Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I don't know why this software wasn't in my first post, because I can't live without it. Despite the name that conjures up visions of a porn site, StrokeIt is a piece of software that I'm surprised that no one thought of sooner.

I found StrokeIt after using Opera's mouse gestures -- I got really used to them and wondered why mouse gestures weren't part Windows (that's part of a Microsoft "innovation" rant, so I won't go there right now), so I Googled "gestures windows" and StrokeIt was the first result. I downloaded and installed it, and was immediately impressed.

StrokeIt has always been stable -- I don't think it has ever crashed and I've been using it for at least two years on multiple computers.

In addition to StrokeIt being stable, its design is elegant -- you can define global mouse gestures that apply to all windows, and can override the action that a gesture performs in another application if you want. For example, the gesture "C" closes a window by default. But in certain MDI applications (such as tabbed windows in Firefox), I like "C" to close the MDI child windows, not the whole application. If you want to disable StrokeIt in an application, you can do so easily.

Here are a few examples of StrokeIt's usefulness -- to minimize a window, do a quick diagonal gesture toward the lower-left corner. No need to go up to the top corner, find the minimize button, then click it. To close a window, just a quick "C" gesture and the window is closed. These are just a few examples of how to use StrokeIt, but hopefully you get the idea.

The best part about StrokeIt is that it's free, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. But be forewarned -- once you start using it, you won't be able to stop using it.

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