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How-to: Enable Expose and Spaces for the Magic Mouse

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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.

80 Responses to “How-to: Enable Expose and Spaces for the Magic Mouse”

  1. Christian Pursell

    Thanks for these instructions! After restarting my mac (10.6.6) it’s working great so far on my new magic mouse. When I got this mouse I didn’t realize I’d lose two buttons’ functionality (from my old mighty mouse). This tutorial solves the problem, i now swipe left for expose, and right for dashboard.
    Thanks.

  2. Jonathan Finley

    I was really looking forward to this, I followed the steps and I couldn’t get it to work and it just ended up messing things up to where everytime I tried to finger swipe back, it would close the window.
    With a little bit of research I came upon a wonderful program called BetterTouchTool, it did all of this and more!
    So I would say don’t bother with this method and get BetterTouchTool

  3. Charlot

    Since I installed the Multiclutch I am experiencing crashing in ITunes even MS Word… Not sure if related but thought I would flag this potential issue…