The main goal of this small utility is to enable scrolling with the mouse wheel in windows that don’t have the keyboard focus.
But I mainly find it useful to use the mouse wheel in applications that don’t handle mouse wheel event. Up until now, I found two such applications that I use – Visual Basic 6, in which I still fill at home for some quick tasks like testing our COM class library, and Remedy User which we recently switched to for customer support and bug tracking.
KatMouse simply sends the correct message to those application and makes the mouse wheel works for them. I did find some problems with it – it disabled the mouse wheel in Excel 2007 worksheets and in Word 2007 Document Map sidebar. Fortunately, KatMouse provides an ultra-easy way to configure it to ignore specific window classes, using a Spy++ like windows finder, so the problem was quickly and easily solved.
The only problem that still remains is that my Dell D620 mouse-pad doesn’t have a mouse wheel… :(
Update: There is one problem I found with KatMouse which I couldn’t resolve. In Excel 2007, when you do data filtering, and click the arrow at one of the title cells, you get a complex menu with some options like sort and advanced filtering, and also a list of all values in the column so you can select from it. This list doesn’t handle mouse wheel events. It didn’t bother me until now – like any window with no wheel support, I’d try using the mouse wheel, and when it didn’t work, I would scroll with the scrollbar. However, when KatMouse is active, using the mouse wheel causes the special filter menu to disappear. The problem is I can’t find out how to tell KatMouse not to handle mouse wheel events for this menu, as it disappears on every mouse click or key down, so I can’t get its window class. Not such a big nuisance, but nevertheless…
Update 2: One additional place I found KatMouse useful is with DiskFrontier which does not support mouse wheel which tends to be really annoying. A quick class customization in KatMouse solved the old problem.
Update 3 (25/12/2008): When I recently showed KatMouse to a colleauge, I went to KatMouse homepage, and noticed that version 1.04 was released shortly after this post was published. This version adds support to Office 2007, and solves the annoying problem mentioned in the first update and adds mouse wheel support to Excel 2007 filter menu.