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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps Pick of the Week
The macosxhints Rating:

[Score: 9 out of 10]
Back in 2002, I wrote about Cocoa Gestures as a Pick of the Week. This app let you use mouse gestures to perform actions in Cocoa applications. Since that time, Cocoa Gestures has evolved into CocoaSuite, a more fully-featured (but not free) program that has some other neat tricks up its sleeve. If you're just looking for a simple mouse gestures application, however, FlyGesture is an excellent replacement, and it's completely free. (Note that this more recent hint covered xGestures, another mouse gestures solution that works in many apps.)

FlyGesture is a background application that watches for a hot key (or alternatively a mouse button press) and then goes into action. When it sees its trigger key or button, FlyGesture puts a nice translucent interface on the screen that both shows the gesture you're creating, and tells you (when it sees a match) exactly what will happen, as seen at left. The screenshot shows an "F-like" gesture I created to launch VMWare's Fusion. Gestures are easily added, and can contain any number of steps with many possible actions. For instance, you can open applications, files, folders, and URLs; execute AppleScript code or Automator worflows; type some text; delay for some period of time; activate Dashboard and the various Exposť modes; and even sleep, shut down, or restart the computer. You can string these actions together, much as you would in Automator, to build complex actions based on simple gestures.

FlyGestures is just an application -- you run it when you want it, and there's nothing to install at all. It works in every application I tried it in, including Word and Excel. You'll be able to do more if you know some AppleScript and are using an AppleScript-aware application, but the basic ability to type text with modifier keys (i.e. Command-P for Print) means you can add some functionality to most any program. FlyGestures comes with about 35 or so pre-defined gestures, covering things like opening Mail, iChat, and iTunes; controlling iTunes song playback; opening various web pages, and hiding applications. If you try to define a new gesture that already exists, FlyGestures will put up an alert indicating that the gesture you've chosen is already in use.

I'm primarily a keyboard user, but with FlyGesture, at least I can make my mouse do more when I reach for it...and in some odd way, it's actually kind of fun to make things happen by dragging patterns out with the mouse (or trackpad, obviously). I also like that it's just an application, and can be quit when needed without having to disable it in some other manner. The interface is well thought out, and I'm fairly amazed that it's completely free.
  • Currently 2.00 / 5
  You rated: 2 / 5 (10 votes cast)

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Authored by: wordsofwisedumb on Oct 03, '07 08:36:40AM

xGestures does not use a kernel extension anymore.

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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps
Authored by: Pedro Estarque on Oct 03, '07 09:37:31AM

I can't for the life of me connect to flyingmeat's site. There must be a DNS issue with Brazil. I've even tried from 2 other connections. Can anyone provide the site's IP?

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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps
Authored by: wallybear on Oct 03, '07 10:09:14AM

Just put this openDNS IP in your DNS settings:

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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps
Authored by: Pedro Estarque on Oct 03, '07 12:24:34PM

Thanks wallybear, but it didn't work. I still get "Safari could not open the page because the server stopped responding". And I get the same for ( the author's page )

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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps
Authored by: hamarkus on Oct 03, '07 02:35:00PM
This launcher uses a pretty effective gesture to be triggered:

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FlyGesture - Use mouse gestures in many apps
Authored by: ob1cannoli on Oct 04, '07 10:54:44AM

I love FlyGesture. For MacBook (and possibly MBP users), it works great to set the trigger to command-enter (the two keys to the right of the spacebar) so you can press them both with your index and middle fingers and do the gesture with your thumb!

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