Remember browsing the Web before mouse gestures? Neither do we. It’s not because we can’t recall that far back, we’ve just chosen to block out any recollection of wading through cyberspace using only the navigation toolbar. How primitive!
Mouse gestures have become such a popular part of day-to-day Web surfing that it was only a matter of time before someone ported the functionality over to the Windows OS. Enter SrokeIt, a free, open-source utility that brings the magic of mouse gestures to any system running Windows 95 or later.
Step 1: Perform Pre-set Gestures
StrokeIt comes with over 80 mouse gestures out of the box, most of which you’re probably already familiar with from having used Firefox with FireGestures or any other similar add-on. StrokeIt’s gestures are activated in the same manner – just hold down the right-mouse button and perform an action. To navigate left, for example, you would hold down the right-mouse button and drag your mouse to the left. See a full list of gesture actions here, and to see a full list of gestures, left-click the StrokeIt icon in the taskbar.
Step 2: Teach StrokeIt New Actions
In addition to the wealth of actions StrokeIt already comes configured with, you can also create your own. In this example, we want to create an action for the Step Backward command in Photoshop. Left-click the StrokeIt icon and expand the Photoshop tree in the left-hand pane. Click on File>New Action and name it Step Backward. With the action highlighted, select a gesture from the pull-down menu (we chose Left) and click on the Add Gesture button. Now right-click the action and select New Command. Select Keys – Hotkey from the Configure a Command pull-down menu. Finally, click on the Hotkey field and press CTRL+ALT+Z. You’ve just configured a Step Backward gesture for use in Photoshop!
Step 3: Create Gestures for Complex Passwords
The best passwords consist of a random assortment of alphanumeric characters with both uppercase and lowercase letters. The only problem is the stronger the password, the harder it is to remember. That’s where StrokeIt comes in.
Open up StrokeIt and expand the Global Actions tree. Create a new action and name it Password. In the right-hand pane, select Reverse P or any other gesture from the Gestures pull-down menu and click on Add Gesture. Now right-click the new action and click New Command, or press CTRL+N. If you want, give the command a descriptive name, like Banking Password. Highlight the command and select Keys – Password from the Configuration pull-down menu in the right-hand pane, and then enter a strong password. From now on you can use your new gesture rather than manually typing in your super secure password.