31 Replies Latest reply on May 17, 2018 10:38 PM by Jerry Myer

    Any of you productively use mouse gestures?

    Kevin Andrews

      One of the things that I truly miss in Solidworks (unless someone tells me it does exist and I haven't found it in 9 years) is the "Repeat last command option" for the right mouse button in ACAD. Yes, I will tie this into the mouse gestures in a quick second.

       

      Do any of you actively use mouse gestures? If so, how long did it take you to get used to using them and how do you think it helped with your overall productivity? I have tried using them, even to the point of customizing the options, but I continually forget that they are there.

       

      So, I am contemplating as to whether, or not, I want to try and get them back up and going...but I also wanted to know if there was a command similar to the "repeat last command" that can be implemented into the gesture menu?

        • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
          Peter Kennedy

          I have the measure tool, plane views and then certain commands depending on part/assembly, or sketching, use them all the time.

           

          Edit:

          Looks like you can program repeat last command.

          • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
            Matt Lombard

            don't you use the enter key to do the repeat last command?

             

            I don't use any of the gesture stuff. I never liked it when it came out, and haven't changed my mind about it yet. I use hotkeys primarily.

            • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
              Todd Blacksher

              I have been somewhat slow to adopt ALL of the gestures - I went with them in part and assembly right away for the views & orientation, but I didn't start using them for sketching until a little while back (I still don't use them much for drawings.)

               

              Definitely print out the mouse gesture guide to help you remember everything that you added.

              I say this because you WILL want to add the "Repeat Last Command" to your gestures (as you mentioned), and I would highly recommend adding your "s" key shortcut menu to gestures - this will help you "bridge the gap" if you already use the "s" key a lot.

              todd

              • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                Alex Lachance

                Hey Kevin,

                 

                Not sure if it's assigneable to the mouse gestures but pressing enter repeats the last command.It's also in the keyboard short-cuts so perhaps there is something you can do

                 

                 

                Edit: Looks like somebody beat me to it lol

                • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                  Glenn Schroeder

                  I use them extensively, and don't remember any problems getting used to them.  However, I didn't come from AutoCAD so that might have some bearing, and I don't like keyboard shortcuts (one hand on my regular mouse and one on the 3d mouse) .

                   

                  As far as "repeat last command", as I said, I'm not familiar with AutoCAD, but if you hit Escape to close out a command in SW, then hitting Enter will reactivate it (and no, as far as I know you can't set Enter as a Mouse Gesture).  Edit:  I was wrong.  You can.

                   

                  • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                    Tom Gagnon

                    I productively use only half of the gestures available to me, and have customized it very little.

                     

                    To me, moving away from keyboard command entry was my learning curve. I kept triggering selection filters with keystrokes, and that had to stop. Adopting mouse gestures was an important part of retraining my habits of input for SWx compared to oldCAD.

                    • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                      David Mandl

                      I use mouse gestures.

                       

                      Therefore I am using them productively.

                       

                      It's easily one of my favorite elements of the UI, and I've been aggressively encouraging the other CAD jockeys here to use them.

                      • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                        Dan Pihlaja

                        I am still getting used to them.  One way that I modify my behavior is to make sure that, when I do something in a way that I don't want, or wasn't planning, then I go back and re-do it completely, no matter how long it takes or how much time seems to be wasted.

                         

                        Honestly, I learned this studying addictions over the last 7 years.  LOL  But it applies to everyday life as well.

                         

                        Example:

                        I have the delete key tied into my mouse gestures.  I am getting used to it being there and when I accidentally delete something using my keyboard (and realize what I did), then I CTRL-Z, and then force myself to redo the delete using my Mouse Gesture.

                          • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                            Alex Lachance

                            It is a good way to break habits as it forces you to do it corectly. You eventually get frustrated enough to the point that you think of it before starting something and do it correctly from the get go.

                            • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                              Dennis Dohogne

                              Dan Pihlaja wrote:

                               

                              I am still getting used to them. One way that I modify my behavior is to make sure that, when I do something in a way that I don't want, or wasn't planning, then I go back and re-do it completely, no matter how long it takes or how much time seems to be wasted.

                               

                              Honestly, I learned this studying addictions over the last 7 years. LOL But it applies to everyday life as well.

                               

                              Example:

                              I have the delete key tied into my mouse gestures. I am getting used to it being there and when I accidentally delete something using my keyboard (and realize what I did), then I CTRL-Z, and then force myself to redo the delete using my Mouse Gesture.

                              Dan, I really admire your commitment and self-discipline!!

