Free utility to customize your mouse
Many people don't realize that their computer mouse can do a lot more than just point and click. The free utility, X-Mouse Button Control (XMBC), lets you unlock the full potential of your mouse by mapping new functions to its buttons. With XMBC, you can reconfigure and expand the capabilities of your mouse.
How do I download X-Mouse Button Control?
X-Mouse Button Control is a safe, virus-free program available on Windows PCs. It is compatible with Windows 10 and there are versions available for older operating systems. It was originally designed to run natively on x64 editions of Windows but it is also fully supported on 32-bit editions too. The version needed (x64 or x86) is automatically determined during installation.
The program also supports various functions in different Windows operating systems, such as Flip3D in Vista, ModernUI/Metro in Windows 8, and Virtual Desktops in Windows 10.
XMBC is not available for Mac computers. Alternatives to X-Mouse Button Control include Mouse Speed Switcher, Remote Mouse, and AutoHotKey. There is also a portable version of XMBC available called X-Mouse Button Control Portable.
Downloading X-Mouse Button Control is easy. You just run the installation exe and then follow the on-screen instructions, including agreeing to the license agreement. XMBC is available in various languages apart from English, via the community-translated language packs.
To open XMBC, you have to navigate to the system tray and double click the corresponding icon. A right-click on the icon reveals additional options, including exiting the utility.
How do I remap my mouse buttons?
XMBC can be used to remap mouse buttons. It lets you change the behavior of the mouse buttons and scroll wheel, assigning new tasks to each. The software is not just for button mapping, however. It also allows for various navigation customizations, including tuning the pointer and scroll wheel to your needs.
XMBC can also make your changes context-dependent. This means that a button's function in one piece of software can differ from its function in another.
This is useful in many scenarios, including changing the behavior of your mouse in certain windows, such as making the mouse wheel change volume when hovering over the system tray or a YouTube video. Or perhaps you play specific games that do not natively support the fourth and fifth mouse buttons. You can map the relevant key commands to each of these mouse buttons.
Application- and window-specific behavior is programmed by creating profiles that control how the mouse behaves when switching between individual applications or windows. By default, profiles are automatically activated as the mouse moves over the defined window or application.
In each profile, you can configure up to 10 'layers' of different button configurations that you can switch between by either using the hotkeys or mouse buttons.
How do I use X-Mouse Button Control?
Using X-Mouse Button Control can be a little daunting at first: there are a lot of options and the interface, although clean and easy to understand, doesn't guide you through the process of assigning them. Confused users might wish to search online for a user guide or tutorial, especially when starting. What it lacks in ease, though, it makes up in versatility.
The software features an extensive list of functions available to map to your mouse buttons. These include shifting/combining buttons to perform different actions; creating timed button actions that change depending on how long you hold a button down for; mapping simulated keystrokes that send custom keystrokes, key sequences or mouse actions when you press a mouse button; and launching specific Windows applications.
In total, there are around 100 different actions for you to select.
When you open X-Mouse Button Control, you will see the main window that includes a list of Application/Window Profiles. This list contains all of the profiles you have created and assigned to various applications or windows. From here you can quickly add, activate, or deactivate profiles. If a profile’s text is red, then it is the active profile.
The corresponding Profile Information box shows how XMBC classifies the selected process or window. This is information is the same as that entered when creating the profile.
The list of Mapping Commands shows the tasks assigned to each of up to nine possible controls on your mouse. Actions for each button are selected from the drop-down lists. It's important to remember that the list of commands is subject to change with each version of XMBC and that some items are only available on specific operating systems. For example, only operating systems after Windows XP support standard tilt wheel messages.
When assigning keystrokes to the mouse (i.e. when you click on a certain mouse button, it will activate a set key command), there are nine methods available for sending your assigned keystroke. These include sending the keys when the mouse button is either pressed or released, sending the keys while the mouse button is held or continuously sending the keys while the mouse button is held down.
All these functions add up to a rather comprehensive program that can address the mouse customization needs of even the most advanced user. Getting your mouse set up exactly as you want it might take a little while but the effort will be worth it.
Powerful yet complicated mouse customization
X-Mouse Button Control is a powerful mouse customization tool. It is ideal for people who want to perform a wide range of different functions with just a click of a button or tap of their scroll wheel. With around 100 different actions and available for up to nine mouse controls, the configurations are almost endless.
Due to this extensive range of options, however, X-Mouse Button Control can seem quite intimidating and complicated for inexperienced users. With no user guide easily accessible through the utility, it will take most users time to fully figure out what they can achieve.