Mouse vs Keyboard

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby modularblues » Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:09 pm UTC

When doing Cadence simulations on Linux, knowing keyboard shortcuts really speeds things up.

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Re: Mouse vs Leopard

Postby Pascal C.Plusplus » Sun Apr 01, 2012 4:27 pm UTC

I think that the leopard is faster than the mouse, but I prefer using only the mouse than switching many times from the mouse to the leopard and from the leopard to the mouse.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Apr 01, 2012 8:19 pm UTC

Switching to Gnome Shell, where a combination of mouse and leopard is necessary for basic functions, was a bit of a pain at first, but once I got the hang of it, I'm really comfortable with it. (Switching windows, for instance - it's fastest using both, by tapping the Windows key and then making a big sloppy click.) I don't like dependence on complicated leopard shortcuts on principle - an app needs to be usable at first blush - but the standard things (like copy and paste, search and print, or using Ctrl to move word-to-word or Tab from widget to widget) need to be in place. And there are some cases where an app just has too many features to jam into a sane GUI; in GIMP, I have the leopard shortcuts massively customized and use the leopard as my toolbox.

I really used to think that sticking to one or the other for any given task and suiting the choice to the task was the important thing. Now, I really think that the important thing is just to keep everything that users expect to be available available, from both input devices, according to context and conventions of the on-screen idiom, while keeping that GUI itself as simple as possible. If you're in a text field, Ctrl+Shift+Backspace better damned well work. Likewise, in a document, Ctrl+F. But an app that has navigation features hidden in the accels, without mouse-driven controls for them, is just as nasty as one that leaves out those basic leopard functions.

I hate actual mice, though - I primarily use a netbook with a really nice semi-multitouch trackpad, and there's no reaching around to move between the trackpad and the leopard. (So scrolling is dropping two fingers below the space bar and nudging. That's a hell of a lot better than tapping PgDn or trying to find the scrollbar.)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby walkerm930 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:12 am UTC

Command-tab is the best thing everTM unless you are using windows where it is a window switcher instead of an application switcher.
I rarely use mouse+dock or exposé to switch apps anymore.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:46 am UTC

Really? On the Linux side, the Gnome desktop (and Ubuntu's Unity replacement shell) recently switched from window-switching to application-switching behavior for Alt+Tab, and I can't stand it. If I have five documents open, and they're loaded across three applications, I'm more likely to be thinking about the document I want, rather than the application I want. I really don't get the logic behind that.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby walkerm930 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

I don't find myself doing that very often (most things i use are tabbed) but when I do I guess that's the time for exposé and command-` which is a window switcher (within apps)
However I am still usually only switching between two things. Also I have a Firefox extension that makes control-tab act like a window switcher for tabs (option in tabs mix plus)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby chridd » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:35 am UTC

I don't like how command-tab switches between applications in Mac OS either, but it mostly has to do with the fact that it brings all of that application's windows to the front.
E.g., I have a lot of windows open in application 1, and a lot in application 2, and one window in each that are relevant to what I'm currently doing; I press command-tab to switch from the window in application 1 that I'm interested to the window from application 2, but the other windows in application 2 cover up the window from application 1 that I'm interested, and then the same thing happens when I switch back.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby walkerm930 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:23 am UTC

Huh. I've never noticed that before. You would think I would have, given the amount of time I have spent on the computer. However I do use spaces (multiple desktop, for those who don't know) for many things, kind of like a direct shortcut to an app, though when things do get that messy, exposé comes in (I have it bound to a button on my mouse(wait a second...))

Do other people rarely use the Dock/Taskbar/WhateverIt'sCalledInLinux?
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 6:06 am UTC

Yeah, chridd's concern is part of my issue, too. I like to work with different apps side-by-side, particularly with snapping tiling, and that particular style of application-centric switching just doesn't really work with that. I do make quite a bit of use of (work)spaces, but I still might have four windows on a screen, and one might be maximized - so I'd have to think which apps are which before raising all windows of one application. I do like OSX-style docks over the older-Windows-style taskbars - particularly if they avoid the above problem by making apps with multiple windows trigger an Exposé effect instead of raising all windows of that app.

