Left Handed Computer Mice – Don’t get left out!
Do you find being left handed a frustrating business? Whether it’s something like not being able to use standard scissors or ending up with an ink-covered hand after writing a few sentences, it is pretty safe to say that at times you have it harder than right handed people. But that hasn’t stopped many sinodextrous people in the past.
When it comes to computers though, being left handed doesn’t make you any less susceptible to problems such as RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). And using your mouse in an asymmetrical fashion (i.e. the left index finger for the left hand mouse button), which many left handers tend to do, is likely to make things even worse! So it is important to get the right equipment. Fortunately there are a number of ergonomic left handed mice out there to help you.
For a mouse that can easily be handled by left handers there are three approaches that you can take:
- use a left handed ergonomic mouse
- use an ambidextrous mouse
- use a conventional right hand mouse but switch the settings to left handed
Left handed ergonomic mice
Left Handed Evoluent Mouse
The Left Handed Evoluent 4 is a wired vertical mouse designed so the hand can work in what is known as the handshake position, providing support whilst avoiding forearm twisting. Unlike many other vertical mice that require you to go into your mice settings, the Left Handed Evoluent 4 possesses a pointer speed button, allowing for convenient adjustment of the speed without even having to change your grip on the mouse. It also allows you to customise the primary and secondary functions of each of its 5 buttons (that’s right 5!), assigning them different functions such as Button 4 to work as an additional backspace key and much more. After altering the settings to match your personal preference, you may not even need to move the mouse or touch the keyboard at all when you’re doing certain tasks. The power is in your hands… Literally!
Left Handed Handshoe Mouse
Next up we have the bizarre-looking Left Handed HandShoe mouse. Resembling a ray fish that you might find at your local aquarium, this mouse is curved so that it almost feels like you are wearing a glove (“handschoen” means “glove” in Dutch) as you effortlessly navigate the page. Your hand and wrist are essentially floating because full support is provided by the mouse, unlike many other mice where you may find your hand resting directly on the desk, often resulting in pain over time. Minimal effort is required to click the buttons, which when combined with the elimination of the unnatural grip that the thumb and little finger maintain whilst using a standard mouse can heavily reduce the strain on the muscles and in effect lessen the strain that causes RSI.
Left Handed AirObic Mouse
Going by the name AirObic (previously Quill mouse), this left handed vertical mouse separates itself from other vertical mice by having a built-in wrist rest to position your wrist in the correct ergonomic position. With this mouse your hand rests in what ergonomists call a Functional Neutral Position that reduces the pressure on the forearm muscles which are constantly being twisted when using a standard mouse. By working in a position that requires very little gripping, the movement of cursor is controlled by the forearm muscles instead of the wrist, making it less appropriate for people who require extreme precision such as graphic designers due to the forearm’s movement being less accurate than the wrist’s. It comes either on its own or as a bundle known as the Virtually Hands Free Mousing System, which includes the AirObic mouse together with the click reduction software, The Nib. This click-less software can automatically click for you when you hover the mouse over something for a selected period of time. Click here for a 30 day free trial of the Nib Click-Less software.
Ambidextrous ergonomic mice
Ambidextrous mice can such as the DXT2 and Penguin can be used by either hand. You have a rocker button that simply changes it from right handed to left handed and vice versa. Some right handed people even force themselves to use the mouse in left handed mode to give their main mousing hand a rest. By switching your mousing hand regularly throughout the day, you can minimise SMS (Static Muscle Strain). Also, the ambidextrous feature of these mice makes it easier for multiple users, some of whom may be left handed, to operate the same PC.
The DXT2 mouse
Starting off with the only compact ergonomic mouse that has been designed to use the precision movements of the hand, the DXT2. Using a similar grip to the one we would use when writing with a pencil, this mouse can be used to perform the most accurate of computer tasks like graphic design work. Being vertical, it reduces the extreme forearm twisting that occurs when using a standard mouse. Its lightweight design reduces the amount of strain on the muscles and the switch on its side allows you to switch from left handed mode to right handed mode in seconds!
Next is another ambidextrous vertical mouse going by the fitting name Penguin. Simply let your hand wrap naturally around its sculpted shape and avoid that awkward forearm twisting as you navigate effortlessly. Your hand rests on its comfortable base, allowing the larger muscles in the forearm to take control over the movement of the mouse. Right arm starting to feel achy? Switch to left handed mode in an instant by pushing the ‘bowtie’ button at the front! To make your way up and down a page, the Penguin possesses an extremely functional scroll wheel, which is accompanied by a left and right click on the front of the mouse where the face of the ‘penguin’ would be.
Other than the mice listed above, most trackballs are effectively ambidextrous providing that the ball is in the centre. Feel free to have a look at some of the other ambidextrous trackball mice we have available:
Kensington Expert Trackball Mouse
Kensington Orbit Trackball Mouse with
Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse
Kensington Orbit 72352 Wireless Trackball Mouse
Switching your mouse from Right Handed to Left Handed
On the other hand (pun intended), you can switch over the primary and secondary buttons on your mouse so that the Right Click becomes the main button. Due to there being a higher percentage of right handers out there, the standard setting for computer mice is the Left Click as the main button and the Right Click as the secondary one. This can be changed though, by following these steps.
For Windows 7
- Click Start in the bottom left hand corner.
- Type “mouse” in the Search area and click on the top entry.
This will take you into your Mouse Settings.
- Tick the box that says “Switch primary and secondary buttons”.
The right click will now become the primary button and the left click will become the secondary button (the opposite of how it normally is).
You will now be able to use your mouse in left handed mode on Windows 7!
For Windows 10
For Windows 10 users, the steps are slightly different:
- Click on Cortana’s ‘Ask me anything’ area.
- Type the word “mouse” into the search area, then click on the top entry.
- Under ‘Select your primary button’, Change the chosen primary button from Left to Right.
You will now be able to use your mouse in left handed mode on Windows 10!
Alternatively there is the free to use SwapOverMouse software which allows you to switch the primary and secondary buttons by simply pressing F12. It also changes the direction of the pointer to make it left handed, as shown in the image below. From our tests this software appears to be compatible with both Windows 7 and Windows 10.
So whether you use a special left handed mouse, an ambidextrous mouse or just minor changes in the settings for your conventional mouse – the choice is yours. But don’t make do with mixed handedness and suffer from RSI symptoms when you don’t have to.