                              • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                Matt Lombard

                                To me, this is just silly (undoing work only to redo it in a different way). I understand applying it on the academic side of things, but real work is not academic. I doubt a manager would look at that as a productive use of your time, especially since what you are learning is more of a rigid dogma than an improved or time saving method.

                                 

                                There are several ways to measure the efficiency of a method - time, clicks (mouse or keyboard), distance traveled, accuracy required, memory required (brain memory), and others. Gestures require coordinated speed and direction, but you get a break on accuracy of hitting a button because you can initiate it anywhere. It's just harder to initiate the gesture, and before you can react to it, the gesture has either worked or not, so it's a bit of a shot in the dark. Plus, I've had gestures go wrong and wind up with a part flying into blank CAD space. And, you can't put all your tools on the gesture wheel, there's just not enough room. This is why I use hotkeys for as much as possible. You can access more tools faster from the keyboard. Plus, for me, the keyboard is second nature. I don't use the S key, because that just guarantees an extra stroke. I do like the context bars, though, it makes sense that when you select something, you will next want to do something with it. Context bars on the RMB menus are a little counter productive, though, especially for non-experts, since you have to essentially learn all of the context bars by heart so you know where to look for certain tools.

                                 

                                I know different methods appeal to different people for different reasons. I just think you should have a conscious, identifiable reason for choosing a method. Undoing work done correctly just due to interface usage dogma sounds unnecessarily risky.

                                  • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                    Glenn Schroeder

                                    Matt,

                                     

                                    I certainly can't speak for Dan, but it's my impression that he believes using Mouse Gestures will eventually be more productive.  He's losing a little time now changing old habits, but I expect he'll make it up, and more, later.

                                     

                                    And you said that for you the keyboard is second nature.  That's not true for all of us, and while I agree that I can't put all the commands I need in Mouse Gestures, I can get most of them, and certainly the ones I use most often.  I don't have any research to prove it, but I'm sure I can use them faster than taking my hand off my 3d mouse to go to my keyboard.  And I disagree with "It's just harder to initiate the gesture, and before you can react to it, the gesture has either worked or not, so it's a bit of a shot in the dark."  I bring up Mouse Gestures with a small movement of my mouse, and then move to the command I want.  And on the rare occasions that I do miss it takes a very small amount of time to hit Escape (at 1:00 o'clock on my Mouse Gestures in all 4 environments) and then hit the correct one.

                                      • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                        Matt Lombard

                                        Initiating the gesture interface with a gesture is doubly inefficient. I think if you establish some criteria and do a real test on this, you'll be surprised at the outcome. Better yet, have someone else establish the criteria. It's hard to measure the requirements of coordinating speed and direction for a mouse skid. Generally, I get that everybody likes to do things a certain way and will continue regardless of efficiency, and that's ok. I've got no beef with that. I just felt I need to give reasons for what I do. My main complaint was undoing and redoing perfectly good work for the sake of an already questionable benefit.

                                         

                                        A lot of times the limiting factor on work speed is collecting information and making decisions about what needs to be done (basically  - thinking). So the interface method you use only slows things down when you have a series of tasks that don't require a lot of thought. To some extent the interface argument is a little over blown.

                                          • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                            Dennis Dohogne

                                            Matt Lombard wrote:

                                             

                                            Initiating the gesture interface with a gesture is doubly inefficient. I think if you establish some criteria and do a real test on this, you'll be surprised at the outcome. Better yet, have someone else establish the criteria. It's hard to measure the requirements of coordinating speed and direction for a mouse skid. Generally, I get that everybody likes to do things a certain way and will continue regardless of efficiency, and that's ok. I've got no beef with that. I just felt I need to give reasons for what I do. My main complaint was undoing and redoing perfectly good work for the sake of an already questionable benefit.

                                             

                                            A lot of times the limiting factor on work speed is collecting information and making decisions about what needs to be done (basically - thinking). So the interface method you use only slows things down when you have a series of tasks that don't require a lot of thought. To some extent the interface argument is a little over blown.

                                            There are a lot of valid points in today's discussion in this thread and others.

                                            SWX is a tool that we use to get a job done.  The results are more a function of our skill than of the software itself.  Like any good tool SWX helps us to do a job easier.  But the skill of the user is paramount.

                                             

                                            I applaud Dan's commitment to learning a technique that he expects to be superior for him.  But I am with Matt that I am not going to undo work for the sake of reinforcing the learning.  Maybe I'll wire my chair to give a mild jolt instead.

