The 6 best apps to automate your keyboard and mouse

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It can take some time to get used to memorizing and using shortcuts. Even if you use different apps with different shortcuts, there are many commands to learn.

But what if you could assign a key or button to do those keyboard shortcuts for you? You don’t have to memorize these commands or even press several keys.

Here are six ways you can save time by setting macro commands on your keyboard and mouse.

1. Microsoft PowerToys Keyboard Manager

One of the most powerful free Windows utilities you can find is Microsoft PowerToys. It has a lot of features like a color picker, FancyZones, and even a quick start guide.

When the Keyboard Manager is enabled, you can remap a key to press shortcuts. For example, you can set F12 to Type CTRL + C and F11 to CTRL + V. So you can press F12 and F11 to run the command when you want to copy and paste something.

Keyboard shortcuts for remapping the keyboard manager

You can also use this tool to remap links. For example, CTRL + E centers the text alignment in Microsoft Word. However, using the same command in Google Docs in Chrome will open the search bar instead.

Through reassignment CTRL + E to Ctrl + Shift + E If you assign it to Chrome.exe, you can use the shortcuts you are used to. This will reduce your confusion when using a new app.

Download: Microsoft PowerToys for Windows (free)

2. Keyboard preferences on the Mac

Mac keyboard shortcut settings

You can assign pretty much any keyboard shortcut to any function in Mac OS, as long as it has a menu title. In addition, every Mac OS for the past ten years has this feature.

By going in System Preferences> Keyboard> Shortcuts, you can define any shortcut. This will activate the menu title you assigned. In addition, you have the option of setting it for just one application or for all of them.

Saving your most frequently used functions can save you time and effort. You can save about 5 to 10 seconds by selecting the item from the menu bar instead of searching for it.

3. X mouse button controls

Settings for the X mouse button control

Most generic or entry-level mice don’t come with custom software to change their settings. But even if your peripheral falls into this category, you can now change your button actions.

X-Mouse Button Control is a lightweight, free-to-use utility that lets you customize your mouse buttons. You have an option of over 100 custom functions per button. You can also change the function of up to five mouse buttons and tilt them left and right.

In addition, you can set up to 10 global presets and an unlimited number of app-specific settings. In this way, you can set up to 90 preset functions per app using global levels.

The only limitation of this app is that you cannot set your own custom macros. But for most users, this should be enough to get more efficient.

Download: X Mouse Button Control for Windows (Free)

4. SteerMouse

Windows users have X-Mouse Button Control to customize their mouse experience. However, if you’re using a Mac, SteerMouse is the next best option.

SteerMouse lets you set custom commands and macros with the click of a button. You can select up to 24 unique functions per button. These are some of the main features that SteerMouse offers its users:

  • Keyboard shortcuts

  • Snap the cursor

  • Click options

  • Scroll options

  • App switching

  • Mission control

  • System control

  • Music control

  • Open files

  • and more…

SteerMouse for Mac home page

Most Logitech mice support this app, including the MX Master 3, G604, and G502 HERO. These mice have many buttons that allow you to set as many custom functions as you want.

Download: SteerMouse for Mac ($ 19.99, free trial available)

5. Key Remapper

Configure key remapping for Key Remapper

If you want more options or organization in Windows PowerToys, this app might be of interest to you. Key Remapper lets you program a key to execute a command, just like Keyboard Manager.

In addition, you can also set a certain state (e.g. press and hold) or even emulate a double press. If you want, you can lock a key with this app.

In addition, it has more powerful uses. You can select more than one app for macro commands. You can also choose one or more apps to be ignored. It’s great for those who use these buttons for specific apps, but not generally.

Another feature this app offers is the ability to organize your macros. You can design your programmed instructions in any way you want. You can even create folders to group them by app or function.

If you’re an aspiring power user who wants everything at hand, this app is for you.

Download: Key Remapper for Windows ($ 49.95, free trial available)

6. Manufacturer software

Most brand name peripheral manufacturers offer software to customize their functions. Some manufacturers, including Logitech, Corsair, Razer, and SteelSeries, offer drivers.

You can use these apps to customize their functions. However, it can vary between different models and manufacturers. Typically, more expensive peripherals have a better chance of shipping with customization software.

Remapping the iCUE keyboard on the Corsair K55

For example, Corsair’s iCUE software enables K55 keys to be reprogrammed. It can be set to reflect keystrokes, mouse clicks, or even typed words. You can also record advanced macros. This method allows you to perform complicated commands with a single touch of a button.

However, the cheaper Logitech K480 does not have these features. The only customization you can make in the Logitech Options app is to change the actions of the F1 through F5 and F12 keys.

Automate repetitive actions

It is common to repeat some actions repeatedly, so program a spare key or button to do this for you. While it may seem difficult at first, it will be well worth the time you save.

Those few seconds eventually add up to huge savings when the day is over. You could finish a little earlier if you automate these buttons.

You can set these shortcuts once and get 15 extra minutes of productivity per day for as long as the computer is useful. It’s fair trade for all the hassle that goes into setting up these apps.


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