In Windows, your mouse may have a significant impact on your productivity and the ease with which you traverse your system. For some, the mouse’s default behaviors might be a bit unpleasant to use.
There is a lot you can do to enhance the default Windows mouse experience, from needing to flick your cursor to the top of the screen to hunt for miniscule resizing areas on active windows. So, let’s try personalizing your mouse experience using AltDrag, a freeware program.
What Is AltDrag?
AltDrag is a little extension that modifies the usual Windows mouse behavior. Its claimed objective is to allow you to move and resize your windows in novel ways. It does, however, much more than that.
You may use AltDrag to acquire access to functionalities that are normally only available on Linux platforms or other comparable operating systems. The fundamental purpose of AltDrag is straightforward: by holding down the Alt key, you may move and arrange open windows by clicking and dragging.
The application has a plethora of extra features and adjustable choices.
Download: AltDrag (Free)
AltDrag is free to use and installs just like any other Windows software. Setting up AltDrag requires just a few more steps. These are about changing your keyboard settings so that they don’t interfere with AltDrag. These are all optional but will improve your program experience.
AltDrag wants to alter two key settings before installation. It disables the Input Languages hotkey first, and then does a registry modification.
Disable Input Languages Hotkey
This is the first and easiest step in the AltDrag installation. The installer will notify you as to why this hotkey has to be deactivated. This will deactivate your Left Alt + Shift keyboard shortcut for switching between keyboard languages. Have you never used it? Good.
- When asked, choose Open Keyboard Settings.
- Enter Advanced Key Settings and choose Not Assigned for the Between Input Languages option.
If you like, you may use an alternative hotkey combination.
Apply the Registry Tweak
During this installation phase, AltDrag will ask you to automatically apply a change to a registry setting that will make the software work more smoothly. It just takes one click.
Click Enable registry tweak, and you’re good to go.
This setting affects a behavior (since Windows 7) in which Windows automatically disables extra mouse functionalities if they are not utilized for an extended period of time. This might cause mouse software extensions, such as AltDrag, to perform incorrectly, especially if you use the Sleep or Hibernate capabilities.
Again, this is absolutely optional, but highly advised if you want this software to operate well.
AltDrag will launch immediately after installation. The bottom right-hand corner of your screen displays a black cursor with four black arrows.
You may now hold the Alt key, grab a window anywhere on the desktop, then drag the mouse to relocate it anywhere on the desktop.
The simplicity with which you can grasp, move the focus of, minimize, or rearrange your windows is the program’s highlight.
Related: Ways to Fix a Disappearing Mouse Pointer in Windows
You may explore the program’s further levels of functionality and adjustments. Consider the following list to be a cheat sheet for what more you can accomplish with this application right out of the box:
- Drag a window to the side or corners of your screen while holding Alt. This will cause Aero Snap to be activated.
- While holding Alt, use your right or middle mouse buttons to resize your windows.
- While holding Alt and dragging a window, hit the Ctrl key to make that window the active window quickly.
- The Ctrl key can also be used to restrict your actions to a specific monitor if you’re using two or more monitors.
- Hold Alt and double click to maximize or minimize a window immediately.
These are the characteristics that distinguish AltDrag as a strong tool capable of greatly speeding up your productivity. You may simply handle a broad range of windows and documents using just your mouse, without needing to flick your cursor to the top of the screen or look for bothersome resizing locations on your applications.
This initiative, however, does not stop there. You may change a variety of choices.
Take It Even Further With AltDrag
It is simple to navigate the settings menu and configure the software. Configure the AltDrag icon by right-clicking it.
Look at the tabs at the top of the window. AltDrag’s options are divided into four categories: General, Mouse and Keyboard, Blacklist, and Advanced. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the first two since they include the majority of the customizing options.
You may adjust various aspects of the default behavior under the General settings. The first option, for example, lets you choose whether or not using AltDrag on a window makes it the active window. Set this to your liking.
Mimic Aero Snap lets you to “snap” windows to a specified size based on where you wish to move them on the screen. This is a basic feature of AltDrag and is enabled by default. However, some users may find the program’s continual snapping irritating. If you don’t like it, turn it off.
Scroll inactive windows enables you to navigate across inactive windows with your mouse. By default, this is turned off.
MDI support is a bit trickier. This setting controls whether AltDrag may scroll among separate windows within a single application. Consider an image editing software or any tool that allows you to examine and compare numerous documents at the same time. If you’re not sure about this one, switch it on and give it a go.
The rest of these options are pretty self-explanatory.
The term “automatically snap to” refers to how the Aero Snap function works. You may alter this to snap to specific windows or the screen’s boundaries. Aside from choosing the language, you can also have AltDrag start when you log in, hide the AltDrag tray icon, and launch the application with administrator rights.
Mouse and Keyboard allows you to control your mouse experience. Change the behavior of your mouse when holding Alt and clicking a specified button. You may program the three basic mouse buttons, two extra buttons, and your scroll wheel to do certain actions.
Related: Remap Extra Mouse Buttons for Maximum Productivity
As you can see, AltDrag may be configured to meet your specific requirements. You may even remove the Alt from AltDrag and use a new activator key.
Your Mouse Under Your Control
AltDrag is a free mouse customisation program that boosts your efficiency while working on your Windows system. Fewer mouse movements result in reduced wrist strain or other RSI problems. Ergonomics is critical for anybody who uses a computer for business, education, or recreation.
Ergonomics should not end with your software; there is more you can do to reduce wrist strain. Consider getting a new mouse. A vertical mouse, when used with AltDrag, may go a long way.
Of course, AltDrag does not have to be just concerned with improving productivity and ergonomics. It’s entertaining to swing your windows and documents around with no effort. However, don’t neglect the nuances of personalizing your Windows experience. So, why not check at some additional entertaining ways to dress up your mouse?
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