard? I ran a search but could not find one.

I found an alternative way into the Access Centre and set up Mouse Keys but could find no way to use them to activate/deactivate Click Lock.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

Ath

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 01:47:12 PM »
Untested: Have you tried pressing the <Esc> key?

pilgrim

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 04:50:09 AM »
Untested: Have you tried pressing the <Esc> key?
I tried it yesterday on Windows 7 and it never worked, I just tried it on XP and it did.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

pilgrim

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 10:37:07 AM »
After experimenting again on Windows 7 I have learned the following:

1. Getting a lock on something does not always work at the first or even the second attempt. (Worse on Windows 7.)
2. Pressing Esc does work on both OS' but if the object/window has been moved while the lock was 'on' pressing Esc returns it to its original position.

The only solution I have come up with so far is after engaging the lock to push the mouse up against something so that when I click on it after I have finished it does not move.
Not very elegant but unless I can come up with an alternative it will have to do.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi

skwire

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 10:42:40 AM »
When I put pressure on the mouse to click it I tend to involuntarily move it at the same time

Have you considered switching to a trackball-based pointing device?

Stoic Joker

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 11:24:33 AM »
Unfortunately I'm not intimately familiar with these features as I've never actually used them. I just happened to know about them as they periodically come up when troubleshooting client issues. Several of the ease of access features can be enabled with a hotkey. So somebody pauses while typing and inadvertently holds the right magic button down to long, the feature gets enabled, and the fun ensues.


The Trackball does sound like a good option to me too.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 01:14:27 PM »
Random comment to say I don't like trackballs. : )

Stoic Joker

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 01:17:20 PM »
Random comment to say I don't like trackballs. : )

Me either, but for some people they are the ideal solution.

barney

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 01:29:15 PM »
Random comment to say I don't like trackballs. : )

Me either, but for some people they are the ideal solution.

Truth.  It is difficult for some of us to click a mouse w/o moving it  :(.  And forget about a laptop's touchpad  :'(.  Trackball, like it or no, is 'bout all that's left  ;).  And it does have the advantage of needing very little space, significantly less than most meeces  :Thmbsup:.

rjbull

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 03:30:36 PM »
Suggest a quick review of DC thread any Numpad mouse / Mousekeys for Vista? which mentions a couple of programs, NeatMouse and Mouse Emulator.  Also, you might try Googling "assistive software."

pilgrim

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Re: IDEA: Improve precision of Drag & Drop
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 05:54:35 AM »
Thanks for the replies.

Hi skwire,

I have not considered a trackball because I do not think it would improve things.
One of my XP computers is a Samsung NC10, it has a trackpad and a mouse I use for it, I have the same problem with both, a lack of precision.
I might be able to improve things by moving the settings to a slower speed but that would also effect the 'normal' use of either.

rjbull
,

I had a look at the two programs in that link and when I get the time I will give NeatMouse a try, as it has a portable version there will be no problem uninstalling if it does not work.
One thing I noticed about both those programs is that neither have a built in 'lock' option, whether NeatMouse will work with Click Lock remains to be seen.

I ran the search you suggested but at first glance most of the things it was turning up were either things that are already built-in to Windows or things that are too elaborate for my needs.


I can use a mouse most of the time to do most things, as I said in my first post the biggest issue is lack of precision, and as I said in my last post thanks to Stoic Joker's suggestion I now have a usable solution with only one minor issue, releasing the lock when I've finished. If there was a way to discover the command to disengage the lock from a left click and create a shortcut for it that would resolve the issue.

I'll let you know how I get on with NeatMouse.

Update: I have just tried NeatMouse and while it will work with Click Lock the latter still needs to be engaged/disengaged with the mouse so it adds nothing to Click Lock itself.
I have dropped a line to the developer of NeatMouse to explain what I am trying to do and asked him if it would be possible to incorporate a keyboard controlled lock into their program. I await a reply.
I spent 25 years training to be an eccentric then I woke up one morning and realised that I'd cracked it.
I've not had to try since.

I wonder what happens if I click on thi
« Last Edit: December 31, 2012, 06:28:46 AM by pilgrim-online »