Gestures can say so much without any words, whether you've just been cut off in traffic or you're trying to execute a PC command. Instead of reaching for a menu or even typing a key shortcut, use mouse gestures to activate these commands. You could make a loop to print, a "Z" shape to open the PC World website, slide up-then-down to close a window, and more. Some PCs, especially laptops, are beginning to read these kinds of commands in their mouse drivers. Here's how to add the functionality to any PC.

You have several gesture programs to choose from, including gMote and StrokeIt. I like gMote especially because it doesn't need any deep installation; it's just active when running, like a normal application. By default, you'll hold Ctrl and Shift while making gestures. Match a shape that the application recognizes--or one that you recorded--and it triggers a corresponding function.

Some web browsers also offer gesture plugins. Mouse Gestures Redox adds support within Firefox. Rocker gestures are my favorite extras here, reading specialized mouse clicks to execute commands. For example, I just have to rock between the right and left buttons to jump back, or left-to-right to jump forward. After just a few days, these commands become second-nature, saving time in general use.

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