Maya and mouse buttons


I recently replaced my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 1.0 with the new 4.0. I knew the new version had a smooth wheel, but was unaware that the middle mouse button (the wheel) was so hard to press. Not only does it take a strong push to press, but it also has a half a second delay, and if it is not pushed directly downward, it will not work. So to put it simply, the middle mouse button is very finicky and makes panning around a scene very slow. Is there any way to change “pan” to a different keystroke? It would be great if I could pan around the scene by pressing left mouse button and right mouse button simultaneously. Or, has anyone with this mouse come up with a different solution? Thanks! :slight_smile:


Isn’t the mouse just totally wrong? It’s for comfort not for training you’re finger to press hard on the MMB. Don’t think it’s supposed to be, try to change some mouse settings and else go back to the store, rather then changing maya.

good luck


I have had the same problem with my new mouse. One thing that I noticed was that Maya is specifically the problem in regards to the middle mouse button. You DONT have to press hard on the MMB to get it to work, but you do have to wait up to a full second. It just feels like you have to press hard because its SO frustrating that it doesn’t work right. :scream: :sad:

This having been said personally I would be content to reassign the MMB to the thumb button but only for Maya. Unfortunetly the new explorer drivers have taken OUT the feature of program specific assignment of buttons.

So we are left with changing the preferences in Maya. My guess is that there is a way to reassign via MEL script. But unfortunetly I am no expert there.

As a note I have emailed Microsoft with a complaint, again as a legit request for support, and as a suggestion to improve the driver options. All three with absolutly no response. I didn’t expect anything more from Microsoft.


P.S. Nice tast in Music :thumbsup:

KEYWORDS: Reassign MMB (middle mouse button), fix the Internet Explorer 3.0, 2.0 tilt wheel probelm, hotkeys, slow delayed middle mouse button in Maya


I’m using a Microsoft mouse too. I have to say, this is a really great mouse, especially if you have huge hands like me. But intelli mouse software is just… absurd. I mean, I can a dozen of useles functions to extra buttons, but not middle button function :shrug: I wrote them too, but no response. Anyway, I’m using A4Tech drivers and software. Horizontal tilt feature doesn’t work, but middle mouse button more important for me.


I still havn’t had any luck because the v4.0 MMB lags. But the other day I found my old Intellimouse 1.0, which I thought I threw away, sitting beside my garbage can under a pile of paper. :slight_smile: It’s in decent shape, but looks horrible and dirty


All your problems go away if you use a digital pen and tablet. I wonder how and for how long somebody can use Maya with a mouse. The program not only requires very intensive mousing but also forces you to hold most of the time one of the mouse buttons. In addition to this a lot of the menus like right click on an object don’t have diagonal skip making submenu item selections very difficult. I won’t be surprised to hear from people using Maya extensively for years to start complaining from wrist, hand and arm repetitive stress injuries. I’ve suffered from this and I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.


Emil3d, You make a good point there, if you use maya or any other program like photoshop of lightwave for a long time (everyday) you might get wrist problems. Does a tablet it really help that much? I heard it is really easy for things like photsop and some of the Maya features, but can it actually replace the mouse? And is it much faster and easier to use? If so, I might strongly consider it

EDIT, Do you have any suggestions? I just saw a Corel Painter 8 and a Intuos 2 A5 (that’s 6x8 I believe) What kind of tablet do you use? I think a tablet might just solve a lot of mouse and wrist/arm problems :thumbsup:



