There’s something comforting about software companies that don’t try to hide the purpose of their product by giving it an exotic (but hard-to-decipher) name. Take, for instance, a program called Handbrake. Do you have any idea from the title what that program does? I wouldn’t. (It’s a DVD ripping tool for Mac, in case you’re curious, although there’s nothing about “Handbrake” that gives this away!)
Such is most definitely NOT the case with a handy little utility called LazyMouse. LazyMouse is a single-purpose tool from Old Jewel Software that saves a Mac user a little bit of time and a little bit of effort and only costs a little bit of cash.
LazyMouse (a free trial of this ten-dollar shareware program is available here) does one thing: whenever a dialog pops onto your screen, LazyMouse “sees” this and automatically jumps your mouse pointer so that it is positioned over the default button (whichever button is glowing blue). That’s it. It doesn’t automatically dismiss the dialog after a set number of seconds… it just moves your mouse pointer there, so you don’t have to.
Since LazyMouse is a preference pane, installing it is as simple as double clicking. You are automatically taken to the System Preferences panel, and asked whether you’d like to install LazyMouse for just yourself, or for all users. If in doubt, select to install it just for you. LazyMouse will not work if access for assistive devices is turned off, so if LazyMouse senses this to be the case, you will be taken to the Universal Access preference pane and given the chance to turn on this feature. Once this is done, you are returned to the LazyMouse preference pane.
The LazyMouse preference pane, like all good single-purpose tools, is very simple. You are given the option to turn LazyMouse on or off, and affect its behavior to a small extent. If LazyMouse is turned on, it can be set to move the mouse pointer to either the default button (typically “OK”), or the secondary button (such as “Cancel”). You can also set LazyMouse so that after the dialog in question has been dismissed, the mouse pointer is returned to its previous position.
This is a nice touch, in my mind. What good is a utility that helps me perform half a job (move the mouse pointer TO the dialog), if it doesn’t help me out by taking me back to where I was before? LazyMouse gives me that option.
The only other option in the LazyMouse preference pane is to play a sound when the cursor is moved. I tried this out, and it worked as expected, but I found it annoying after a bit. I realize the mouse pointer moves, and in fact expect it, so I didn’t find the extra bit of confirmation (the sound), to be all that wonderful. Your mileage may vary, of course, and the feature is optional, so no matter what your preference, you’ll be happy.
As mentioned, LazyMouse is not free. A license is available for $9.95 from the Old Jewel Software website, and a purchase can be initiated right from within the preference pane, which is a nice touch. I tend to keep my hands on the keyboard almost all the time, and the default button of a dialog can always be triggered by hitting the Enter or Return key, so LazyMouse wasn’t really “it” for me. Because of this, I’ve since removed the utility, but don’t let that dissuade you from giving it a try. It really is a slick little program, and works just as you’d expect it to. If you’re tired of constantly having to move the mouse back and forth between the program you’re working in and a dialog box that pops up unexpectedly, give LazyMouse a try!