Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Drawing with a mouse wheel

I like the Mac approach to selecting icons: they sort of scroll under a "magnifier." I dislike trying to draw with a mouse: I have to click on "box," move to draw the box, move to click on "arrow," move to draw the arrow, move to click on "text," then type the text and repeat. I also have a mouse with a scroll button.

So let's put all those together. If the mouse has a scroll button, you can click on the class of items you want to switch between (in my case, boxes, arrows, ellipses, text). Then you scroll to the box, with the (translucent) menu appearing in that nice Mac magnifier strip view, draw the box, scroll to the arrow, draw the arrow, etc. Of course you have to move your hands to type text, and when you want to change modes you have to find the menu item at the side of the page, but the rest of the time you just look at your work and don't waste time and attention racing the mouse around the screen trying to land on the tiny buttons.

Maybe this exists already, but I haven't seen it and Google didn't show it quickly.


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