Mouse Movements: To Accelerate or Not Accelerate?
Hi guys, welcome back to the Modern Nerd blog. This week I’d like to reframe your knowledge in particular area, the way you control your computer. I recently purchased a new mouse (two in fact, one for my work and one for my home) and it was driven home to me the importance of the right peripherals. You don’t consciously control your hands when you write, when you type, or do simple things, so why take an extra step with your mouse? I’ll explain what I’m talking about in further depth, as well as show you my new choice for a mouse, so read on my fellow nerds.
Increase Pointer Precision and Windows Mouse Settings
If you are searching through your Control Panel and find the Mouse settings, you’ll notice that there are several options for increasing the pointer speed. There is a checkbox under the scrollbar that says increase pointer precision, and on most PC’s it is checked by default. Increase Pointer Precision is also known as the mouse acceleration.
This means that as you move your hand faster, the mouse will move faster. That makes intuitive sense on the surface, but let’s dig a little deeper. If you have acceleration disabled, then there is a point on your mousepad for every point on the screen. Your muscle-memory can interpret this much more intuitively.
You can point your mouse where it needs to be with repeatability, which is the key. When the speed is a factor in the mouse position, you can move it to the same position at different speeds and get halfway there or twice as far. This is something I encourage you to test for yourself, because the explanation through text is not as clear as it might be. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Cool… Now What?
If you want to increase your computing speed over time, then you should disable the mouse acceleration. You will find that your hand more instinctively knows where to go to find the buttons and you can focus on the next thing to click that much faster.
However, not all mice are created equal. If you have a run-of-the-mill cheaper mouse, you could find this a problem because having to pick the mouse up from the range of motion of your hand detracts from the experience. Gaming mice are the answer to this, as they more often than not have dpi adjustment capability and higher-grade optical sensors or lasers. Setting the sensitivity on the mouse is much different than setting the mouse sensitivity on the computer, as the digital enhancement of the mouse position is just like the mouse acceleration, it will produce results that are not as easily repeatable for faster movements. Make sure to set the mouse speed to the middle position in the windows settings and uncheck the mouse precision option for your best results.
One of my favorite video games was the inspiration for this, and I find that everyday and work computing has gotten much faster as well. It is worth experimenting with, to see if you could benefit. Thanks for reading. Check out all of the Modern Nerd content on Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list to get all of the updates. See you in two weeks!