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I have a generic mouse with back/forward buttons. Those buttons are recognized by the system - I can use xev to see that they generate events for buttons number 8 and 9.

I am so used to using them for web browsing, that I sometimes end up pressing them when I'm browsing through Mathematica's help system.

Is there some way to bind those buttons to the back/forward functions in the help system? I looked around in the settings but haven't found anything.

I'm using Mathematica 8.0 in Linux, if this is relevant. Any ideas?

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...and what mouse are you using? – J. M. Aug 8 '12 at 1:24
A generic one, the buttons work in other applications and generate events properly; I added more details to the question. – Renan Aug 8 '12 at 1:25
Well, from here, the keyboard shortcuts are Alt+Left Arrow for "Back", and Alt+Right Arrow for "Forward", so you might be able to do some mapping... – J. M. Aug 8 '12 at 1:31
This works by default in Mathematica 7 for Windows. – Mr.Wizard Aug 8 '12 at 8:58

Windows users can accomplish the binding using Autohotkey.

Here is a simple script that maps the wheel right and wheel left mouse buttons to Alt+Left and Alt+Right (since I don't have a mouse with forward/backward buttons).


Also useful for pepole who like using the moouse is StrokeIt, a free program that allows one to bind mince gestures to keyboard shortcuts.

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For my combination (Win7 64, Mathematica 8.04 and Logitech MX Revolution) the back/forward buttons work for the help system out of the box... – Yves Klett Aug 8 '12 at 8:13
@YvesKlett Nice to know. I have a Logitech RX1000 (win7 64 mma 8.04) which does not have the extra buttons. But wheel left wheel right work nicely and I have not been using them until now:) – Ajasja Aug 8 '12 at 8:20
With the same mouse, but earlier versions (of Windows and Mathematica and the Logitech drivers) this did not work, so I cannot tell which update triggered this goodie ;-) – Yves Klett Aug 8 '12 at 8:56
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I was able to make this solution using xbindkeys and it works well enough:

# Bind button 9 to Alt-Right
"xte 'keydown Alt_L' 'key Right' 'keyup Alt_L'"

# Bind button 8 to Alt-Left
"xte 'keydown Alt_L' 'key Left' 'keyup Alt_L'"
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