Windows only: The experimental chromegestures extension for Google Chrome adds a full set of mouse gestures to those using the development releases of Chrome.
Firefox 3.5 includes support for the multi-touch features of the latest and greatest MacBooks, but leaves out a “twist” motion that moves forward and back through browser tabs. A quick about:config hack brings it back.
Windows: StrokeIt, a background application that converts mouse gestures into software actions, has updated with support for Windows Vista and 7, a portable edition, and built-in gestures for Google Chrome and Safari.
Most of the multi-touch gestures available to iPhone and Apple laptop owners don’t require anything special, hardware-wise—except a patent licence from Apple. Linux users, however, can get some of that multi-finger goodness in three quick steps.
Windows only: Application launcher Magic Formation adds a circular dock that can be triggered by hotkeys or mouse gestures—just draw a circle on the desktop to make it show up. Using the application is fairly simple—just invoke it with your mouse gesture; adjusting the mouse gesture sensitivity through the options dialog is probably necessary to trigger the dock more easily. There are plenty of other advanced options in the preferences, from using a hotkey to trigger the dock to assigning a mouse key instead—making this interesting application worth a look for anybody in the market for a better application launcher. Magic Formation is a free download for Windows only. For more ways to quickly access your programs, check out the five best application launchers, or get full-featured mouse gestures with previously mentioned gMote.Magic Formation [via Shell Extension City]
Firefox only: Easy DragToGo is a Firefox extension which enables interaction with highlighted text and images via mouse gestures. Text actions are determined by whether or not the highlighted text is a URL or not, and by the variables you assign in the preferences menu. An example setup, and my current one, is that all non-URL text when highlighted and dragged becomes a Google search. Drag up to search in a new foreground tab, drag down to search in a new background tab. You assign gestures to opening new URLs, searching text, and saving images. The amount of movement required to trigger the assigned action in Easy DragToGo is minuscule, which makes for some wonderfully lazy mousing. Easy DragToGo is free and works wherever Firefox does. Easy DragToGo
Windows/Mac/Linux (Firefox): Drag & DropZones is a clever interface tweak that allows you to perform nearly any action or search by dragging any page element—a link, email address, image, or page itself—onto a transparent grid you set up. In other words, instead of right clicking an image to save it, you’d simply grab it and drag it onto the “Save Image” box that pops up when you start dragging. Similarly, highlight and drag text to search any of the search bar engines you’ve set up. Drag & DropZones’ context offerings go a bit beyond what Firefox offers, and it’s fully customisable in colour, size, and transparency. Drag & DropZones is a free download, works wherever Firefox does.Drag and DropZones [Mozilla Add-ons via Webware]
Synaptics, the driver provider for the majority of laptops with trackpads, is rolling out an upgrade that allows for two new types of finger movement and application control. Similar to MacBooks, the Synaptics upgrade lets touchpad users flick two fingers across their pads to scroll through items or change modes. More intriguing is the “ChiralTouch,” which detects circular trackpad movement and converts it into scrolling or rotation. Synaptics says that more than 100 apps currently support the new motions, with more to come. To get in on the new scrolling, check with your laptop manufacturers’ support site (or Windows Update) to see if an updated driver for your model is available. ChiralMotion Technology [Synaptics via Gizmodo]
Linux only: Easystroke, a free mouse gesture manager for Linux systems, makes the often quirky business of summoning applications, web sites, and desktop actions with your pointer a simple affair. After installing Easystroke and adding it to your startup programs, it sits in your icon tray to register movements and add new ones. By default, it only records mouse gestures made when the middle mouse button is held down, and it’s surprisingly intuitive at knowing what you wanted. Let’s take a look at how to set up Easystroke to help you get at frequently-accessed site, desktop manipulations, and favourite programs with a flick of the wrist.
Windows only: Free application Mazzick is a simple mouse gesture utility that you can carry on your USB thumb drive. Using Mazzick is simple: just invoke it using one of the default shortcuts (like holding Shift, for example), then draw the gesture you want. Creating your own custom gestures—like my ‘l’ for Lifehacker gesture in the screenshot—is a breeze. If you’re a fan of saving time and keystrokes with global mouse gesture tools like prevously mentioned StrokeIt but feel lost at a computer without your favourite gestures, the portable Mazzick could be just the ticket for you. Mazzick [via Shell Extension City]