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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mouse and Trackball Setup with MacPymol

I was having problems configuring a Kensington Expert Mouse Trackball to work correctly with the MacPymol protein modeling software on a Mac OS X 10.6.3 Intel Mac.

The Kensington mouse drivers (and specifically their MouseWorks software) has not been updated for several years and they are not supporting the trackball on Mac OS X Snow Leopard. But in fact the software works... MouseWorks is a 32bit version of a Preference Pane and so Preferences will have to shift to that version before you can interact with it.

But with just the trackball on that machine I was not able to configure the buttons correctly. That was the only mouse I had on that machine.

I noticed references in the MacPymol docs saying that the Apple Mighty Mouse with the little ball works well with the software. Even though I don't like that mouse, I did have one lying around so I plugged that it and configured it. With following setup it works as expected with MacPymol:

Left Button = Primary Button
Ball Button = Button 3
Right Button = Secondary Button

In 3-Button Viewing Mode this setup gives you Rotation on Left Button down and drag, Zoom on Right Button down and drag and XY translation on Ball Button down and drag.

Interestingly, once I had the Mighty Mouse setup like this, I could then get the Trackball working correctly. In Kensington MouseWOrks I have it set up as follows:
Left Lower button = Click
Right Lower Button = Right-Click
Left Upper Button = Middle-Click

MouseWorks knows about MacPymol (somehow) and you can setup MacPymol application settings - but I don't have this figured out. Unfortunately I'm not finding any more info in the MacPymol docs/wiki.

Hope this is useful