                                             

                                            Personally, I don't use mouse gestures, nor do I use a Space Navigator (I have two for sale if someone is interested - only been used for less than a week and still in their boxes).  I don't have the situation where those speed features are that important to my work.  I do customize my RMB, S-key and toolbars.  My computer is ten years old, though it does have a new graphics card.  I'm designing stuff that has never been done before so the computer and software are waiting on me far more than me waiting on them.  If I had a stack of prints and my job was to convert them to SWX part and drawing files then I'd be all over these other things to eek out any more speed.

                                             

                                            Like everyone else I look forward to the new features and enhancements of SWX, but those things are not as important to me as the software operating reliably, i.e., without crashing or corrupting files.  It might take a year or two of using some new feature before an accumulated savings of even one man-day is achieved, yet a single crash can cost me two to four hours due to lost work, lost confidence in the procedure or finding an alternative, and investigation into what happened, not to mention the time spent to report the problem to the VAR.  For me, reliability rules.  Thankfully, SWX2018 has been very solid from SP0 and since.

                                             

                                            We are all different and have different jobs facing us as well as different backgrounds and skill sets.  What is optimal/preferred for one might be awkward/unproductive for another.  I like coming to this forum and seeing the different things everyone is doing to achieve their work.  I sometimes see some real gems that make me change the way I'm doing things, and there are other times when the technique that someone is raving about makes me yawn or laugh.  It's all good.

                                              • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                                Todd Blacksher

                                                For a really good glimpse into how different people approach the same task differently, one only needs to look to the Weekly Power User Challenges, especially this one -

                                                Win up to 43,000 Points: The 9th SOLIDWORKS Weekly Power User Challenge (August 13th, 2017): Interface in Your Face

                                                I learned a couple of things in this particular challenge, and I even taught others a few things - HUGE Thanks to Alin Vargatu for making it educational AND fun!

                                                I have a ton of respect for Dan Pihlaja's methodology and his eagerness to continue to expand his capabilities. He is not doing anything that is going to lose his company money, it is just an occasional "do-over" to reinforce a new technique. If Dan were to model a part using a particular technique, and later found a new technique that would save him time in the future, I would not be surprised to see him create the part over from scratch using the new technique.

                                                I know, because I have done this many times, and it has saved me a considerable amount of time in the grand scheme of things.

                                                 

                                                Everybody learns and works differently, and the best part of the forum is that we can all learn from people who work differently.

                                          • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                            Dan Pihlaja

                                            Glenn is correct.   This worked for me in many areas of my life.  Take the extra time now to increase productivity in the future.  Maybe it is just a couple of seconds here and there, but over the course of years, it pays off.   It is like spending money to save money.

                                             

                                            Yes, I suppose that there are times, like when the project is due yesterday, or I need a CAD model for a meeting in 15 minutes that was just scheduled, where I will NOT use the aforementioned redo method....but those times are rare.  And, once the training has kicked in to becoming muscle memory, then I won't have to redo anything anyway.

                                        • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                          Tom dunn

                                          I use them, just like anything else, have to get use to them and I hardly ever use the "S" key.

                                          • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                            Dave Laban

                                            Huge fan of mouse gestures, productivity is significantly enhanced just by virtue of slashing mouse miles.

                                             

                                            Put the Shortcut Bar (S-key) on the bottom right of the mouse gesture wheel and you can have a huge amount of commands immediately at your cursor rather than having to go back and forth to toolbars at the edge of the screen.

                                            • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                              Paul Risley

                                              Never used them until 2 years ago.

                                               

                                              Started with 4 simple commands. Used those that way for 6 months. Moved up to eight, it takes time, patience and practice. Now they are so ingrained along with external mouse functionality I use my keyboard during design for text fill and some numerical input and that is about it.

                                               

                                              I encourage everyone here to at least set up 4 gestures just to get in the habit of using them.

                                              • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                                Kevin Andrews

                                                I truly appreciate everyone's contribution to this post.

                                                 

                                                While many of you made several comments on the fact that you did use the gestures, and can be productive, Glenn was the only one who pointed out that you could program the "Repeat Last Command" into the gestures menu.

                                                 

                                                Bonus points awarded to Peter for pointing out that you can program "Repeat Last Command" and to Matt for making me aware of the "Enter" option (I was unaware).

                                                • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                                  Michael Abi-Kheirs

                                                  I specifically use it for mirroring while in sketch mode.

                                                  • Re: Any of you productively use mouse gestures?
                                                    Jerry Myer

                                                    I use a few basic mouse gestures.  I think it is an awesome feature (among many).

                                                     

                                                    (Of course I don't like being forced to snap to midpoints with no means of turning off the feature without disabling other useful functions.  WTH?)

                                                     

                                                    I think puting the REPEAT function on a mouse gesture is fantastic.  Thanks for the idea.