The Windows operating system does not provide you with options to configure the buttons of your mouse after your liking. While you can use a five or more button mouse without issues on the system, you are stuck with the default functionality that Windows makes available, which usually is left-, middle- and right-clicking for buttons one, three and two, and page up and down for buttons four and five. If you do not need the page up and down functionality and want to change it to something that you find more useful, you may realize that it is not really that easy to do that.
While you can install a heavy driver package that companies like Logitech, Razer or Microsoft provide you with, it may feel like overkill if you only want to re-map those two buttons and nothing else.
Enter X-Mouse Button Control, a lightweight program for the Windows operating system that you can use to map all mouse buttons and the mouse wheel. I reviewed the program in 2008 for the first time and it has come a long way since then justifying a new review. All you need to do is open the settings menu after installation to configure a profile.
What is interesting in this regard is that you can create multiple profiles that you can switch between easily. This opens up options to create a profile for web surfing, one for coding, and another for working in Photoshop.
A click on the menu next to each mouse button or wheel option displays a long list of functions that you can map to the selected action. Options range from opening important programs such as the Control Panel or Windows Explorer over copying and pasting to switching profiles, running applications and simulating key strokes. The latter options provides you with the means to enter a custom key combination, for instance Ctrl-Shift-Esc, that you want to activate when you press the mouse button.
A selection of commands are available, wait for instance to wait or hold to hold down a key for some time, which you can make use of to customize the command further. Once you are done hit apply to work with the new mouse functionality.
The program makes available additional functionality in its interface. The Scrolling and Navigation tab for instance provides you with access to modify change the default scroll method or invert scrolling, and the Settings button makes available a large list of options that you can modify. From swapping the 4th and 5th mouse button to configuring hotkeys to switch layers and modifiers to temporarily activate a different layer. The options are quite extensive and help you customize your mouse's behavior further. What I particularly like about the program is that it uses a couple of Megabytes of RAM when it is running in the background.
The layers make it an interesting program as it provides you with options to customize the mouse buttons based on your activity on the computer. It is one of the new features that the author implemented into the program.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.