Mike McBride

Brad Hards

Revision KDE 4.12 (2013-12-05)

This is the documentation for the KDE System Settings module that configures mice and other pointing devices.


This module allows you to configure your pointing device. Your pointing device may be a mouse, a track ball, a touch-pad, or another piece of hardware that performs a similar function.

This module is divided into several tabs: General, Advanced and Mouse Navigation. There may also be one or more additional tabs if you have a Logitech mouse or trackball, providing access to special features.


Button Order

If you are left-handed, you may prefer to swap the functions of the left and right buttons on your pointing device by choosing the Left handed option. If your pointing device has more than two buttons, only those that function as the left and right buttons are affected. For example, if you have a three-button mouse, the middle button is unaffected.

Reverse scroll direction

With this check box selected, the scroll wheel (if any) will work in the opposite direction (so that if rolling the top of the scroll wheel towards you previously causes a scroll down, then it will now cause a scroll up). This may be useful to handle a unusual setup of the X server.

Double-click to open files and folders (select icons on first click)

If this option is not checked, icons/files will be opened with a single click of the left mouse-button. This default behavior is consistent with what you would expect when you click links in most web browsers. If checked however, icons/files will be opened with a double click, while a single click will only select the icon or file. This is the behavior you may know from other desktops or operating systems.


This option can be changed in the configuration dialogs of Dolphin and Konqueror on the Navigation tab as well.

Single-click to open files and folders

This is the default setting for KDE. Clicking once on an icon will open it. To select you can drag around the icon(s) or Ctrl+Right click, or simply click and hold to drag it. You can also enable automatic selection of icons using the Automatically select icons check box, discussed below.

Change pointer shape over icons

When this option is checked, the shape of the mouse pointer changes whenever it is over an icon.


This option should be checked in most situations. It gives more visual feedback and says, in essence, if you click here, something will happen.

Automatically select icons

As noted above, if you have Single-click to open files and folders selected, you can select icons by dragging around them, or by using Ctrl+Right click. If you routinely need to select icons, you may want to enable this check box, which will allow icons to be selected automatically by pausing over the icon. The Delay: slider determines how long is required before the automatic selection takes effect.


Pointer acceleration

This option allows you to change the relationship between the distance that the mouse pointer moves on the screen and the relative movement of the physical device itself (which may be a mouse, track-ball, or some other pointing device.)

A high value for the acceleration multiplier will lead to large movements of the mouse pointer on the screen, even when you only make a small movement with the physical device.


A multiplier between 1x and 3x will works well for many systems. With a multiplier over 3x the mouse pointer may become difficult to control.

Pointer threshold

The threshold is the smallest distance that the mouse pointer must move on the screen before acceleration has any effect. If the movement is within the threshold, the mouse pointer moves as if the acceleration were set to 1x.

Thus, when you make small movements with the physical device (e.g. mouse), you still have fine control of the mouse pointer on the screen, whereas larger movements of the physical device will move the mouse pointer rapidly to different areas on the screen.

You can set the threshold by entering a value into the edit box or by clicking the up/down arrows to the right of the box.


In general, the higher you set the Pointer acceleration value, the higher you will want to set the Pointer threshold value. For example, a Pointer threshold of 4 pixels may be appropriate for a Pointer Acceleration of 2x, but 10 pixels might be better for 3x.

Double click interval

This is the maximum amount of time between clicks for KDE to register a double click. If you click twice, and the time between those two clicks is less than this number, KDE recognizes that as a double click. If the time between these two clicks is greater than this number, KDE recognizes those as two separate single clicks.

Drag start time and Drag start distance

If you

  • click with the mouse

  • drag within the time specified in Drag start time, and

  • move a distance equal to or greater than the number (of pixels) specified in Drag start distance

KDE will drag the selected item.

Mouse wheel scrolls by

If you have a wheel mouse, use the spin box to determine how many lines of text one step of the mouse wheel will scroll.

Mouse Navigation

This tab allows you to configure the keyboard number pad keys as a mouse-type device. This may be useful when you are working on a device without another pointing device, or where you have no other use for the number pad.

Move pointer with keyboard (using the num pad)

To enable keyboard mouse mode, you need to select the check box labeled Move pointer with keyboard (using the num pad). When you do this, the other settings will become enabled, and you can customize the keyboard pointer behavior further, if required.

The various keys on the number pad move in the direction you would expect. Note that you can move diagonally as well as up, down, left and right. The 5 key emulates a click to a pointer button, typically left mouse button. You change which button is emulated by using the / key (which makes it left mouse button), * key (which makes it middle mouse button) and - (which makes it right mouse button). Using the + emulates a double click to the selected pointer button. You can use the 0 key to emulate holding down the selected pointer button (for easy dragging), and then use the . to emulate releasing the selected pointer button.

Acceleration delay

This is the time (in milliseconds) between the initial key press and the first repeated motion event for mouse key acceleration.

Repeat interval

This is the time in milliseconds between repeated motion events for mouse key acceleration.

Acceleration time

This is the time in milliseconds before the pointer reaches a maximum speed for mouse key acceleration.

Maximum speed

This is the maximum speed in pixels per second the pointer can reach for mouse key acceleration.

Acceleration profile

This is the slope of the acceleration curve for mouse key acceleration.

Logitech Support

Some Logitech USB mice support special features, such as switching to a higher resolution, or providing cordless status. If KDE was built with libusb support, then you will get an additional tab for each supported mouse that is plugged in.

The supported devices are:

  1. Wheel Mouse Optical

  2. MouseMan Traveler

  3. MouseMan Dual Optical

  4. MX310 Optical Mouse

  5. MX510 Optical Mouse

  6. MX300 Optical Mouse

  7. MX500 Optical Mouse

  8. iFeel Mouse

  9. Mouse Receiver

  10. Dual Receiver

  11. Cordless Freedom Optical

  12. Cordless Elite Duo

  13. MX700 Optical Mouse

  14. Cordless Optical Trackman

  15. Cordless MX Duo Receiver

  16. MX100 Laser Mouse

  17. Receiver for Cordless Presenter

Not all devices support all capabilities (typically cordless devices do not provide resolution switching, and of course only cordless devices support cordless status reporting), so some parts of the tab will not be enabled for some mouse types.

If the mouse supports resolution switching, the Sensor Resolution radio button group will be enabled, and you can switch from 400 counts per inch to 800 counts per inch and back. If you use 800 counts per inch, the same physical movement of the mouse will cause a greater (roughly double) amount of motion of the cursor. This tends to be popular amongst gamers.

If the mouse supports cordless reporting, the Battery Level and RF Channel widgets will be enabled. You can only change the RF Channel if your mouse has two channel support.