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I've been looking for a way to have two mouse pointers on my Mac, like this article: http://ohsonline.com/Articles/2004/01/TwoFisted-Mousing.aspx

I've found these threads but no success:

And this is for Windows 7:

Any help?

  • I looked for this because I thought it was something that would be interesting, but it would need such a different interaction and functional design of the OS. How would you cope with which window has focus? If you wanted 2 people doing different things, you would need a way of having separate focus and a way of visually depicting that. – Rikki Dec 23 '15 at 14:03
  • No, it's just a productivity enhancement. Nothing elaborate like a shared computer. – Mark Stewart Dec 23 '15 at 18:47
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Two mice: Yes
First I'd like to point out that the article you linked to is about having two mouse input devices, so you can alternate which hand is doing the mousing, but it is NOT about having two separate mouse cursors. Mac OS X (and every version of Mac OS before it that I can recall) supports having more than one mouse/pointer device plugged in and active at the same time, so you can do what that article suggests.

Two mouse cursors: No
No, there's no good way to have a secondary mouse cursor in Mac OS X, because all the mouse APIs in the OS (and thus all the apps) all assume there is only one cursor. For example, the OS function call for asking the current position of the mouse cursor does not have an argument for the caller to specify whether it's asking about the "first" or "second" (or "left" or "right") mouse cursor. And the return values don't specify a list of mouse cursors and their positions; it just specifies the x and y coordinates of the only mouse cursor.

It's possible there are third-party enhancements for Mac OS X that add support for additional mouse cursors, but the software you use would have to be rewritten to support such an enhancement. So you'd probably be able to use it in some demo app that comes with the second mouse cursor enhancement package, but it wouldn't work in most of the rest of the OS and apps.

If you want multiple points of screen input, go with iOS. iOS's multitouch technology can recognize up to 11 concurrent screen touch points at the same time.

  • 1
    What about having a "fake" mouse cursor that also registers clicks? – Mark Stewart Sep 24 '13 at 0:20
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    @MarkStewart The fake mouse cursor wouldn't change appearance from an arrow to a text insertion I-beam to crosshairs or anything else. And apps that aren't rewritten would probably choke on two concurrent mouseDowns without a mouseUp in between (if you're trying to drag with both mice at the same time, simulating a pinch/spread gesture). In fact, the "fake" idea to work at all, the software would probably have to jump the "real" mouse cursor to where the "fake" mouse cursor is whenever you click the "fake" cursor's mouse. – Spiff Sep 24 '13 at 1:37
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    @MarkStewart, if you just want a productivity enhancement, you should just use BetterTouchTool. If you use it with a trackpad (and BTT does actually make buying a Magic Trackpad worthwhile), you will probably have a better time than you would with two mice anyway. ;) I have customized gestures for every application that I use daily. – Wildcard Oct 18 '16 at 3:42
  • 11 concurrent screen touch points. For your ten fingers and your nose? – setholopolus May 28 '18 at 21:10
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Yes, this is possible, using this system: http://multicursor-wm.sourceforge.net

Through a time sharing system it allows multiple colour coded mouse pointers to appear on a single computer with most functionality including. If you need to drag something it gives each user the option to lock others users out and take full control for a second for the purpose of dragging...

This does require each user to be on a client computer running special software though...

Have not tried it myself as it requires multiple clients and a server, but I would also love to be able to use multiple mice on the same computer.

protected by Community Jun 19 '16 at 7:08

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