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I’m pretty ambidextrous, and for various reasons, I’d like a mouse to the left of my keyboard that I can grab with my left hand and also a mouse to the right of my keyboard that I can grab with my right hand.

That means I need the left mouse’s button order reversed, but not the right one’s.

I can reverse the pointers on both mice at once by using xmodmap -e "pointer = 3 2 1" under X11, or on MacOS using their GUI interface, but I haven’t figured out any way to do that so that the two mice behave differently.

An alternative solution would be for the mice themselves to be sufficiently ergonomically enclued that they “know” which hand they’ve been grabbed with and behave accordingly, with mirrored buttons on a left-hand grab, no matter which mouse it is. Is there any mouse on the commercial that’s actually smart enough for this sort of usefulness?

I’ve looked at the near-hit questions, but none of them answer this question definitively. My primary platform is MacOS, and my secondary platform is OpenBSD. I occasionally work on Linux, but only when ssh’d into it, so the mouse would be on the local end I believe.

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This is an interesting problem. I don't know of a software solution, but perhaps a hardware mode to physically swap the button input. More trouble than it's worth I bet, but may be a fun/destructive project. – Melikoth Apr 25 '12 at 19:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For Mac OS X: I haven't used it myself in years, but USB Overdrive (a configurable generic USB HID device driver) can remap buttons and do it on a per-device basis, so you could have a left-hand mouse and a right-hand mouse. It is $20 shareware.

However, research suggests it may be somewhat incompatible with Mac OS X Lion (10.7); there might be comparable other programs but I don't know any names offhand.

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Thanks! I’ll give it a try. – tchrist Apr 26 '12 at 2:07

I faced a similar issue and here's how I solved it (assuming you use a Mac).

  1. Install any USB stand mouse on the left side and change the System Preferences so that the left and right click are mapped appropriately.
  2. Install a logitech mouse on the left (I use a M470) and install Logitech's standard software. By default, the left click on the Logitech is actually a right click (since the preferences for mice were just changed to accomodate the left mouse).
  3. In the preferences for the Logitech mouse, map the left click to the right and the right click to the left. Since the preferences are mapped for a left handed person, the Logitech software changes the mouse to a right-handed mouse.

enter image description here

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Edit the link to the image into your post and someone can incorporate it. – jonsca Nov 9 '12 at 10:05
My rep increased passed 10 since I posted this so I went ahead and added it. – arcdegree Nov 9 '12 at 14:37

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