As Opera has shown, mouse gestures can be a great addition to a browser, providing a simple way to move through your history, open and close tabs, reload pages and otherwise navigate around the program, just by making small and simple mouse movements.
The concept doesn’t have to be restricted to a single application, though. Download StrokesPlus and you’ll be able to use mouse gestures throughout Windows and all your installed software.
The program comes with plenty of built-in default gestures. Holding down the right mouse button while moving the mouse diagonally from north-east to south-west will minimize a window, for instance; moving in the opposite direction will maximise it. Drawing a C will close a program, a P effectively toggles the Play/ Pause button within Media Player, and there are plenty of others to adjust volume, centre windows, launch particular applications, cycle through running programs, and the list goes on (click Actions on the StrokePlus system tray menu to see for yourself).
And these actions can be surprisingly powerful, as they work by launching Lua scripts. So you can launch applications, display message boxes, carry out conditional testing, send keys to a program window, and more. To get the best out of this it’ll help to have some previous scripting experience, but the examples will help you get started. Once you’ve seen that you can launch Notepad with a Lua command like this, for instance…
… then it’s not difficult to guess how you might use that to run something else.
But perhaps best of all, despite all this power StrokesPlus remains exceptionally lightweight. It doesn’t interfere with Windows (in fact, it’s portable), and if it gets in the way at any point then you can temporarily disable it in a couple of clicks. And its resource use is tiny, with the program typically consuming only around 270 KB of RAM on our test PC, very impressive for such a powerful tool.