How to use the 3dRudder foot controller as a foot mouse

How to use the 3dRudder as a foot mouse

Whether you bought the 3dRudder Foot Mouse package or you just discovered you could use your 3dRudder as a foot mouse, this article explains how to turn your 3dRudder into a foot mouse, providing you with all the functionalities of a traditional PC mouse, at the feet.  In mouse mode, you can use the 3dRudder to move the cursor, to scroll pages, and to left click, right click, double click...

Mac users: please first visit the 3dRudder Dashboard Light for Mac page for explanations pertaining to OSX.

Before you can start using your foot mouse, you first need to install the 3dRudder Dashboard if you have not done so already.

1. Making the mouse mode the default mode

You may wish your 3dRudder to start in mouse mode by default.
We'll publish by the end of January an update that will let you define which mode should be the default mode at startup.
Until then, please select the "Restore last device mode at startup (Keyboard or Mouse)" option in the parameters accessed by clicking on the wheels at the top right corner of the 3dRudder dashboard. Please note this option is lost when you power off your computer, hence the upcoming update.

2. Mouse mode activation

Select the "Mouse" tab in the left menu column of the 3dRudder Dashboard and then click the "Activate Mouse mode" button located in the lower right corner.
Please note that your hand controlled mouse remains active at all times even when you have your feet on the 3dRudder in mouse mode. If you want to switch from your foot mouse to your hand mouse, all you need to do is remove your feet from the 3dRudder or use the ‘freeze’ shortcut to temporarily deactivate your 3dRudder. 

Now just rest your feet on the device and start using your foot mouse as described below. As a reminder, your feet should be just in front of your knees, your shins roughly vertical. Take the time to find the position. You should note experience any strain.

3.  Using the mouse

a. Moving the cursor

To move the cursor, just tilt the device.
For example, to move the cursor upward on the screen, tilt the device forward or away from you, or to move it down, tilt the device backward or to you.

You can tilt the device in any directions.
The more you tilt, the faster the pointer will move.
Obviously, you do not need to tilt the 3dRudder a lot. With practice, you'll quickly discover some light movements with your feet are enough.

b. Scrolling pages

To scroll pages, you just need to rotate the 3dRudder on itself by twisting your feet as shown in the video below.
Rotating the device clockwise will move the page down, towards the bottom. Anti-clockwise up, towards the top.
In some applications like Microsoft Word, scrolling lets you move across the top menu.

c. Clicking

You can left and right click, as well as double left click and hold click.
First, we suggest you make sure to train yourself on the 3dRudder Dashboard tutorial at performing the up/down movement, as the clicks are based on the same movements of your feet.

When you press with your left toes, you'll go through 3 states :
- "Simple click" (first 0,8s by default) materialized by an initial beep,
- Double click (next 0,4s) materialized by a double beep,
- Hold click (comes next) materialized by a long beep.
Please note you can adjust the time interval between the states in the left click section of Mouse mode settings. 

Let's say you want to launch Microsoft Word. Your goal is to achieve a double click on the Word icon.
Once you'll have positioned your cursor, press with the left toes until you hear the double beep to obtain a double click.
You'll notice you'll first hear the single beep. You should not release your pressure before you hear the double beep.

Another example would be how to move a window using a long left click. 
First position your cursor at the top of the window. Then press with the left foot for a long click, ie. until you hear the long beep (after first a short beep followed by 2 short beeps).
Your window now sticks to your cursor. You can move it around.
To release, just do a one click again.

We know this is the part that requires a little bit of time getting used to, but just give it a few minutes and you should get there. 
Don't hesitate to adjust the settings as described below.
And as with most stuffs, the more you'll use the 3dRudder Foot Mouse, the faster it will become second nature. 

d. Clicking alternative: Using your keyboard to click

If after playing with your foot mouse for a while, you still have issues with clicking with the feet, you can alternatively activate the option "Turn on Mouse Key" in the Accessibility options of Windows. This enables you to use the numerical keyboard to click for as long as the numerical keyboard is not turned on.
Clicking is done by pressing "5", after selecting which button to press, "/" for left, "-" for right.
The left or right mode is persistent, meaning you don't need to press "/" or "-" if you click on the same side of the mouse.
"+" is for Double click.
As most users of the 3dRudder Foot Mouse are still using a keyboard, this is a nice alternative.
Detailed information can be found on the dedicated Microsoft support page.

4. Settings adjustment

Please note that you first need to click ‘activate mouse mode’ in the Mouse tab before adjusting your settings.
The mouse settings page lets you adjust the dead zone, delay and speed at any time.
Once you’re satisfied with your settings, click ‘apply parameters’. 
You can adjust the various settings for each of the foot mouse function. Specifically, take the time to find the clicks' settings that will work for you.
Please note that once the 3dRudder is in mouse mode, you can further adjust the setting in the general mouse setting of Windows. For example, you can further change the speed of the cursor.
You can save those parameters, a feature that may prove also handy in case you want to use alternative settings for different applications or games.

5. Choosing the Mouse mode by default

You can make the Mouse mode the default startup mode of your 3dRudder.
Just go to the General Settings screen by clicking the wheel at the top right corner of the Dashboard window.
Then select "Mouse" from Select default mode:

Please note the option above, "Restore last device mode at startup (Keyboard or Mouse)" takes precedent over the default startup mode.
Thus do use this option only when you actually need temporarily to stay in a certain mode. Otherwise it should be unselected, as in the screen shot above.

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