How I Use the M.O.U.S. 9

- 3 min -
Joe Buhlig

I pulled my computer mouse out of my bag and the first thing he said was, “What on earth is that thing?” It was yet another confirmation that I’m strange.

I’ve had it referred to as the Batmobile or Stealth Mouse. Maybe that’s just because I have the matte black version, but with all the buttons and wings this is definitely not your normal computer mouse.

It’s the Mad Catz M.O.U.S. 9. I picked it up when it was first released a few years ago. I noticed my right wrist was beginning to hurt after working on the computer all day and wanted to slow down or stop the damage that was happening.

I found ways to limit the time I spent using the mouse in the first place with tools like Alfred and TextExpander, but I knew I needed to find a more ergonomic mouse. That’s when I discovered the M.O.U.S. 9. It’s essentially an office version of the R.A.T. 9, which is primarily used for gaming.

Because it was designed for gamers, the R.A.T. 9 is ergonomic and built for heavy use. Comparing my computer use with a gamer isn’t a clean parallel, but there are similarities. We both can spend long hours on the computer and try to be as quick and efficient with keystrokes and mouse clicks as possible. The R.A.T. made sense to me. But I didn’t care for the corded receiver of the R.A.T. 9, so I picked up the M.O.U.S. 9 which is nearly identical but has a low profile USB receiver.

I should note that one of the main reasons I looked at these in the first place was my use of a claw grip. I need to have good palm support so the adjustable palm rest is primarily what sold me. And I knew I would geek out on the extra buttons as well.

Over time, I’ve fine-tuned the extra buttons and found them to be incredibly useful in every day use. Outside of the typical left/right click, here’s how I have it set up:

1. Mission Control

I like using the three finger swipe gesture on the trackpad to invoke Mission Control, but when I have my computer sitting on boxes (because I’m too cheap for a stand right now) I can’t use it. So I have the center button set to trigger Mission Control.

2. Copy/Paste

When working with data or code, I’m often selecting cells or text, copying, selecting a different location, and pasting it in. It’s typically mouse heavy work, but switching back to the keyboard for the copy/paste steps. By setting the scroll wheel clicks to copy/paste, I can do all of it right from the mouse.

3. Play/Pause

I get a fair number of phone calls and watch a number of how-to videos on YouTube. That means I’m hitting pause on my music quite a bit throughout the day. It’s something I want to be able to do fast, so I programmed the wing button to toggle play/pause on whatever I’m listening to.

4. Horizontal Scrolling

With a second scroll wheel it made sense to set it up for horizontal scrolling. I wasn’t sure I would use it. But after having it available, I found myself using it on spreadsheets and websites quite a bit. It’s definitely nice to have.

5. Next/Previous Tab

I have a lot of browser tabs open when I’m doing development work or research for an article. It can get a little ridiculous. I can have 30 tabs going at once. Control + Tab is my friend, but I find my hand on the mouse a lot when I’m looking through webpages. I set up the side buttons to navigate forward and backward through the tabs so I can cycle through them faster.

6. Back

Similar to number five, I’m frequently going back a page in the browser. I have the circular side button set up to take me back a page. This also works well in other applications. For example, I can go to the last note I was looking at in Evernote using this button.

If you’re in the market for a new mouse and want something ergonomic that has more features than you should be allowed to use, take a look at the M.O.U.S. 9. I recommend it and I’m not even an affiliate.