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I to have your issues with the space ball working in SW. I have written an enhancement request to 3-D Connexion to get them to address this issue, but they don't seem to be interested as the driver updates repeatedly do the same things. The space ball should follow what the mouse can rotate about in my opinion. In SW 2007 I love the fact the mouse will spin around what is near at hand; the Space Ball should take this lead. This is how the ball acts in Pro-E and I can't understand why it should be different in SW.
After playing around a bit, I found a setting. Under 3Dcontrol pull down menu in SW2007, click on properties. Under options tab, de-select "Scroll Tree Views". This will keep the 3d mouse manipulating the graphics screen no matter where your traditional mouse pointer is.
Also under Options tab, in Part/Assembly, If you de-select "Keep in View" the rotation center is allowed to move off the screen. Now I can zoom to end of long part much easier.
I have one of my buttons set to toggle "Sets Center Point". Works great in the middle of a mate command, otherwise an edge, face, part, &c. needs to be picked to act as a center point.
Mark's upgrade would be perfect