Even though you can expect from any new input device that’s offered these days to be Mac compatible, this still isn’t the case with every product. Sure, you can use Apple-made keyboard, mouse, and trackpad as well, so you might think that there’s no need for any additional input devices. However in practice, this is true only for average users, since there are numerous cases when an individual needs more customizable device, or the one which comes with some extra features. For example, illustrators needs graphic boards, 3D and CAD artists need more ergonomic and sometimes very specific mouse, and gamers have their own gear. If you’re one of those individuals, then you probably know how hard it can be to set-up and customize an input device with your OSX.
Once you plug in a third party input device to your OSX, the operating system is going to automatically sign some functions to those standard keys. This means that if you’ve got some extra keys, they won’t have any function if a manufacturer didn’t provide an appropriate software. That’s why I would like to introduce you today with the application named USB Overdrive. This application has been around for over ten years now, and saved countless users and increased their productivity.
USB Overdrive is created to help you fine-tune your input device and assign a function to any possible key that comes with that specific device. It’s also incredible how user-friendly it is.
Once you open USB Overdrive you can simply plug-in your input device. The application will automatically recognize all those keys and buttons which are there, so you can assign a new function. In many cases this app will give you a numeric list of available buttons, so if you’re not sure where a specific button is located, all you need to do is to press it and the application will automatically select it. It just can’t get any easier than this. You will be able to assign functions like scrolling, clicking, typing specific characters or even opening specific applications. You’ll be able to do anything you can imagine.
Even though USB Overdrive is great for numerous professional input devices which lack proper OSX support, this application can be considered as essential for those individuals with limited mobility. Even though OSX does give you plenty of accessibility tools and options, this application gives you a full freedom and unlocks parts of OSX which where previously hard to reach and use.
At the end, there are a couple of things that need to be said about USB Overdrive. You can use it to set-up a specific input device, so you can use several devices to set-up different options. This means that you can make any changes globally, but also tied to a specific device as well. New settings can be also imported and exported.
USB Overdrive is a shareware, so you can use it without paying anything. You’ll only get a small notification every time you open it, asking you to buy a license if you like this app. Still, since USB Overdrive is really incredible app, I strongly advise you to purchase its $20 license if you plan on using it.