80 Comments

Summary:

So you’re loving your brand new Magic Mouse but are missing the ability to activate Expose and Spaces right from the mouse? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Using SIMBL and a neat little preference pane called MultiClutch, we can map our own custom shortcuts […]

magicmouse

So you’re loving your brand new Magic Mouse but are missing the ability to activate Expose and Spaces right from the mouse? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Using SIMBL and a neat little preference pane called MultiClutch, we can map our own custom shortcuts to the left and right swipes coming from the Magic Mouse and have them activate Spaces and Expose instead of navigating forward and back.

Getting Setup

The first thing we need to do is to get MultiClutch up and working in a 64-bit Snow Leopard world. MultiClutch, like a lot of apps relying on InputManagers, kind of got gimped when the new big cat showed up. Luckily though, a recent fork in the project now allows for its plugin to be loaded through the latest SIMBL release.

You can find some detailed instructions on how to get MultiClutch up and running from the source of the new plugin, but essentially what you need to do is:

  • Install the original MultiClutch application.
  • Install the latest version of SIMBL.
  • Download the forked version of the MultiClutch plugin and load it into the SIMBL plugin directory at /Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins.
  • Go in and remove the old version of the MultiClutch plugin from /Library/InputManagers.

Adding Shortcuts

Once you have MultiClutch up and running, open its preference pane and add new gestures for Swipe Left and Swipe Right and then assign them each key commands. If you’re configuring for use with Spaces and Expose you’ll have to use one of the function keys. You may have to do some shuffling around depending on what function keys you already have mapped. I used F1 and F2 as they weren’t already mapped to anything.

MultiClutch

Then just go into your preferences for Expose and Spaces and set Activate Spaces and All Windows to the corresponding key command you used in MultiClutch. Since we’re using SIMBL you’ll have to quit and relaunch any applications that were already active when we started in order for the system to pick up our new shortcuts when that application is active.

Caveat Emptor

Obviously this is not an ideal solution, and ultimately it would be best for Apple to build in some customization options for Magic Mouse gestures right into the Mouse preference pane. As with anything that is this hacked together, your milage may vary, but I’ve been using it for a couple days now and it’s working great. On the whole I really love the new Magic Mouse but not having my Expose and Spaces was a bit of a deal breaker for me. Hopefully this will at least be able to tide us over until a more solid solution comes along.

  1. That’s a lot of work just to enable Exposé and Spaces on the Magic Mouse. Good thing I never used the mouse for those features. However, I am missing the middle click that opens new tabs in safari :(

    Share
    1. Bryan Schuetz Monday, November 2, 2009

      @bakerjam You could just re-map one of the left-right swipes to open new tabs in Safari, using the process above.

      Share
    2. I did too, use this program, it works for the Magic Mouse as well =)

      http://clement.beffa.org/labs/projects/middleclick/

      Share
    3. This works fine, after a few minor freeze-up’s of the preference pane, which went away with a force quit. Sounds complicated, but is really simple enough to follow. Note: only left & right swipe seem to really work, rotate for example didn’t.

      Share
    4. I made something just for the magic mouse , http://vladalexa.com/apps/osx/magicprefs/ , it even allows binding of specific portions of the mouse , binds like holding down both mouse buttons , and real-time live display of the finger movements on the top of the mouse.

      Share
    5. Vlad Alexa… seriously awesome app man. Easier to use than the one sponsored by this article actually.

      Share
    6. Vlasalexa – thansk for sharing this awesome app for the magic mouse. love the extra features. works great!

      Share
    7. MagicPrefs is a free tool on the Apple website that works amazing! Very customizable. Heres the link

      http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/magicprefs.html

      Share
      1. thanks, this official app is working great. appreciate the link

        Share
  2. That might be an option except that I use the swiping motion to navigate around zoomed-in work in CS4. Thanks for the tip though!

    Share
    1. perhaps you can swipe up and down with this application. can you try it and post here please?! i want to buy a magic mouse,but this lack of buttons stopped me.

      Share
  3. As far as I know, Multiclutch only worked on certain applications, or at least used to when I installed it on my Macbook Pro (probably cocoa ones, as iTunes would not respond to swipe input). Are these shortcuts and swipes really global, or tied to the active aplication as a keyboard shortcut would be?