A digital tablet reduces the risk of RSI a lot. Having said that, I want to clarify that nothing will save you if you don’t take breaks and or change your activities for prolonged periods. I have a regular neck, wrist and shoulder pain on my right arm, which intensifies a lot after extensive computer work and there was several times when the pain was so strong that I couldn’t use my right hand several days for things like unlocking a door or holding a mug. When I don’t use the computers for days or go to a vacation, the pain gradually stops and disappears completely. Sometimes I work on my clients’ equipment using a mouse and the pain comes much faster and with a greater intensity comparing to the similar work and time using digital tablet. My pain is also a good indicator for me of how intensive is my involvement with different programs. For example: 3 hours using Maya is more painful than 3 hours using Photoshop. Here’s what makes the difference: I’ve been using Photoshop for more than 10 years, I’m very familiar with the program and there is no surprises when I use it. My feelings when I use Photoshop are, pleasure when I do let’s say a creative painting, or boredom when I make yet another path selection. During those feelings my body is in a complete relaxed mode and I use minimum effort to gently glide the pen and tap lightly the keyboard. Let’s compare this with my Maya situation: I’ve been using the program for about a year and a half and I find myself familiar with only the tip of an iceberg. Surprises and unexpected results come from left and right. The predominant feelings using Maya are: challenge, frustration, anxiety, excitement, fascination. All of these cause some tension to my body which translates to more intensive physical input. Just one of many examples: in one view panel layout with hypershade window active I click the render icon and I got the message “Please select the view you want to render”. This is an unexpected negative surprise every time I see it again and again, causing frustration with my inability to get used to this nonsense. My natural reaction is a violent movement to click with full fury on the window and repeat the command with much stronger tapping than necessary. At first this reaction may look like nothing serious but working for long hours involving a lot of similar “Maya surprises” will add up to repetitive strain injuries. When I try to watch myself in situations like this I always remember when I was learning to drive a car. I would put so much force holding the wheel and straining my body with excessive tension as if applying all my physical strength would make a big difference in controlling the car. One of my doctors said: this is a personality issue and different people will be affected differently.

Now back to your questions about the tablet. Yes it is much easier, faster and a pleasure to use comparing to a mouse. It may take a few hours or event days to achieve the full comfort but once you get used it you won’t touch the mouse again. There is only one situation where I use the mouse instead of the pen, when I need to click repeatedly on the same spot on the screen like opening multiple files in Illustrator which requires clicking ignore button for missing links or fonts, or like clicking “next” link on Internet forums.

  You should keep your mouse and use it whenever you want.

My first tablet was “Art pad” from Wacom which I got 10 years ago and is still attached to one of my Macs. Currently I am using Intuos 2 on a PC sitting on a fully adjustable keyboard drawer from Fellows which also has a mouse tray and plenty of space to accommodate another mouse on the left side.

Another tip for people with wrist pain: use speech recognition along with your digital tablet so you don’t have to reach for or use the keyboard with the other hand like holding ALT key to navigate. You can just say it. For example I say press w or hold x while I do my modeling in Maya with the pen. I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking from ScanSoft and it’s pretty good even for my bad English. I just spoke this message and the program typed it for me, otherwise I would never type such a long message with my sick hand.



I’m sorry to hear how fu*ked up your hand is. I’m really cautioned about this and I try to let it never happen. One time I got pretty close, I’d gotten some subtle simptones. Right away, I started to exemine my work area and concluded I need to change a lot of things. Now I’ve got a super relaxed and comfortable chair, which gives my body a lot of support, this opposite to just a regular chair. I also changed some desk settings to be sure I had a good amount of arm space and I put my monitor on eye height. I think a tablet is pretty usfull. I’ve looked up a lot of information and I can really see the advantages. I’m thinking of an 6 x 8 intuos 2. Luckly for me, I’m pretty comfortable with Maya and I don’t get a lot of suprises, I’m also really patient with computer programs.

Thanks for charing this :thumbsup:



I too have completely replaced the mouse with a tablet in maya. Takes some getting used to, but worth it. Looking at getting one of those spaceballs now so I can replace the keyboard, unless I need to type something.


What would U use spaceball for? (modifiers?)

I use a mix of tablet (thunb rocker mmb+rmb) and logitech mx500 (using thumb and/or wheel as MMB). Using the pen and tablet has saved my wrist from being completely annihilated. Best to fork out the 10x more $$$ for the long term ergo of the tablet and anyways it’s the most intuitive way to sketch and texture…


I am going to use the spaceball to handle all panning, zoom and dolly movement in the viewport as well as marking menu hotkeys.


