High Sign: control your PC using mouse gestures

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In this post I will review “High Sign”, an excellent freeware mouse gesture program. While Samer has previously reviewed gMote, another mouse gesture program, I planned on reviewing StrokeIt which has been around for a long while now and is almost the founding father of freeware mouse gesture software.

Unfortunately, when I installed StrokeIt, it did not leave a very good impression, with the software not working fully and with unclear implementation step. I therefore began a search for a better alternative, and High Sign is the program that I found.

Mouse Gestures serve much the same purpose as keyboard shortcuts; they’re supposed to make you faster, more productive, more efficient, and more comfortable.

Instead of switching hands from mouse to keyboard and back or minimizing everything to the desktop, mouse gestures allow you to perform actions or start programs all from the mouse with a few swift movements. High Sign comes pre-loaded with a number of gestures, some work for all applications like closing or minimizing a window.

You can create your own gestures by entering a Training mode. High Sign starts in Training mode by default or right-click on the system tray icon to find the option to toggle. Anything you draw (by holding down the right-click) in training will prompt and ask what you drew. You can specify an existing gesture or create a new gesture. The prompt offers what it thinks the closest existing gesture is. This is a good function because it can let you know if the gestures are too much alike where a different action might occur because your gesturing was a little sloppy. For example, when I drew the number 4 below, it prompted with a pre-existing gesture ’H’. When you toggle out of Training Mode, it will just perform any actions that are associated with the gestures you’ve drawn.

High Sign seems to be very forgiving and very accurate when it comes to getting the correct gesture from what you drew. When you create a new gesture, you can specify the action that it takes to come from a list of preset functions like sending a hotkey, sending a keystroke, running a command, opening a web browser or others. You can choose to affect a select program by choosing from those processes running at the time. To send keystrokes, you use the Send Keys syntax. You can do a quick Google Search to find the Send Keys syntax. As an example, the keystroke Alt-D would be %D, Ctrl-C would be ^C, and taking a screenshot of the active window (Alt + Print Screen) would be %{PRTSC}. For some more tips on using High Sign, read the brief wiki article on the High Sign page.

new gesture

High Sign, by default, does not start up with Windows. It has a system tray icon that allows you access to all the different functions. You can find the preferences and preconfigured actions and gestures. High Sign comes as 820 KB installer and a 50 MB process when running. You can’t easily toggle HighSign off or on, but you can close the program from the system tray.

systray

The preferences allow you to customize a lot of the different options. You can change the color of your line and startup options. It also allows a sneak peak at some upcoming features that could be pretty cool like opacity control and an “Ignore” key option.

preferences

While High Sign is only a 2nd alpha preview release, it’s fully functional. If the program continues to see development time, I have to believe that it’s going to be made into one stellar program as far as mouse gesture programs can go. It was originally created as a StrokeIt replacement but the developer has changed his goals to be more ambitious than just recreating StrokeIt. High Sign is open source and hosted by CodePlex, a site and repository for open-source projects.

Version Tested: Alpha Preview 2

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program page to download the latest version (approx 2.09 megs).