    Share
  4. Couldn’t get it to work. The Pref pane wouldn’t load and it kept forcing me to install the old input manager (which I deleted in step 4).

    Tried about 4 times, kept restarting, no go. I give up.

    Share
  5. i did in different way: i use hot corners functionality! System Preferences -> Exposè -> Active screen corners

    Share
    1. That’s what I’m doing for now.

      The mouse hardware & software can support gestures that enable spaces & expose. I think Apple wanted to keep it simple since this mouse ships w/ all new iMacs.

      My opinion: it’s a step backward and sucks that Apple abandoned some core features built into the Mighty Mouse (that came out in late 2005).

      I used middle ball for “all windows”, side buttons for “desktop” expose commands. I also want pinch and zoom on the magic mouse. This stuff can be done as the sensors support it.

      Share
    2. haha you opened my eyes to an easier to use mac, thanks man.

      Share
  6. Bryan Schuetz Monday, November 2, 2009

    @Yeray In the above scenario the multiclutch plugin is working through SIMBL so as applications are launched its bundle gets added in. The gestures work for me in iTunes.

    @Adam Sorry you couldn’t get it to work. It might be worth noting the MultiClutch preference pane was not re-written with the new plugin so when you open it System Preferences will need to switch over to 32 bit mode (it will switch back to 64 when you close it). But this should not add back in the old input manager you removed.

    Share
  7. I am having issues with the SIMBL plugins & folders. I can’t find them under application support (doesn’t install or something?) what version OS does this work on? I really want this to work as Expose is the biggest downfall of my new magic mouse.

    Share
    1. Bryan Schuetz Monday, November 2, 2009

      Chad if you don’t see the SIMBL/Plugins directory under /Library/Application Support then you might want to check ~/Library/Application Support.

      Whether or not you choose to install it for all users or only the current user will determine whether or not it installs in the root or in the current users home directory.

      Hope that helps.

      Share
    2. As far I know, if the folder not present, you have to create it manualy.

      I am using SIMBL on SnomLeopard for Megazoom, it’s worked.

      This is one drawback feature with MagicMouse. With MightMouse I am using its middle click for expose. I will sure going to miss it when I had those new iMac.

      Share
    3. Still can’t get it to work. Tried it on 2 different computers installed both and can’t find the folders they install on either. I got it working once but it was only for select programs (still running in 32bit) so who knows… very, very bummed.

      Share
  8. I would definitely recommend Expogesture
    http://ichiro.nnip.org/osx/Expogesture/index_en.html
    which doesn’t need any complicated setup.
    Download, run, and there’s no third step!

    Share
    1. Excellent suggestion man!! its an awesome app and I was completely unaware of its existence! solved my only complain about the magic mouse!

      Thanks!

      Share
    2. It’s great, simply great :) Thank you for the suggestion!

      Share
    3. Expogesture is great. Thanks for mentioning it.

      It has 6 gestures you can map key combo functions to.

      The clockwise and counter-clockwise gestures are perfect for Show Desktop and Show All Windows.

      Share
  9. I can haz real double click to mean middle click? I actually really dislike swiping, I sometimes swipe my mouse off my desk ^_^

    Share
  10. SIMBL doesn’t load itself into the finder upon login – so gestures don’t work in finder until it’s manually relaunched. Anybody have a solution for this? Besides writing a script to relaunch finder on login, since that seems ridiculous?

    Share
    1. and just for reference, that’s what I’m doing now, and it works just fine – I wrote a relaunch finder login (can be found on google fairly easily) and set it as a login item, loading SIMBL and thus multiclutch into the finder as well as any other application as it loads. a lot of work, but man it’s nice to have swipe left as expose. so natural!

      Share
    2. @Reed that’s a great idea. Unfortunately there’s no getting around the need to relaunch Finder once SIMBL is running. Doing it automatically as a login item at least takes some inconvenience out of it.

      I actually restart my machine so rarely that I don’t mind having to just run a quick KillAll Finder from the QSB once in a blue moon.

      Glad to hear it’s working for you.

      Share

Comments have been disabled for this post