Ergonomic mouse recommendations?

Again, different people get RSI from different things, but one thing worth nothing:

Most trackballs (like the Logitech one) place the ball under the thumb, which means that you’re stressing one finger at all times. The Microsoft Trackball Explorer and the two Elecom trackballs places the ball under the other fingers, which means that you can vary which finger tracks the ball if you feel the stress coming on.

(There’s a range of trackballs which places the ball in the center as well, for left/right handed use. I tried those too, but only lasted 6 months on one of them, but worth trying if you’re desperate to get rid of RSI!)

I like the Logitech MX Master. I’m on my second generation one now and might invest in the latest one at some point. They also do a vertical ergonomic version that I have been curious about but generally I find the standard shape comfortable.

I did switch to a 3D Connexion wireless CAD mouse for a while earlier this year - I got it bundled with a new Space Mouse controller. It’s a bit smaller that the MX Master with less height. I tried to get on with it but went back to the MX Master. It’s much more comfortable for me.

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Going beyond the mouse for ergonomics, I also believe that users should stop using QWERTY or likewise created setups ASAP and find one that minimizes finger travel and energy usage in the very least - maybe even consider better keyboards that allow for better hand and arm positioning.

I use a Dvorak-based keylayout for that. I’ve been looking at a split keyboard to further improve that (Kyria from is what I’ve been eyeing lately)

The superiority of Dvorak is an urban legend kids get taught in Design school as a “lesson” about “lock-in,” with some political angle. Turns out the only evidence it’s better comes from…anyone, anyone? That’s right, Dvorak.

I don’t use dvorak, I use something that has less finger travel and most used characters under the strongest fingers.

The evidence comes from calculating character occurance in a large body of text, and character sequences. Further making sure that hands and fingers get as much alternation as possible. For me the primary language this is based on is Finnish. QWERTY layout has only 34% of the most used letters under the finger tips in rest pose, my layout has 68%.

There is no need for politics nor urban legends.


Congratulations for choosing your new toy! :slight_smile: Hopefully it will serve you nicely!

By the way, I recommend you to use the older “Logitech gaming software” version LGS_8.96.88 from Feb 1, 2018. Download Logitech Gaming Software by Logitech Inc.
The latest version has some restrictions (at least on my G502 Proteus Spectrum, not sure if it happens on the Hero updated model) and don’t allow easy transfer of the saved settings between the mouse and the PC.

Shown below are my settings for the mouse. I assigned some commands as aliases to certain F keys on the keybord, then I assigned the keys to several mouse buttons as shown on the image. Worth noting is that I saved the settings into the mouse’s integrated memory. This way, it can be used directly on any other Windows device without the need to install the “Logitech gaming software” on those machines. :slight_smile:

Here is a nice tutorial showing how to set the custom functions of the extra mouse buttons, starting at the 2:27 minute:


I’ve found its not so much the mouse you use, but more the repetitious way you might use it.

It helps to become “ampimousterous” ie train yourself to use your non-dominant hand to also be able to use the mouse, and swap over regularly.

In my experience, it takes about a week to achieve reasonable accuracy with your other hand, and after that about a month or so to be able to swap back and forth without even without even thinking about it.
Consider learning to use a mouse is akin to leaning to draw with a brick, so no-one finds it intuitive when they are first learning to use one, regardless of which hand they use.

The input system I now use is a wacom pen (not just for rhino, but for everything) PLUS a mouse on the other side.
This gives me a lot of variety as to how I might choose to work, and I swap around a lot pretty much at random.

The other problem with a mouse is the buttons, and all that clicking, combined with the positional aspect at the same time.
Remember that the mouse click speed, scroll speed and so on can all be configured to how you might like them through standard windows 10 options.

If you are using a laptop, you might use the touchpad keys for the left and right clicks, while just using the mouse for positional needs. Its surprising how more free your hand will feel if you don’t have to configure it to continually be ready to click the keys.

Many years ago I made a “split mouse”. As the name implies, it was a mouse with no buttons, the buttons being on a remote little platform, with three keys (from a older style keyboard) arranged in a row, and wired to be left, middle and right click. This was placed on the opposite side of the keyboard from the mouse,
The mouse was encased in a paua shell, (which I selected from the local beach, where many differing sizes were washed up and half buried in the sand) which was an extremely pleasing shape to hold, and since there were no buttons, your hand just relaxed over it.

