Any computer user would know that the default actions for the mouse button are left click to select, right click to show the context menu and the rubber wheel in the middle is used for scrolling. There are applications such as web browsers where you can zoom in or out of the page by simply holding the CTRL key while scrolling. Some advanced mice like the Razer Ouroboros have up to 11 buttons which are programmable using software called Synapse which obviously can only be used for the Razer mouse. These additional mouse buttons can greatly help in gaming or navigation so you can achieve what you want by just a click without moving your mouse or pressing a key on the keyboard at all.
Even if you just have a standard mouse with 2 buttons and a scroll wheel, you can actually change and customize the mouse button actions using the right software. Here we have 4 ways on how you can assign various predefined actions to the mouse buttons.
If you have a 5 button mouse and looking for a simple Windows application that allows you to set any keys or combinations to the 4th and 5th button, Mouse Manager might be your best choice. It doesn’t have all the advanced commands or actions which you can select from, instead you can easily set keys for the buttons by pressing the keys on your keyboard. Mouse Manager also supports multiple profiles which allows you to conveniently switch different keys for the 4th and 5th button without the need to edit the current configuration.
If you’re confused which are the 4th and 5th buttons on your mouse, any additional buttons other than the left click, right click and the scroll wheel will be considered as the fourth and fifth button by Mouse Manager.
HydraMouse is a very powerful software to assign actions to mouse buttons. Some of the predefined actions included in the program are the ability to open control panel applets, accessing frequently used folders such as Desktop, pressing combination of shortcut keys such as copy/paste/cut/save, mouse click simulation, media keys to play/pause/stop/control volume, and other miscellaneous actions to open/close CD tray, minimize/maximize window and etc.
The only drawback in HydraMouse is its a shareware but they do have a free version that restricts up to 3 items in the application list which is all applications, desktop, and Windows Explorer. HydraMouse also comes with a powerful macro editor to create complex sequences of actions that can be executed with a click of a mouse button.
3. X-Mouse Button Control
Compared to HydraMouse, X-Mouse Button Control is totally free and does not have any limitation to its functionality. You can add specific applications to be monitored by X-Mouse Button Control and up to 5 layers (profiles) with over 80 different actions that can be set on the mouse buttons. The “Simulated Keys” action can be used as a macro to simulate keystrokes and mouse actions through the supported tags. The settings allow you to configure miscellaneous options such as scrolling background window, changing the mouse speed, hotkeys to switch between layers and etc.
Unlike HydraMouse, X-Mouse Button Control only supports up to mice with 5 buttons.
The free edition of ClickMouse allows you to assign macros to your mouse events such as during clicking or double clicking the mouse button, holding the mouse button, shake horizontally or vertically, scrolling mouse wheel forward or backward, and moving the cursor to the screen edge or corner. As you can see from the screenshot below, only 5 buttons (left, middle, right, X1 and X2) can be assigned a macro.
ClickMouse isn’t as easy to use as other where you only need to select an action that you want to map to a mouse button. Instead, you need to create the macro first either through an automated recording or manually insert the macro commands and system variables in the Macro Text tab. Once the macro is created, you will then need to assign how your mouse will trigger the macro from the “Macro Triggers” tab.