Mighty Mouse 1.1.3, by Unsanity LLC
Posted: 19-Dec-2004

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Unsanity LLC Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: PRODUCTIVITY
     
$10.00   Download

Overview
One of the things I liked about having a Mac was being able to customize it to make it feel like "my" machine. One of the things I liked in OS 9 was changing the system cursor to something different. The black arrow just got tired and old for me. When OS X came along, I was back to the black cursor. That's where Unsanity's Mighty Mouse comes to play. Mighty Mouse allows you to customize your cursors in OS X, and it does so on the fly, without modifying any system files. In additon to the arrow cursor, it also allows you to customize other system cursors, such as the I-Beam, Alias, Copy, Move and Wait. You can animate cursors and import pre-made ones available at Unsanity's website. Cursors can be edited using of copy-paste and drag-and-drop.

Features

  • Animate any of the system cursors (including the Arrow cursor);
  • Use cursors of any size - smaller or larger than the default ones;
  • Magnify your existing cursors for easier accessibility;
  • Download and import cursors made by other users;
  • Create your own cursors and share them with others;
  • Instantly import cursors created for Windows XP.

Installation
Mighty Mouse can be downloaded from Unsanity's web site, and easily installs with a simple installer program. Like most Unsanity products, it requires the Application Enhancer, which is installed automatically if it is not already present. Mighty Mouse is shareware, so if you like it, you pay a $10 shareware fee to register the product.

In Use
Mighty Mouse has a very simple preference panel available under System Preferences. It has a few basic functions, such as importing cursors, exporting cursors, editing cursors, scaling cursors, and going to the web to look for pre-made cursors.


Mighty Mouse preferences with my selected set, "Tuxedo"

Choosing to Import Cursors, you are left to the task to navigate through the open file dialog to a cursor package that Mighty Mouse can import. Coming into this program cold, this can be a "duh, what do I do now?" kind of task, because you don't really know what you are looking for. I switched to the Finder and searched for Mighty Mouse files to try and get a clue, but I could not find any. Clicking on "Help" does inform you to download the cursor sets from the web.

So after that, I clicked on the "Get More Cursors" button which brought me to a
ResExcellence web site where cursor packages could be downloaded. There were several pages of cursor packages to choose from, including the wild and crazy, the cartoonish, the hightech, the flashy and animated, the cool mods, and subtle mods. Of course "cool" is a subjective term here, as what is cool to one person may be horrid to another. If you're a Raiders fan, for instance, you'd really like the Oakland Raiders cursor package. Or an iPod fanatic may like the iPODed set that includes a spinning iPod as a wait cursor. I kind of liked the ZA Designs Cursor Set, the Simple Graphite, MD's Professional cursor sets, and the Tuxedo set (the one that I eventually decided to make my resident set).


Various "Wait" cursors that can be used with Mighty Mouse

The downloaded cursor sets expand into a .MightyMouse file name which can then be imported directly into Mighty Mouse. At first I thought it was an all-or-nothing proposition in that you had to accept all the cursors of one set or the next, with only the ability to manually edit the cursors of the selected set. However, the Help document that is built into Mighty Mouse explains a "round about" way to pick and choose cursors from various sets. You can import one set, copy the cursors you like, then "Undo" the import, and then paste. The problem, besides requiring more steps than a Mac user would feel there should be, is that you can only copy one cursor at a time. Since the Undo throws aways any changes, you would have to import a set, copy one cursor, Undo, paste the cursor, remember to click on Apply Changes, then import the set you are copying from and copy the next cursor, then Undo again, and so on. This, obviously, can and should be made easier.

The editing areas offer a wide variety of editing features. This is really for those that have time to mess with the graphics, and can be really time consuming when working with animated cursors. It's nice to know the option is there if I had the time and creativity to build my own cursors, perhaps putting a picture of someone you like into the mix. What you can do is restricted only by your imagination. If you don't have time to get into the nitty gritty details of the graphics, you can still perform some simple mods such as speeding up or slowing down an animation, or scaling the cursor sizes up or down.

You'll want to examine each of the sets before choosing the one you want to live with. I found that some of the older sets appear to have been designed for Mac OS 9, so they are low-res in OS X and look slightly pixelated. Most of the newer ones, however, look very nice in OS X, and operate well in use (see the "Wait" examples illustrated above). You do have to remember that every application has the "right" to bypass the system cursors and use cursors of their own. For applications that bypass the system cursors, because their cursors are hardwired into the application, you will see those cursors instead of your new Mighty Mouse ones when using those applications.

Note that all of the downloadable sets do not come from Unsanity, but from ResExcellence. I'm not sure why Unsanity does not include any sets of their own. It would be nice if it was easier to navigate through the different sets rather than have to go page by page without even the option to skip a few pages, or better yet, if Unsanity could include the "pick of the litter" with the Mighty Mouse package.

Summary
Unsanity's Mighty Mouse is a Mac OS X haxie that allows users to customize their system cursors. It includes a lot of editing features that allow you to create your own cursors or modify an existing set of cursors. The greatest use I got out of Mighty Mouse was the simple import function for importing pre-made cursors that I downloaded from ResExcellence (which is linked from within Mighty Mouse). This utility was relatively easy to use, although it did require extra "work around" steps to be able to combine different cursors from different cursor sets. Although there is a vast collection of cursors to choose from on the web, navigating the web site is a bit tedious. I would have preferred to see some cursor sets included with the Mighty Mouse package. All in all, Mighty Mouse does exactly what is advertised to do, and once I found the right cursor set replacement, it gave my Mac the personalized feel that I wanted. I recommend it for anyone looking to customize their Mac OS X cursors.

Pros

  • Personalizes your Mac with custom cursors
  • Simple interface
  • Includes editing features
  • Lots of cursors to select from on the web


Cons

  • No cursor sets are included with the package
  • Navigating the cursor sets on the web is tedious
  • Combining cursors from different sets is cumbersome

Overall Rating

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice