The people I work for gave me a new computer with Windows 7 64-bit on it. However, they put 32-bit versions of AutoCAD 2004 and 2007 on it. It doesn't seem to be possible to use a Wintab 1.1 tablet in Win 7 64-bit with any 32-bit versions of AutoCAD. This is a real productivity killer for me, since I have been using a tablet with a 16-button puck in AutoCAD for years. My tablet configuration not only uses all sixteen buttons for commands and snaps, but also another fourteen buttons with the SHIFT key and another fourteen buttons with the CTRL key. It sounds like a lot to learn, but I had them all down in a couple of months, and I've been using them so long they're practically second-nature to me.
I looked around and found that there are a couple of manufacturers who make mice with lots and lots of buttons. Hard-core computer gamers use them for MMOGs ("massively multiplayer online games") such as World of Warcraft. The one I ended up getting is the Razer Naga Molten Edition. You should see this thing, it's great! It's got a red backlight behind the logo that pulses on and off. A more subtle feature, but one I like a lot, is a very comfortable molded finger-rest for your ring finger. From the AutoCAD user's point of view, the real eye-catcher is on the left side of the mouse, a 12-button number pad which you operate with your thumb. There are also two more thumb-buttons toward the front (that is, the side the wire comes out of), the standard right and left click buttons, and a click-and-scroll wheel.
If you look at ACAD.MNU or at the "Mouse Buttons" section in the CUI dialog box, you'll see that in theory you could assign various commands to mouse buttons 3, 4, 5 and so on at least up to 10. Unfortunately the Naga doesn't work that way. When you click one of the number pad buttons, the operating system does not interpret this as a high-numbered mouse button, but as either a keyboard click on a number key or a on a key in the numeric key pad (there's a switch on the bottom of the mouse which chooses this). So, just using the mouse without configuring Razer's mouse driver, when you click the "6" button on the side of the mouse, it's the same as pressing the "6" key on your keyboard.
But when you download the latest mouse driver from Razer's web site and install their fancy mouse driver, you get the option to assign keyboard and/or mouse actions to all the buttons on the Naga. So I came up with a scheme that allows me to assign a total of 38 commands to the buttons on the Naga, in combination with no key, or the SHIFT key, or the ALT key. First, I created a profile in the Naga driver and added a bunch of macros.
Here's how to do that. One of the macros I created is called "button_03," and consists of the key combination "CTRL" + "3". In the "Manage Macros" tab you click the "New" button, and a box pops up where you type in the name of the proposed new macro. Now click the "start recording macro events" button (the one with the bright green circle). Press the "CTRL" button and hold it down, press and release the "3" button on the keyboard (that is, _not_ on the numeric key pad), and then release the "CTRL" button. Now cllck the "end recording macro events" button (the one with the white square). You'll see the keyboard actions in the window: the first line is a down-arrow and "Ctrl," the second line shows something like "0.499 seconds delay," the third line shows a down-arrow and "3," then the next is "0.093 seconds delay," then an up-arrow and "3" signifying the release of the "3" key, then another delay such as "0.369 seconds delay," and finally an up-arrow and "Ctrl". You can right-click on any of the lines in the window and delete or edit it; I edited all the delays so they would only take 20 ms.
I created macros for "Ctrl" + "n" where n is a number between 3 and 9, or the "UP", "DOWN", "LEFT", "RIGHT", "END", "HOME", and "INSERT" keys. The next step is to assign these macros to the thumb grid and to buttons 4 and 5 on the mouse, which you do in the "Assign Buttons" tab in the Naga driver interface. So once you have done this, if you press the "5" button on the mouse's number pad it is as though you have pressed "CTRL" + "5", and so on.
So now you can go into the CUI command in AutoCAD, and go to the "Keyboard Shortcuts" section. This is where you assign various functions and snaps to key combinations. AutoCAD already uses "CTRL" + "0", "CTRL" + "1", and "CTRL" + "2" for pre-defined keyboard shortcuts, which is why I didn't make a mouse macro for these key combinations. In the upper-left part of the CUI dialog box, click the little "+" to the left of "Keyboard Shortcuts" so it shows "Shortcut Keys" and "Temporary Override Keys". Now in the lower-left of that dialog box is the "Command List" with a great big long list of commands in it. Let's say you want to assign the "line" command to the key combination "CTRL" + "3". Scroll down until you see "Line" in the list. I see three commands named "Line" in the Command List. Click on any one and you'll see the menu commands associated with that command in the "Information" box at the lower right. Here's one that shows the macro
OK, now click on that line in the Command List and while hoding the mouse button down, drag and drop it on "Shortcut Keys" under "Keyboard Shortcuts" Now you see a new copy of it below "Shortcut Keys." When you click on this, you'll see its properties in the "Properties" box in the lower right of the CUI dialog box. Now click the right side of the white space labeled "Keys" under "Access" and you'll see a button with an ellipsis ("...") appear. Click this button and a box pops up asking you to "Press New Shortcut Key." Now press the "CTRL" and "3" keys and you'll see "CTRL + 3" in the box, so click the "OK" button. What's kind of nice is that AutoCAD also allows you to assign a different keyboard shortcut to "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "3", and yet another keyboard macro to "CTRL" + "ALT" + "3". So if you have made a keyboard macro for the "3" button on your mouse which delivers the equivalent of "CTRL" + "3", when you hold down the "SHIFT" key on your keyboard and click the "3" button on the mouse it will send "CTRL" + "SHIFT" + "3" to AutoCAD.
Thus with a relatively small amount of effort I assigned a total of 36 commands to the number pad on the side of the mouse. I also assigned the menu command ";" (this is the equivalent of pressing the "ENTER" key) to the front/side button (the Naga software calls this mouse button #5) and the menu command "^c^c^c" (the equivalent of pressing the "ESCAPE" key three times in a row, to cancel out of nested commands) to the rear/side button (mouse button #4). I'm not nearly as fast as I used to be with my Summasketch's 16-button puck, but I'm already getting the hang of it in just a couple of days; it won't be long until I won't have to look at the mouse to do what I want. Plus, unlike the tablet, this mouse has a scroll wheel which gives me extra-quick zooms and pans, which I like a lot. So if you're an old digitizer user who misses all the buttons you used to have, you might want to give this fancy button-covered mouse a try.
I started with Acad in '85 with version 2.6 and have always used a 16 button puck. Although I have version 2004, I still use Rel-12c4 (dos) for production cad work - mainly because I'm so much faster on it. I started once to migrate over to my 2004 version but never got comfortable with the new digitizer. Based on your success, I ordered this mouse and will again try to make the switch. Now if I can just remember menu customization.......
I just bought this same mouse today and then I found your post. Must be something in the air. Anyways, I just finished programming some of the buttons and it works well.
I went over to my Summagraphics station and I must say I do prefer it but since digitizers are going the way of the dinosaur I am going to make the effort to switch to a mouse. And if I have to switch, this mouse is awfully nice to start with so I can't complain. I also upgraded to 2013 from R14 two days ago. If you can remember that far back R14 has a zoom window or arial view for moving around the drawing. 2013 doesn't have that feature. I just realized that you have to have a mouse with a scroll wheel to do fast zooms in and out when you work in 2013 so if I tried to put a digitzer in place I could no longer move about the drawing very quickly. That would be a big problem.
I guess the Summagraphics tablet is finally done. RIP old friend.
BTW, Walt, you don`t need to necessarily customize the AutoCAD menu to use this mouse. You use software that comes with it and you assign keyboard commands to it such as the letter è`to one of the mouse buttons and then when you are in AutoCAD you press that button and it executes the letter e which of course is the same as you typing e to start your erase command. Really simple stuff.
You don't need a scroll wheel either: just like R14.
You might want to grab a good book to explore AutoCAD since R14, core features have not changed. Your observations are wrong.
Pendean, I think JFWall is talking about the old aerial view they had back in R14, not the "zoom window" command. I vaguely remember that thing; it was a little window that showed you your entire drawing extents, and you could move a little box around in it, and wherever you put that box would be what the main graphic screen would display. So if, for example, you are working zoomed in close on fine details at the Southwest corner of a site, you could easily go all the way to the Northwest corner of the site in one jump. Aerial view was pretty a cool feature, but I didn't have enough space on my monitor to use it all the time. Nowadays I have two graphic monitors and lots of screen space, so I wonder if there is anything like it in R18.
JFWall is right that you can assign sequences of keystrokes to the side buttons on the Naga, but I couldn't figure out how to get the buttons to do second and third commands if you held down the Shift or Alt keys while clicking them, except by fiddling with the keyboard accelerators in the AutoCAD menu. Another feature of the Naga software is that it can assign different profiles hooked to to different programs, so for example you can make the buttons do one thing when you run acad.exe and a different thing when running photosle.exe.
Here is the list of mouse assignments and keyboard shortcuts I came up with. Some of the CUI macros I had to make new (mainly for my own crappy programs), but most of them I just picked off the list. It took about 3 months before I had all these memorized so I don't have to look at the mouse and I get what I want better than 99% of the time. I think the most useful part is to have all those object snaps one click away, where I don't have to look away from the screen or move the cursor to get them.
Mouse key Macro name Keyboard equivalent Front button_home ctrl+home Back button_end ctrl+end 1 button_up ctrl+up 2 button_down ctrl+down 3 button_03 ctrl+3 4 button_04 ctrl+4 5 button_05 ctrl+5 6 button_06 ctrl+6 7 button_07 ctrl+7 8 button_08 ctrl+8 9 button_09 ctrl+9 10 button_left ctrl+left 11 button_insert ctrl+insert 12 button_right ctrl+right (typical macro: Ctrl v, 0.020 delay, Right v, 0.050 delay, Right ^, 0.020 delay, Ctrl) CUI/Keyboard Shortcuts/Shortcut Keys/ Arc CTRL+ALT+3 ^c^c_arc cancel_3 CTRL+END ^c^c^c Center CTRL+4 _cen Change CTRL+8 $M=$(if,$(eq,$(substr,$(getvar,cmdnames),1,4),GRIP
),_change,^C^C_change) chgstyle CTRL+ALT+9 ^c^c^c(if (null C:CHGSTYLE)(load "sellayer"));chgstyle chlayer CTRL+ALT+6 ^c^c^c(if (null C:CHLAYER)(load "sellayer"));chlayer Copy CTRL+5 $M=$(if,$(eq,$(substr,$(getvar,cmdnames),1,4),GRIP ),_copy,^C^C_copy) delta CTRL+SHIFT+RIGHT ^c^c(if (null C:DELTA)(load "delta"));delta Distance CTRL+RIGHT '_dist Endpoint CTRL+UP _endp Enter CTRL+HOME ; Erase CTRL+6 ^C^C_erase Extend CTRL+SHIFT+5 ^C^C_extend Fillet_r_0 CTRL+SHIFT+6 ^c^c_fillet;r;0 Insert CTRL+SHIFT+4 _ins Intersection CTRL+7 _int Lalist CTRL+SHIFT+9 ^c^c(if (null C:LALIST)(load "lalist"));lalist Layer Properties Manager CTRL+ALT+DOWN '_layer Line CTRL+3 ^C^C_line List CTRL+9 ^C^C_list matts CTRL+ALT+4 ^c^c^c(if (null C:MATTS)(load "matts"));matts Midpoint CTRL+SHIFT+7 _mid Move CTRL+DOWN $M=$(if,$(eq,$(substr,$(getvar,cmdnames),1,4),GRIP ),_move,^C^C_move) Nearest CTRL+SHIFT+LEFT _nea Node CTRL+SHIFT+UP _nod Offset CTRL+SHIFT+8 ^C^C_offset otherend CTRL+ALT+UP (otherend) Pan CTRL+INSERT '_pan Perpendicular CTRL+LEFT _per Polyline CTRL+SHIFT+3 ^C^C_pline Quadrant CTRL+ALT+LEFT _qua setlayer CTRL+ALT+5 ^c^c^c(if (null C:SETLAYER)(load "sellayer"));setlayer setstyle CTRL+ALT+8 ^c^c^c(if (null C:SETSTYLE)(load "sellayer"));setstyle Tangent CTRL+ALT+7 _tan Trim CTRL+SHIFT+DOWN ^C^C_trim Zoom_d CTRL+SHIFT+INSERT 'zoom;d zoom_p CTRL+ALT+RIGHT 'zoom;p zoom_w CTRL+ALT+RIGHT 'zoom;w
I used the macro function on the mouse software to record multiple keystrokes and then assigned the macro to a numbered key on the side of the mouse. Only problem is once you finish recording the macro you have to go back and edit the timing between each keystroke so the implementation of the macro is much faster. It works really well. I also reassigned command alias's to single letter abbreviations so they were easier to use as simple commands assigned to a numbered key on the mouse.
And thank you, the zoom window I was referring to was exactly what you were describing. Maybe I should have been more exact in my terminology. This feature was only in R14 and R2000. Previous versions of AutoCAD used the same features as todays versions but we had third part apps to help us move around move efficiently. That little zoom window called "Lighting Zoom" was one of those apps and it cost me $500 for the app just to have that functionality. But when I started working in AutoCAD Release 9, some 25 years ago, we needed all the help we could get to move about a drawing with some degree of speed so that window was really important and I find it hard to give up even now.