I want to reduce the amount of unnecessary mouse clicking and key pressing for the health of my fingers. How many ways are there to reduce the number of them? I've already switch the amount of clicking to open a file from 2 to 1.

I am using Windows XP.

  • Learn all of the Windows hotkeys. Winkey+D is a good one. Press it twice for even more fun! – Breakthrough Jul 12 '11 at 1:52
  • also, dont underestimate a keyboard with seperate numpad and a trackball. does wonders for shoulders. – Sirex Jul 14 '11 at 7:32


  • Use a mouse gesture program, stroke-it is good and free.
  • Use a hotkeys program, I like Macro Toolworks.
  • Use a command line program, slickrun is free.
  • Create shortcuts that you can run from Start, Run...
    • First create a folder on your start menu, call it cutlink. Append the path to cutlink folder to your Path environment variable. Create shortcuts to popular apps, documents and folders using the following conventions:
      • All application shortcuts should start with a dash, followed by one or more letters abbreviating the name of the program... '-w' for MS Word, '-fw4' for FireWorks version 4, etc
      • All document shortcuts start with an exclamation point, and follow a similar naming scheme
      • All folder shortcuts start with a pound sign '#' and abbreviation
  • Use the 'favorites' folder/menu in explorer, to do this effectively, put a shortcut to favorites IN favorites
  • Use a predictive typing program, 'Phrase Express' is nice.
  • Get yourself an extensible text editor, learn it, stick with it, extend its capabilities. Notepad++ is nice.
  • Use a window positioning program, 'ReSizer'
  • Try switching the primary and secondary mouse buttons, you may find it less strenuous to have the primary click being done with the middle finger.
  • Try adopting a 'non-home-keys' method of typing if you are using that, fluidity may be more important than speed if you are trying to reduce RSI
  • Learn as many keyboard shortcuts as you can.
  • Use Launchy or a similar utility for launching programs.
  • Learn to touch type.
  • Get a touchpad and set it to interpret tapping as a click. Apple's Magic Trackpad is nice.
  • Get a notebook-style keyboard with low profile keys.

You could adopt X11 style copy-n-paste. In Copy-and-paste between overlapping windows Olivier Chapuis and Nicolas Roussel make the case that "X Window copy-and-paste is faster" in all the cases they examined. PDF here.



Probably the biggest and most beneficial change is learning a new keyboard layout. Here is some background.

The current layout QWERTY was developed to slow down your typing. Early typewriters would jam because people were typing to fast for it. So thus, the inventor created the QWERTY keyboard.
Fast forward 100+ years. In the age of quad cores, 8GB RAM, multimonitors, iPhones,and GPS, we are still using a keyboard developed back in the dark ages.

Consider this on the keyboard

  • Most words you type will allow you to alternate hands. This is by far the most efficient methods
  • The most common letters are on the home row
  • All the world record for typing are held by DVORAK users.

The proof is in the pudding!!!

Typing is probably the single most popular task that we do on the computer. Thus any benefits will forever change your computing habits.

  • I don't see how this reduces the number of actual keys you need to press... – Breakthrough Jul 12 '11 at 1:51
  • Ergonomics is more than the number of keys your press. If anything, the distance to the keys, position of your hands and the angle of your fingers are bigger factors. As bad ergonomics take its toll, you become tired, fatigued and make mistakes, which will increase the number of actual keys you press. Speed is but one pillar. Reliability, which is the ability to function in a less than 100% state, also affects performance. And picking a keyboard that decreases finger travel helps in that area while also maybe reducing your futre medical bills. – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 2:12
  • There are also "chorded" keyboards where you barely move your hands and fingers at all. – Keith Jul 12 '11 at 2:27
  • Yeah, the stenographs. Those are the third rail of keyboards. Court reporters regularly reach 250 wpm on those bad boys. On top of that, their accuracy has to be 100% or you get a mistrial. . . – surfasb Jul 12 '11 at 2:42
  • -1 Dvorak is a lie. reason.com/archives/1996/06/01/typing-errors Moreover, this doesn't really apply to the question. – Flimzy Jul 12 '11 at 8:10

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