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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 8 out of 10]
Having a large screen, and often walking away from my machine, I admit to having a soft spot for utilities that help find the mouse cursor when I return to my machine. That's why both Mouseposé and Mouse Locator have been prior Picks of the Week. This week's entry is the third such utility that I've chosen as a Pick...but to say OmniDazzle is just a mouse location utility is shortchanging everything this little application can do.

OmniDazzler features eleven different "effects" you can apply to your mouse. These vary from a simple bullseye cursor to comic style "bammo!" splashes to highlighting the active window to drawing a highlight shape around something on your screen to the visually engaging pixie dust mouse trails. The interface for selecting these effects is an innovative little browser window with panes for each effect, as seen at right. As you click each pane, that interface comes forward, showing a small demo of the effect, as well as its available settings. Since it's hard to describe, I recorded a brief movie (333x285 [276KB] or 666x569 [696KB]) showing it in action.

One downside of this interface is that it will suck up some CPU power -- about 25% on my Dual G5, and 40% to 50% of my MacBook, depending on which effect is on screen. But once you've chosen an effect and closed the window, OmniDazzle takes no appreciable CPU until activated. Even then, CPU usage is much less than when browsing the effects interface. Using Pixie Trails, for instance (which is so interesting you'll find yourself moving the mouse just to watch it), I saw about 12% CPU usage on the G5, and 30% on the MacBook.

Each effect can be activated by either a keystroke, a press of a mouse button, or by simply moving your mouse back and forth a few times ("shake"). Many effects have multiple configuration options to help you get just the effect you're looking for. Once active, the effect will stay active until you toggle it off again.

OmniDazzle won't replace Mouse Locator for the simple task of locating my mouse when I return to my desk, simply because it lacks an "activate after X minutes of no motion" setting. But for giving presentations, or highlighting things in video recordings, it will be a welcome addition to my toolkit. And thinking forward to April 1st, installing it on someone's Mac and setting the pixie trails activation to a mouse click will bring some interesting results :).
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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: PancakeMan on Jun 22, '06 07:47:29AM
"Product page" link needs fixing. Correct link is http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnidazzle/.

Anyone mesmerized by the Pixie Trails should also test out Quicksilver's gesture triggers.

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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: robg on Jun 22, '06 09:59:42AM

Fixed the link, thanks...

-rob.



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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: dmydans on Jun 22, '06 10:00:08AM

Anyone have comments on Pinpoint?
This has been my choice for years.
A transparent blue cursor that's always visible.
It sometimes lags behind,
but CPU usage seems low.

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ttfn Dirtbagg



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Wow, Focalpoint!
Authored by: thinkyhead on Jun 22, '06 08:28:27PM

I think I might just leave the focalpoint effect on almost all the time! It makes screen clutter matter so much less.

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Wow, Focalpoint!
Authored by: PancakeMan on Jul 04, '06 08:42:58AM
I can't vouch for it - I haven't bothered to try it myself - but you may want to check out Zazen.

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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: Akira on Jun 23, '06 03:16:00AM

Although I admit it looks both fun and functional, is something like this really worth 15 dollars?



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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: mici on Jun 23, '06 03:10:56PM

Frankly, it is not worth the $15. The only worthy function - the mouse focal point - is around for some time in Mousepose (freeware). The mouse trail is old news too, albeit more processor intensive. Follow Mouse does it well, and for free. Other features are too obnoxious to be useful. Plus, my biggest gripe, the effect selection interface is somewhat pointless CoverFlow ripoff. Just my 190 idr.



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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: Riker29 on Jun 23, '06 07:58:27AM

I wish this had a real "mouse trails" capability. It seems like some features are close, but not quite the same as mouse trails.

If you use a super-fast mouse sensitivity, you know how great such a feature would be.



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OmniDazzle -- Add visual highlights to mouse movement
Authored by: wibbble on Jun 23, '06 12:34:06PM

It might be worth mentioning in the article body that it has high enough video card requirements to exclude a lot of Mac OS X machines - including all iBooks.



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FREE alternative...
Authored by: ChaChi on Jun 23, '06 03:57:22PM
iCursor is a similar application that's free.

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