Use Automotive Window Tint To Make A Glass Desk Mouse-Friendly

Lifehacker reader Sean installed a new glass-topped desk for himself, only to find his laser mouse immediately stopped working. The solution wasn't a clumsy mouse pad, but a cheap roll of automotive window tint.

Sean went with a $US10 roll of 5 percent tint, which is less reflective than the other tints at the auto parts store but fits this purpose just fine. After cutting off a test section, he tried mousing over it and was pleasantly surprised at the results.

One somewhat hard to explain caveat, though:

... To be fair, it only worked with my Bluetooth Mighty Mouse. My USB version didn't work at all, but that's OK with me. The great part is that I only used a small square of the tint, and when the one I stuck on my desk starts to get scratched or peels off, I've got about 15 square feet of the stuff left, so I can just cut a new piece and slap it on.

That's in addition to having a mousing surface that stays in place on its own, and can be cut to any size, even irregular polygons.

Got your own optical mouse work-around for a shiny desk surface? Tell us about it in the comments.


    It's more of a general optical mouse pad solution, rather than for shiny surfaces only, but I've found a great pad can be made out of the hard plastic liners found in "Green" bags, and sports bags that give the bottom its shape.

    The "Green" bag ones generally are nice and rough with a semi-irregular pattern, which gives great results for the laser, and they're a perfect mouse mat size :)

      Shockingly, the laws you are describing are very close to our laws on auiblootme window tinting here in New York. I always thought that our window tint laws were among the strictest around, especially because we basically have the most restrictions in the U.S., but apparently we are not alone in this battle! The laws here are as follows:front windshield you may have non-reflective tint on top 6 inches.all side windows must allow at least 70% of light to transmitback windshield any darkness is allowedObviously the side windows are the major restriction, but the most annoying as well because those are the windows most of us care about most anyway! I really wish they would allow at least 50% tint. Great article though, thanks.

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