Author Topic: What mouse do you use in Altium?  (Read 2109 times)

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Offline PJ Bain

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What mouse do you use in Altium?
« on: May 21, 2021, 03:28:07 am »
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!

Thanks
Pete
« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 05:00:47 am by PJ Bain »
 

Offline Pseudobyte

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2021, 05:51:39 pm »
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.
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Offline jmw

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2021, 06:26:28 pm »
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.
 

Offline ajb

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2021, 08:06:05 pm »
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.
 
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Online thm_w

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2021, 08:18:55 pm »
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.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2021, 09:43:32 pm »
A Logitech MX does me fine (I use this because of the scroll auto-clicky/smooth feature, not appropriate to Altium but a must everywhere else). Spacemouse for 3D and 2D when I remember.

The Altium keyboard shortcuts are a good timesaver if you can remember them. I'm experimenting with a StreamDeck which has the benefit of not only being an extra keypad but shows pretty icons on the button to remind you what they do. It will remap the buttons depending on the active app but, sadly, it can't tell if you're doing schematics or PCB so switching between those two modes is a manual button stab. Although I got it primarily to deal with the HUGE number of Altium shortcuts, it's very useful elsewhere - starting common apps, for instance, is quicker than navigating the start menu or browsing the desktop shortcuts, and then once you're in that app the app-specific keymap can be used. Expensive, though.

(Every time I go to look at Kicad I think "wish this would know of a spacemouse and use it properly". At some future time I can see I might be fence-sitting on whether to seriously get into Kicad, and that one feature will knock me off the far side.)
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2021, 04:13:25 am »
(Every time I go to look at Kicad I think "wish this would know of a spacemouse and use it properly". At some future time I can see I might be fence-sitting on whether to seriously get into Kicad, and that one feature will knock me off the far side.)

An engineer with 3Dconnexion, who make the SpaceMouse, has posted on the Kicad developer mailing list about how they can add Kicad support to their product. Of course now that I'm looking for those messages I can't find them.
 

Offline apurvdate

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2021, 12:10:07 pm »
I'm OrCad / KiCad user. But I use my gaming mouse. Usually any gaming mouse will have facility to maintain 3-4 profiles in its software. With separate key mapping or keyboard shortcuts (with ctrl/shift & such) - specific profile can be triggered with specific program execution.
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2021, 12:11:33 pm »
Quote
An engineer with 3Dconnexion, who make the SpaceMouse, has posted on the Kicad developer mailing list...

Ah! That might be a good low-hanging fruit for them to take up.
 

Online paf

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2021, 10:11:16 am »
Upfront disclaimer:  I am not a CAD user.

After having some issues with my wrist, I changed to trackball, and now I won't go back.

My suggestion:
https://www.trackballmouse.org/elecom-m-ht1drbk-huge-wireless-trackball/ 

Reasons: Lost of extra buttons and the trackball is on top. With the trackball on the side, your thumb is more "stressed".

 
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2021, 09:03:14 pm »
Upfront disclaimer:  I am not a CAD user.

After having some issues with my wrist, I changed to trackball, and now I won't go back.

My suggestion:
https://www.trackballmouse.org/elecom-m-ht1drbk-huge-wireless-trackball/ 

Reasons: Lost of extra buttons and the trackball is on top. With the trackball on the side, your thumb is more "stressed".

The Kensington Expert Mouse trackball has been my go-to for more years than I care to admit. Everything else is just crap.
 

Offline penfold

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2021, 11:22:43 pm »
The Kensington Expert Mouse trackball has been my go-to for more years than I care to admit. Everything else is just crap.

Interesting! I used one of those a couple of years ago and for general mouse usage, I thought it was amazing and that "orbit" scroll wheel is brilliant. However, I only had the opportunity to try it out with CADSTAR as far as CAD, and I can't say I found any advantage over a regular mouse. So, unfortunately, that soured my experience a little for CAD and I never bit the bullet to buy one for myself since going self-employed and using Altium.

I find a TenKeyLess keyboard and a separate number pad on the left-hand side gives a descent ergonomic and puts the majority of the keyboard functions in a descent reach of the non-mouse hand. It seems to reduce a lot of the back and forth between mouse and keyboard I was trying to reduce.
 

Offline Bassman59

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2021, 01:08:48 am »
The Kensington Expert Mouse trackball has been my go-to for more years than I care to admit. Everything else is just crap.

Interesting! I used one of those a couple of years ago and for general mouse usage, I thought it was amazing and that "orbit" scroll wheel is brilliant. However, I only had the opportunity to try it out with CADSTAR as far as CAD, and I can't say I found any advantage over a regular mouse. So, unfortunately, that soured my experience a little for CAD and I never bit the bullet to buy one for myself since going self-employed and using Altium.