I’d love to know if there’s still an option in Maya to use a puck or something like that - You know, I’m left handed: In order to tumble, zoom or pan I’d have to use my right hand to press the left ALT Key and I’d have the stylus in my left hand (I’m using an Intuos 2) - VERY uncomfortable. Instead, it’d be great if you could do all those camera actions with the mouse (without holding ALT) and the rest with the Wacom. I’ve seen an old Alias Demo yesterday on the net and that Puck Feature was built into Maya, so I assume it’s still in there.

Question is if its possible to tell Maya that my mouse is the puck…


Thomas Mahler, I don’t understand the puck feature completely, but I believe you can program the buttons on the pen. So you can program an ALT-button on the pen and only use the pen and no keyboard. This is just what I heard since I don’t own one, yet. I’m still searching for a good store which sells intuos 2’s and isn’t located at the other end of the country. I live in the Netherlands and concluded that a lot of stores sell the Graphire and the other one of which I forgot the name, there are less stores who sell Intuoes 2 :sad:
If anyone’s got some good addresses, PM me please! :slight_smile:

Just a thought, arn’t we stealing aenema thread ? :smiley:
He hasn’t posted in a while :hmm: I hope he doesn’t mind :smiley:


Well, with the Puck Feature in Maya the workflow would feel a lot more like Zbrush, cause you could Tumble, Pan and Zoom with the Mouse and do all the other stuff, like pushing verts around, etc. with your Pen.

And, I know that you can program the Buttons on your Pen, but there are only 2 buttons on the Wacom + the tip itself, makes three overall. And you need these three buttons to tumble, pan and zoom. If you could do all the camera Action with the mouse, that’d be great, you could even throw Marking Menus onto your Wacom!


OMG, I just checked, but you just can’t change the mouse settings. This is sooo strange, you can’t change the mouse settings of Max either :argh: This should really be included!

Just a question,
how can you not use the keyboard? Things like the “g” key or the “w-e-r-t” key’s are just way faster than selecting the options again everytime.

you use the ALT key for every camera action,right, ALT+ RMB, ALT+MMB and ALT+LMB, or at least that’s the way it is over here on my computer :slight_smile:


Absolutely. I have a Logitech MX500 and I’d really like to assign the 2 mouse buttons on my thumb to user_markingMenus, you know… That’d be damn fast. Or execute MEL Scripts with the other 2 Mouse Buttons… Wireframe/Xray… geez…

Just a question,
how can you not use the keyboard? Things like the “g” key or the “w-e-r-t” key’s are just way faster than selecting the options again everytime.

Oh, you got me wrong. Sure, I use hotkeys. But for someone being left handed it’s hard to use the ALT and use your Wacom at a time without crossing your hands! Is it possible to configure the ALT Key? I’d like to use Alt Gr instead, I guess…

you use the ALT key for every camera action,right, ALT+ RMB, ALT+MMB and ALT+LMB, or at least that’s the way it is over here on my computer :slight_smile:

But that’s exactly the point - I guess having another device for just the camera actions would be a great way to sculpt your meshes!


Well, I ALWAYS use the CTRL and the ALT on the left side of the keyboard. I think that’s a lot easier than the right side. If you use the wacom with your right hand, you could acess it without crossing hands. Of course I can’t have a descent opinion sine I don’t have one yet. But I really want to ^.^

I really think they should include a mouse button changing option in any 3d program


I only use my mouse in web-browsers and fps-games, the tablet for everything else. You could easily map left- middle- and right-click to suitable buttons on your pen.

The maya interface with strokes and the hotbox is also designed for tablet use, and you would probably find that your workflow is enhanced if you stop using a mouse…


I think it’s pretty cumbersome to navigate through the hotbox with just the pen, you know.

After thinking about this thread I downloaded the Logitech Drivers for my mouse - I can manipulate all the mouse buttons I don’t really need. What i did was assigning Keystrokes to all the mouse buttons:

The 2 Mouse buttons on my thumb are now assigned to two cool Marking Menus I came up with and the 2 buttons in front and in the back of my mouse Wheel now call MEL Scripts - I press the front button for XRay and the back button for WireFrame. The last button is used to call the Outliner. Pretty neat!