But yeah, I've preferred just using exposé and Alt+Tab for my main window switching. In the old window manager, Compiz, I had it set up so that batting the upper-left corner with the cursor spread the windows for the current workspace, and it got to be a reflex. Now in Gnome Shell, there isn't really a task list of any kind (there's a "Favorites Bar", but it's ... different) and I'm content to stick with Exposé, which is really nicely handled in Shell (coincidentally a lot like Lion's, which was released later.) It doesn't hurt that they used the same hotcorner I was already trained to. = D

I'd probably need all of that a bit less if tabs in most of the apps I work with weren't more trouble than they're worth; only Chrome really gets them right. (Tabs can tear off and snap back in, a window with no remaining tabs is destroyed, Ctrl+Tab switches tabs, etc.) Again, I don't like having to think about the application while I'm navigating the desktop, and practically any other application will have Ctrl+Tab, but not tearing off, or tearing off, but not snapping back in, and so on. I still use separate browser windows even if it's not a side-by-side situation, though, if I have more than, say, five tabs in a browser. (Just to sort everything out.)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby lorb » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:21 am UTC

Maybe a tiling window manager¹ would fit your needs better? Most of them (that i know) are more tailored to the keyboard-user than to the mouse-use. Imho thats the only reasonable way to go anyway. The Keyboard offers so much more options than a mouse. (imagine writing text with the mouse: probably you would use an on-screen-keyboard)

¹http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiling_window_manager

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby EvanED » Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:09 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:I do like OSX-style docks over the older-Windows-style taskbars - particularly if they avoid the above problem by making apps with multiple windows trigger an Exposé effect instead of raising all windows of that app.

Oh wow, as far as I'm concerned the OS X dock is absolutely horrible for window management. I despise that thing with a passion. (It's terrible for window management because it doesn't deal with windows!) One that gave you an expose-type thing would be better, but I'd still like it less. The one place where it wins out is small screens where there's not enough room to put all the windows on the taskbar at a reasonable size, and even there, Win7's taskbar is better most of the time.

lorb wrote:The Keyboard offers so much more options than a mouse. (imagine writing text with the mouse: probably you would use an on-screen-keyboard)

Imagine doing photo editing in Photoshop with a keyboard.

Or even web browsing with a keyboard -- without extensions, none of the major browsers are really even close to usable for that. Also, it's not exactly a mouse, but I have done a ton of notetaking in OneNote with a convertible tablet, because that works better for me than typing.

Look, it totally depends on what you're doing which is better. Keyboard wins out a majority of the time I'd say, but it's not a universal rule.

(All that said, I use a tiling WM at work and love it.)

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:02 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:Oh wow, as far as I'm concerned the OS X dock is absolutely horrible for window management. I despise that thing with a passion. (It's terrible for window management because it doesn't deal with windows!) One that gave you an expose-type thing would be better, but I'd still like it less. The one place where it wins out is small screens where there's not enough room to put all the windows on the taskbar at a reasonable size, and even there, Win7's taskbar is better most of the time.

Well, to be honest, I was spoiled by DockBarX, which looks like the OSX dock but has the features of Win 7's. Hover the icon for a window list with previews and close buttons, click the icon for an Exposé, middle-click to launch a new window (or just click if there isn't one running,) hover a window list item to "peek." And I do most of my work on small screens, but I've never liked having a taskbar with a bunch of assorted text window names to scan through - in general, I'd rather have layers of small numbers of choices (and bigger click targets) than everything on the surface at once.

In a choice between a Win XP taskbar and an OSX dock - well, um, I'd go with Exposé. = )
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby lorb » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:48 pm UTC

EvanED wrote:
lorb wrote:The Keyboard offers so much more options than a mouse. (imagine writing text with the mouse: probably you would use an on-screen-keyboard)

Imagine doing photo editing in Photoshop with a keyboard.

