EDA > Altium Designer

What mouse do you use in Altium?

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PJ Bain:
Hi all,

My work provided very basic Dell mouse is pretty much dead. Unfortunately they won't supply anything other than the basic kit mouse so I am looking at buying my own.

Not really worried about the 3D side of Altium, we use it, but my main focus is to try to lessen my dependence on keyboard shortcuts during schematic editing and PCB layout. Problem is the 3D is where most of the reviews tend to focus.

I looked at the CADMouse Pro, nice mouse with the radial menu popup with 4 to 8 shortcuts.
Also looking at multi-button types like the Razer Naga Pro.
The Razer Tartarus Pro keypad looked like another good option.

Anyone use either of them successfully? Any software issues? Can both be setup to have different shortcuts depending on the environment (i.e. SCH VS PCB).
Any suggestions or first hand experience would be appreciated!


Any old mouse will do. I also have a space mouse for panning around in 2D and manipulating the board in 3D. The button on the side of the space mouse is handy for view fit and snapping to 0 rotation. It is also great for routing in 2D. I could see where having a numpad on the side of your mouse might be nice for routing. Many of the hotkeys for routing are numbers.

I use a CADMouse Pro; it works very nicely. I like the dedicated middle button; pan & zoom in 2D/3D with the middle and right mouse buttons is very efficient. I also have their SpaceMouse; I got it for MCAD stuff but it also works great in Altium 2D & 3D mode.

A space mouse is a great help in Altium's 3D mode (especially because some of the 3D Body commands disable the regular mouse-based 3D view control for some stupid reason).  It's also very useful in other 3D applications of course.

I'm surprised you want to *decrease* your use of the keyboard in Altium, the mnemonic/hierarchical keyboard shortcuts are one of the UI things they got really right IMO (well, except where there are inconsistencies between sch and pcb that I keep tripping over  :P).  They're super fast when you get the hang of them.

Personally I use a Logitech M510 on all my computers, mainly because the forward/back buttons are essential, but for CAD productivity I switched to a keyboard without a number pad and put a separate number pad on the left side, so I can use it with my left hand while the right stays on the mouse.  Being able to hit the numpad +/- keys for layer changes, or Tab then type in a number without taking my hand off the mouse is a significant ergonomic improvement.   Using a keyboard without a number pad means that I can have space mouse, numpad, keyboard, and mouse all within a comfortable width. 

This is the number pad I use: https://www.amazon.com/KcBlue-Mechanical-Numeric-switches-Computer/dp/B08QZQ6L88/
The backspace and tab keys are especially useful, and the mechanical keys are similar to the ones on my main keyboard which is nice.  I have a little 3D printed thing that connects it to the main keyboard and props it up to a similar angle so it's almost like one device.

Get whatever mouse you are comfortable using and an extra numpad or small macro keypad to map commonly used shortcuts to.
For me, I got razer viper wired with optical switches, but preferences vary widely.


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