Recently I tried out a new mouse with my MacBook Pro, a Logitech laser thing that I thought I might be better than the Wacom tablet I’ve owned for years. The tablet’s mouse is actually pretty good, but it’s getting pretty grungy and I never actually use the pen (making the tablet kind of pointless). To my surprise, I found the Logitech mouse totally unbearable — the cursor moved way too fast, seeming to fly across the screen at the slightest nudge. I tried changing the tracking speed in my mouse preferences, but there was no joy: at the lowest notch it was way too slow, and at the second-lowest notch it was way too fast. Is this really how the other half lives? I’d never noticed because the Wacom tablet has its own separate mouse driver, but Logitech’s OS X driver is supposedly horrifically buggy, so I didn’t want to bother with that.
If you google “OS X mouse acceleration”, it turns out that I’m not alone. A lot of people are really unhappy with mouse tracking on Macs. Apple’s own mice must have different tracking from other brands of mice though, because I’ve used plenty of Apple mice and always found their tracking speed fine. But I don’t want a Mighty Mouse or a Magic Mouse, so what’s a poor web designer/developer to do? Continue using the Wacom, I guess, but there must be an alternative.
I took the Logitech mouse back to the store, assuming it might be something funky with mice designed more for PCs, and exchanged it for a cheap Rocketfish mouse that is branded as being for Macs. But the same problem occurred: totally wacky acceleration. This time I googled a bit more, and found out that there is a hidden preference you can change. If you have Property List Editor or BBEdit, edit ~/Library/Preferences/.GlobalPreferences.plist and find
com.apple.mouse.scaling. Mine was set to
0.125 and I changed it to
0.0625. After logging out and logging in, my mouse and my sanity were restored. (If you don’t have Property List Editor, you can also open a terminal window and type
defaults write -globalDomain com.apple.mouse.scaling -float 0.0625.) Other people have found success with a value of 0.03.
I suspect, but have yet to confirm, that if you open the Mouse preferences again, this custom setting will be overwritten.