Obviously there are some programs that are more tailored to the mouse. If a program just does not support the keyboard it will obviously suck at it (think: a lot of flash games) But the general task is very do-able with a keyboard. Inkscape is very keyboard friendly and i don't see a reason why photoshop couldn't be.

EvanED wrote:Look, it totally depends on what you're doing which is better. Keyboard wins out a majority of the time I'd say, but it's not a universal rule.

Yes. I support this but i would go further and state that the Keyboard wins in at least 95% of all tasks.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:58 pm UTC

lorb wrote:Inkscape is very keyboard friendly and i don't see a reason why photoshop couldn't be.

The primary input method for a graphics editor is going to be a mouse, drawing tablet, or touch interface. Full stop. You can assign the keyboard whatever other functions you like, and in many cases, that's necessary, but the basic navigation is spatial, and keyboards simply can't do that freely and effectively. Really. For some applications, the central navigation tool really does have to be pointer input. (In the same sense that for text editing, the keyboard is central and the mouse provides, at most, complementary actions.)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby EvanED » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:15 pm UTC

lorb wrote:Inkscape is very keyboard friendly and i don't see a reason why photoshop couldn't be.

Inkscape and Photoshop are extremely different on a bunch of different counts. The main one of course is Inkscape is a vector program. I can put an object down about where I want it, then fine-tune is location with the keyboard. Furthermore, going left-left-down-down has the same result of left-down-left-down which has the same result as right-up-left-left-right-down-down-left-down-left. (If I counted right.) None of these are true if you're doing a lot of photo-editing type stuff.

And even taking all that into account, I personally think Inkscape would be basically unusable if you just had a keyboard. If I had to pick one or the other for it, I'd choose mouse. (Then again, I have pretty limited experience with it.)

Yes. I support this but i would go further and state that the Keyboard wins in at least 95% of all tasks.

I'd put it a bit lower, at least if you count by "time spent doing a task which is better with a [device]". Maybe 75-80% excluding gaming. Maybe 90% excluding gaming for my temperament & knowledge & workload, but even that is pushing it. (And that's coming from someone posting this from Xmonad!)

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Iranon » Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:32 pm UTC

Keyboard if I know what I'm doing, mouse if I don't.
I can't know what I'm doing if the activity is "browsing" or requires constant visual feedback, like free drawing.

I'll accept both if the mouse actions are spatially intuitive... poor man's tiling by drag-to-edge is acceptable (I went a little overboard and have about 100 window management actions tied to mouse gestures), clicking through long or nested menus feels clumsy compared to keybinds.
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby troyp » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

Keyboards would be much more useful if they incorporated basic pointing and scrolling devices. Laptop keyboards are convenient because the trackpad's right beneath them, and thinkpad keyboards even more so with their trackpoint devices (I'm not as enthusiastic about these as some people, but I still use them because they're just so conveniently placed).

I think desktop keyboards should have a trackpoint and mouse buttons (or else maybe a small touchpad above the arrow keys). Also, they should have a scrollwheel, maybe a small one between the " and enter keys (not a proper rolling wheel, but one of those small wheels or levers that you push up and down with your fingertip).

Some keyboards do have a "continuous" input in the form of a volume knob, which I guess software could utilize as a scrolling device, but I've never heard of this being done.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:09 am UTC

I'd still prefer the trackpad under the spacebar, honestly, or to the right of the ten-key. With a multitouch trackpad, you get scrolling built in, and not just vertical but horizontal as well.