You might nowadays run a utility program that allows you to map any desired keyboard key to left / right or middle clicks…

Finally, it can also be helpful if using a wacom pen or other input device to move the cursor, to then immobilize the mouse by simply gaffer taping it to the desk, (or a small piece of plywood or similar). You place this where it is most comfortable to use; and then it is only used for the buttons.
Try it – it makes a big difference. If you don’t like it, you can just set it free from the tape, and if you do like it, then you might mod it by fixing it more permanently.

Sounds like a lot of hassle, but if you have to use a computer day to day, and your wrist or hand starts hurting, then it is well worth exploring alternatives.



I really like the Logitech MX Master (or the Master 2S that my wife has…) that I have at home. I really like being able to assign buttons to things in different programs. In a web browser, the back button is still “back”, but in Rhino, I have it mapped to the shift key, so I can shift+right click to pan without needing the keyboard. The forward button is mapped to the distance command. Foward + back, right now, is mapped to Diameter.

You can also pan in the viewport by holding down the middle mouse button (the one below the scroll wheel) and dragging the mouse. There is an option for that found in: Rhino options > Mouse > Middle mouse button > Manipulate view > Pan :slight_smile:

one of the best ways to reduce RSI?

reeeelaxxxxx… force yourself to grip the mouse very lightly. The lighter you can make your grip, the less strain you will feel… I learned this the hard way after just about destroying my wrist and ending my career as a new modeler 30 years ago…

also set up your hotkeys to reduce the stretch of your fingers when running them. If you have to spread your pinky away from your thumb to get a run key, you will have pain eventually.

28 years wrist pain free and counting.


This is a funny start of the sentence :slight_smile:


I thought Rhino didn’t support hotkeys without holding down control (which I refuse to do)?

When I mentioned this before, people have responded with “I like to type the commands”, which I just find crazy…

When I worked in Alias, and when I dabble in Blender, it was basically 99% single stroke hotkeys. Now in Rhino, I had to set up a custom toolbar instead… not ideal, but at least the right-click repeat/accept is very nice (so many similar commands with slightly different behaviors and/or orders of input, like trim/split for example, is not so nice)…

True, but having your fingers near the ‘hotkeys’ and your thumb on the spacebar still makes this the quickest way to fire off commands in Rhino.

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this in fact helps against rsi. It’s the static position under stress that’s devastating. So lifting your (left or right) hand from the mouse every now and then is a good thing.

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My personal experience (so, not statistically significant at all, of course) with working on both Rhino (with 2-3 letter commands plus enter / spacebar) and SketchUp (1 letter hotkeys) is that my arm and wrist hardly ever get tired on Rhino, but do hurt more after using SketchUp for a few hours. When working on Rhino, my right hand isn’t static on the mouse but instead moves from mouse to keyboard, left hand is always on the keyboard. This extra movement seems to help in avoiding joint pain, and so would support your theory.

Well, in CAD, your left hand should never be static with regular shortcuts either, because I’m hoping you are moving between the keyboard and a 3DConnexion device.

Since they basically have a monopoly, I’m guessing that’s why nobody has mentioned them in this thread so far. They’re as ubiquitous to a CAD user as Wacom is to a Photoshop user.

Tbh, I never quite understood their advantage versus mouse-based navigation. The people I saw using them seemed to orbit the model quite slowly, but that’s probably a biased observation. Now that I would be able to afford one, does it really make that much of a difference to your workflow? It would be interesting to try!

hot keys that is true… sorry I meant aliases.

Aliases can be triggered by single key or mulit key strokes and entered with a right mouse click , space bar or enter key.

For Example my top view alias is t, but my trim is tt, and toggle selection for subd is ttt.

This keeps the finger stretch to zero and allows me to multi purpose the keys for more functionality.

What you never want to do is to have a alias that calls for keys like A and K for instance…that hand stretch would cripple you in a few hours.

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many people need to be forced to relax.


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Downloading the older software now. Thanks for sharing!

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