The Expert Mouse Advantage © ® ™ is that after a day of working on the computer with it, my wrist doesn't hurt. It has nothing to do with whether it is "better" for a given application.
 

Offline penfold

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2021, 10:51:23 am »
The Expert Mouse Advantage © ® ™ is that after a day of working on the computer with it, my wrist doesn't hurt. It has nothing to do with whether it is "better" for a given application.

Well, I seem to have completely forgotten which "mouse maneuvers" it was in CADSTAR (which I hope never to use again!) which made it totally unuseable (I think it was dragging whilst holding the middle button to "pan" and some of the "gesture" inputs). Either way, I'd happily take "adequate" over "prohibitively difficult" as an excuse to buy myself one (now that the CADSTAR days are over).
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2021, 01:08:11 pm »
Quote
After having some issues with my wrist, I changed to trackball, and now I won't go back.

My suggestion:
https://www.trackballmouse.org/elecom-m-ht1drbk-huge-wireless-trackball/ 

Got one of those, tried to use it for a bit but went back to the old Logitech MX. But that's me - have to say that I've tried trackballs on and off since Yourdon and Hercules graphics cards, and I never got on with them even slightly. But I could imagine using the Elecom for real if I had to. Definitely one of the better ones, albeit not what you might call small or subtle.
 

Offline trevwhite

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #15 on: May 25, 2021, 02:17:11 pm »
Been using a Logitech trackball for years. I find them brilliant and cant see my going back to a mouse any time soon.


Trev
 

Offline PJ Bain

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2021, 11:39:41 pm »
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.

I should clarify sorry. I want a quicker method with less hand/arm movement to access all the common shortcuts. With a multi-button mouse I was hoping these macros could be assigned to a particular button to make the process faster and with less physical movement. Shortcuts on the keyboard whilst quicker than accessing the toolbar with the mouse pointer are still a bit clunky as quite often it is a series of at least two keys that need to be pressed.
 

Offline PJ Bain

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2021, 11:43:34 pm »
The Altium keyboard shortcuts are a good timesaver if you can remember them. I'm experimenting with a StreamDeck which has the benefit of not only being an extra keypad but shows pretty icons on the button to remind you what they do. It will remap the buttons depending on the active app but, sadly, it can't tell if you're doing schematics or PCB so switching between those two modes is a manual button stab. Although I got it primarily to deal with the HUGE number of Altium shortcuts, it's very useful elsewhere - starting common apps, for instance, is quicker than navigating the start menu or browsing the desktop shortcuts, and then once you're in that app the app-specific keymap can be used. Expensive, though.

The StreamDeck looks pretty cool. Similar idea to the Razer Tartarus Pro keypad I am looking at. And yes the Altium keyboard shortcuts are great... if you can remember them!
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2021, 12:01:52 am »
Quote
Razer Tartarus Pro

Gosh, that's rather expensive for what it is. The big advantage of the Streamdeck, and the only reason I got mine, is the mini display in every keytop so you can program some image or even treat it as an actual display (an example supplied shows real-time CPU usage). So far as I can see, the Razor lets you change the colour, but you still have to remember what that means.

Oh, hang on, it's an entire game pad and not just the keypad. OK, perhaps not that expensive, then :)
 

Offline PJ Bain

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2021, 12:13:57 am »
Quote
Razer Tartarus Pro

Gosh, that's rather expensive for what it is. The big advantage of the Streamdeck, and the only reason I got mine, is the mini display in every keytop so you can program some image or even treat it as an actual display (an example supplied shows real-time CPU usage). So far as I can see, the Razor lets you change the colour, but you still have to remember what that means.

Oh, hang on, it's an entire game pad and not just the keypad. OK, perhaps not that expensive, then :)

Yeah I really like the idea of being able to program the image to the key of the StreamDeck, that would make life much easier! It doesn't look that ergonomic though...
 

Online dunkemhigh

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2021, 12:36:43 am »
As standard it isn't. Someone 3D printed a holder so it would fit a Spacemouse (a bit like the Razor fits that pad), but I didn't get a wireless spacemouse just to 3D print a cable tether for it!
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2021, 08:41:16 pm »
3dconnexion cadmouse + spacemouse
Professional Electron Wrangler.
Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: What mouse do you use in Altium?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2021, 07:46:54 pm »
My mouse of choice these days is the Logitech G300 which has six extra finger buttons and pretty good macro (gaming) software to take advantage of them.
 


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