USB Overdrive lets you control your input devices
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USB Overdrive lets you control your input devices

For the previous decade, Alessandro Levi Montalcini’s USB Overdrive has let Mac customers management and customise their USB mice, keyboards, and gaming units (and, extra not too long ago, Bluetooth mice). USB Overdrive typically supplies extra and finer-grained choices than the software program included with such peripherals, and it typically permits Mac customers to benefit from {hardware} that has no official Mac help.

The most recent model, USB Overdrive 3, capabilities as a 32- or 64-bit System Preferences pane and works in Tiger, Leopard, and Snow Leopard. With the software program, you are able to do issues reminiscent of configure mouse button performance for particular purposes (the appropriate button can act as a double-click within the Finder however as a Save button in BBEdit, for instance); flip a wired or wi-fi Mighty Mouse right into a left-handed machine; or use the particular media keys on many third-party keyboards with out putting in that machine’s software program.

For my assessments, I eliminated Logitech’s mouse and keyboard software program and put in USB Overdrive. I then programmed it to be used with my Logitech diNovo keyboard Mac version ( ) and MX1100 mouse ( ).

The USB Overdrive choice pane.

I used to be capable of set the MX1100’s left button as a single-click, the appropriate button as a double-click, and one of many thumb buttons as a control-click for contextual menus. Clicking on the scroll wheel button activated Dashboard by default, and every part else labored as anticipated. The scroll wheel functioned correctly in all 4 instructions, and the software program gives particular person controls for scrolling pace and acceleration in every course. It’s also possible to set clicks to enter key mixtures, activate system controls, launch purposes, open information or folders, execute AppleScripts, and extra.

I had few issues with the diNovo keyboard, nonetheless. As with many keyboards, the diNovo Edge has particular keys for capabilities reminiscent of show brightness, Expose, Dashboard, iTunes playback, quantity, and utility launching. With Logitech’s drivers put in, these keys functioned correctly. However with USB Overdrive, some keys labored and others didn’t. The developer explains that USB Overdrive typically takes over sections of keyboards (interfaces) that it will probably see, moderately than particular person keys, and that many distributors use non-standard or hidden code for his or her buttons. He has chosen to not try to help particular person units that don’t conform to common human interface machine (HID) tips. USB Overdrive does, nonetheless, embrace some workarounds for particular units.

How have you learnt if a secret is supported? When the USB Overdrive choice pane is open, clicking on a button provides it to the listing of buttons you could management. If you happen to click on on a button and nothing occurs, then USB Overdrive can’t deal with it. Within the case of my keyboard, the keyboard’s particular instructions overlay the F1 to F19 keys, so I might nonetheless activate the keyboard’s built-in brightness controls, for instance, by urgent the fn key together with F1 or F2 (as outlined in OS X’s Keyboard choice pane).

USB Overdrive’s interface will also be a bit of difficult to determine. The 4 choices underneath the Settings tab are Any Mouse, Any Software; Any Gaming, Any Software; Any Keyboard, Any Software; and Any Different, Any Software. As you may guess, these controls are international. To create device- or application-specific controls, you’ll want to select the New Duplicate Settings command to repeat these settings to a brand new set after which assign that set to a specific machine or utility. When you achieve this, you will have full management over your units. Curiously, keyboard configurations don’t present up underneath the Keyboard choice, however moderately underneath Mouse and Different.

Present USB Overdrive customers (the earlier model was referred to as 10.4.8) ought to take be aware that model Three can’t learn preferences from older variations. So when you’ve got a lot of application- or device-specific settings, you’ll must recreate them within the new model. However USB Overdrive Three can now import and export its settings, so no less than you’ll be capable to transfer them from one Mac to a different.

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