mouse keys as shortcuts: how to label them?

Wout Mertens wmertens at
Sat Jun 7 21:22:05 BST 2003

My mail to the xfree guys about this was never answered.

I think you can safely say that all programs assume that button 4 means up
(or down, what was it).

This means that people with 5 button mice need to shuffle the buttons
around for the wheel to work. How you do it is, you tell X:

  Buttons 7
  ZAxisMapping "6 7"

and then you run once the display is up:

  xmodmap -e 'pointer = 1 2 3 6 7 4 5'

If you don't do it this way, the buttons that the wheel are mapped to are

This will also work for mice without wheels, I'm sure.

So you can say "Scroll Up" and "Scroll Down" for buttons 4 and 5 and
mention somewhere how you should tell X about your mouse.

Frankly, I think all of this is pretty broken :(


On Sat, 7 Jun 2003, Ellis Whitehead wrote:

> Hi all,
> I've started working on a couple wish-list bugs
> ( and
> relating to using the mouse for
> shortcuts.  The two main requests are for using the side buttons for:
> 	- back/forward in konqueror
> 	- moving/resizing windows
> My question is how should we label the buttons?  I've only thought of bad
> solutions so far.  It would be easy (but sometimes wrong) to do just use the
> following:
> Btn	Label
> 1	"Left Mouse Button"
> 2	"Right Mouse Button"
> 3	"Middle Mouse Button"
> 4	"Scroll Wheel Up"
> 5	"Scroll Wheel Down"
> 6	"Left Side Mouse Button"
> 7	"Right Side Mouse Button"
> Currently, buttons 4and 5 (as labeled by X) seem to be hard-coded to scroll-up
> and scroll-down in Qt.  Some mice have extra buttons, but no scroll wheel.
> In such a case, clicking one of the extra buttons is like moving the scroll
> wheel one notch.  The hard-coding is quite unfortunate, because it makes
> using mice with more than three buttons a pain to set up.  However, there is
> no X function for querying which 'buttons' are for the "ZAxis", as far as I
> can find, so I don't think Qt could rectify the problem.
> If I label button 4 "Scroll Up", then those users without a scroll wheel will
> get falsly labeled side buttons.  Label it "Button 4" would be quite
> confusing to the majority of users, though.
> And there are of course special mice with many buttons, where this typical
> button assignment might not apply at all.
> Unless the X developers implement a buttonmap framework (i.e. keymap for the
> mouse), I don't think there will be any good solution.
> I think the best course of action would be to go with the mapping I listed
> above, since it'll be ok for most users.  An alternative would be to set up a
> "button label configuration" page, but I'm not especially inclined to do so.
> Any suggestions are welcome, otherwise I'll go with the above for now.
> Thanks!
> Ellis
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