can a 7-9 button USB wired gaming mouse be programmed for business applications?

Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

           I am needing to purchase a 7-9 wired programmable USB mouse from Amazon.  It seems that most of them are geared toward gaming which brings me to the point of my upcoming question.   Can a gaming mouse be programmed to carry out business related applications like opening and closing an application, automatically storing usernames and passwords for different accounts, opening and closing browser windows, and so forth?  Realizing that a 7-9 button wired USB mouse can be pricey, I am more interested in purchasing one from Amazon within the $35 and below price range.

            Any suggestions and links given in reply to this question will be deeply appreciated.

            Thank you

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Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi George,

Yes, you can reprogram the mouse buttons with an excellent (free!) scripting language called AutoHotkey. Here's an EE article that explains how to download, install, and get started with the language:
AutoHotkey - Getting Started

For your project, you'll want to look at the Mouse Buttons documentation here:

Here's the critical section for you:

AutoHotkey mouse buttons
Each of those nine mouse buttons can be programmed in AutoHotkey to do whatever you want.

In case you're interested, the same is true for keyboards — and even multimedia keyboards! That keyboard I mentioned during our previous thread has many multimedia keys that I don't need, so I reprogrammed them using AutoHotkey to do other, more business-related, functions. Here are the multimedia keyboard keys that you can reprogram with AutoHotkey:

AutoHotkey multimedia keys
You can also reprogram the regular keys (not just the multimedia ones), such as the function keys, the numeric keypad keys, Alt-Ctrl key combinations, etc.

I have a lot of experience with AutoHotkey and will be happy to help you configure your new mouse (and keyboard, if you want). Regards, Joe

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☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
This is really much the same idea as we discussed in April, yes you can program them, different mice use different methods but most store a series of key presses as a macro which runs when you click the appropriate button.  My reservation about using it to control browsers and passwords is the same though.  In order for the macro to work your passwords need to be stored as plain text which can easily be viewed.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hello and Good Afternoon Everybody,

           Thank you for your shared suggestions, tips, and resourceful links.   I had second thoughts about ordering a programmable mouse the last time this was discussed on EE because of lack of preparation.  Without the proper utilities and tips, I felt it would be a better idea to wait at a later time.  After checking out Joe's suggested utility, AutoHotkey, along with his other information given, I went ahead without hesitation this time and ordered a 7 button programmable wired USB mouse from Amazon.  The one chosen can be found at

             On a side note, I greatly appreciate the tip given by Masq.  It certainly would pose a security risk if passwords are stored in any of the programmable mouse buttons simply because they can be viewed by using any type of text editor such as Notepad or Wordpad.  While the streamlining and automation of repetitive task such as entering usernames and passwords may seem like a valuable time saver,  it should not be done at the price of jeopardizing security of the computer.  

            As a wrap up here, I believe much of my confusion about the programmable mouse stemmed from the way most of them were advertised.  For example, when I saw the word "gaming" mouse, I was not totally sure if the buttons on it could be programmed to carry out business functions.  It is good knowing it can through using the nice tool, AutoHotkey,  recommended by Joe.  Perhaps this post will help clear up confusion that others might have regarding this concern.  

             Thanks again and have a great rest of the day : - )

Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
You're welcome. And thanks to you for the thorough and thoughtful follow-up. If we don't communicate by Friday...Happy New Year! All the best, Joe
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Thank you  Joe.  Happy Upcoming New Year to you : - )  George
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