(There are good and bad trackpads (and drivers), and I think the quality needs to be far more consistent than it is, because it's many a time I've picked up a friend's notebook to find a stuttery, erratic mess where the trackpad's meant to be. And even with a rock-solid trackpad, you don't have the pinpoint accuracy of a mouse. But even if they're lacking for, say, doing artwork, a well-designed trackpad can be a very ergonomic way of getting around a UI.)
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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Derek » Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

I've never had much luck using a laptop track pad and keyboard at the same time though. I'll frequently use a mouse + keyboard at the same time though. In a well-designed interface you don't even need to move your hand back and forth, you can just have one on each. Of course, for typing you'll want two hands on your keyboard, but that doesn't mean there is no place for a mouse in a text editing interface. Any interface designed exclusively for one or the other is a poorly designed interface.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby shepard1166 » Thu May 17, 2012 4:14 am UTC

Hows about desktures? Video tracked deviceless no touch interface.... near-zoom gesture recognition is a right now technology. Im thinking that we will see this in the marketplace within the next 2 - 3 years (or sooner)... good or bad?

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby troyp » Thu May 17, 2012 3:09 pm UTC

Well implemented, it would be awesome. I suspect the first commercial versions will be lame though.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby dalcde » Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:06 am UTC

It depends on how often you use it. I do a lot of text editing so shortcuts in emacs is faster than the mouse. In inkscape, which I don't use often, mouse is probably faster.

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I had to rename nearly a hundred files without batch rename. Instead of right clicking every file, I decided that I learn the shortcut - F2. It was a lot more efficient since I repeated the same shortcut for many times.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Servant-of_Christ » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:07 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:The xkcd blag a while back treated the concept of one-handed keyboards just by mapping the opposite side's keys over like a mirror. A few of us actually put a system together for it on Windows using AutoHotKey, and it works pretty damned well. You really don't have to relearn *anything* - it seems that your muscle memory is just finger-specific, and it's trivial to translate it over to using the same finger on the other hand.

The only problems I had were with numbers, which still aren't as natural to type for me as letters.


do you still have the script? I'd love to try it.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Derek » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:33 pm UTC

Servant-of_Christ wrote:
Xanthir wrote:The xkcd blag a while back treated the concept of one-handed keyboards just by mapping the opposite side's keys over like a mirror. A few of us actually put a system together for it on Windows using AutoHotKey, and it works pretty damned well. You really don't have to relearn *anything* - it seems that your muscle memory is just finger-specific, and it's trivial to translate it over to using the same finger on the other hand.

The only problems I had were with numbers, which still aren't as natural to type for me as letters.


do you still have the script? I'd love to try it.

I don't know about his script, but I've seen autohotkey scripts that do the same thing before. Just search for "One handed keyboard autohotkey".

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby tkbx » Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:26 am UTC

I guess it depends. I imagine it's easier to control a computer with a mouse, but I hypothesize that a leopard would be much faster in any other scenario.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Trasvi » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:51 am UTC

I can't remember where I saw this, but:

The 'is mouse better than keyboard?' debate is a bit like saying 'are pedals better than steering wheels?'.

Sometimes you can get by with just one, but the vast majority of the time you need both. They're complementary, not competing.
For example the Ctrl+XCV hotkeys are so popular (I would hazard a guess that they are the three most widely known hotkeys across all computer users) because they are designed to be used with the left hand in conjunction with a mouse in the right. Photoshop can't be controlled effectively with just a mouse (and I don't think it could be controlled at all with just a keyboard). Is there any particular reason we need to choose one method over another?

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby 4=5 » Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:22 am UTC

I prefer mouse + keyboard + chorded-keyboard.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Foxical » Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:31 pm UTC

I prefer using the keyboard when I can. Much faster for me.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby Shef_ » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:15 am UTC

it really depends on what I'm doing. When coding/writing an essay, of course I'll use mostly keyboard shortcuts, because the main action is typing. When browsing though, I lay back and try to not use the keyboard and do everything with the mouse.

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Re: Mouse vs Keyboard

Postby eternalfrost » Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:40 am UTC

For coding, keyboard is better since you need both hands anyways. Anything that is not directly typing text is done with keyboards shortcuts.

For 3D CAD engineering work, mouse (preferable with a few extra buttons) with left hand on WASD like you were playing a first person shooter. This way you can spin models around and select features with the mouse and do all of the most common functions with hotkeys conveniently bound to the left hand position.


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