Leap Motion Mouse Control

BetterTouchTool’s mouse mode is still in beta and I know that it can be improved by a lot. Please report any issues you encounter or suggestions you have.


  1. Initial Setup
  2. How To Use BetterTouchTool’s Leap Motion mouse mode
  3. Tip & Tricks
  4. FAQ & Troubleshooting




Initial Setup

1.) BetterTouchTool’s Leap Motion mouse control is disabled by default. In order to use it, you have to assign the predefined action “Enable / Disable Leap Moution Mouse Control” to a gesture or shortcut. 

Important: In mouse mode only a few Leap Motion gestures will work by default (Five Finger Swipes, Three Finger Swipes and the Clap gesture). This means that you won’t be able to disable the mouse control mode via any other Leap Motion gestures (however enabling it will work). Starting with version 0.966 you  can configure which gestures are available in mouse mode (see screenshot below).

Screenshot 2013-08-09 11.51.13


2.) You can also use keyboard shortcuts to enable / disable the mouse control mode

Screenshot 2013-08-09 11.56.24

3.) After assigning the predefined action to enable / disable mouse mode, you can change various settings:

Screenshot 2013-08-15 15.31.03
Make sure to select left-handed if you want to control the mouse with your left hand (however I could not really test this yet)


4.) To change the mouse mode settings later, click the little gear symbol next to the action selector drop-down button:





How To Use BetterTouchTool’s Leap Motion mouse mode


Moving The Mouse Cursor:

  • You need two fingers to move your mouse cursor. Your thumb and your index finger. While moving the thumb must be straight and point away from the screen.
  • Point with your index finger into the direction the mouse cursor should move to. You do not need to move your arm at all (thus you can rest it on the table all the time)
  • The more you point into a direction, the faster the cursor gets. (But don’t point too steep, because then the Leap Motion Controller may loose track of your fingers)
  • mousemove


  • Point the tip of your thumb towards the tip of your index finger and back again. The mouse cursor will notify you about the click by becoming bigger for a short amount of time.
  • click


  • Since version 0.966, the right-click in mouse mode is done by a three finger tap (move three fingers towards the screen and back again fast)
  • You can also enable two finger taps to do a right-click, however I don’t recommend this because they may trigger accidentally.


  • Keep the tip of your thumb pointing towards the tip of your index finger until the mouse cursor gets a little bigger and stays bigger. Then point towards the direction the mouse should move with your index finger.


  • Use three fingers. Your thumb, your index finger and your middle finger. Point with your index and middle finger into the direction you want to scroll to. The direction the thumb points to is ignored. The distance between the index and middle finger should not neither be too far, nor too short.
  • Unfortunately the Leap Controller is currently not very good at recognizing three fingers pointing downwards. Thus try to only point the tips of your fingers down, not the whole finger.
  • You can also enable two finger scrolling, however this is not as reliable as three finger scrolling. When enabled use your index and middle finger to point into the direction you want to scroll.
  • Note: In order to reduce errors while moving the mouse, scrolling does only start if all three fingers have been visible for at least 0.2 seconds.




Tips & Tricks

  • Three Finger Circles
    • I recommend activating three finger circles in mouse mode, because they are not triggered too easily and can be very useful. For example you could configure them to open / close tabs in your browser or to start /stop dictation. (Starting dictation with BetterTouchTool can for most applications be achieved with the “Trigger Menubar Menu-Item” predefined action, if your system is set to the english language, you’d enter Edit;Start Dictation to trigger that menu-item. )





  • What should I do if I encounter unwanted drags / clicks?
    • I’m working on a better solution for dragging. If the current solution doesn’t work well for you, please try to disable dragging for now (see section 1)
  • What can I do if the mouse mode doesn’t work well with my Leap Motion Controller?
    • First, make sure that there are no reflective objects near to the Leap (this also includes watches or jewlry you wear on your arm)
    • Second, make sure that the Leap is clean, even small dirt particles can be a problem.
    • If this doesn’t help try to use the diagnostic visualizer which is available in the Troubleshooting tab in the Leap Motion Controller settings. If it does show strange / unwanted fingers or hands, try to recalibrate your device or conctact me or the Leap Motion supoprt.
  • When I try to move my mouse cursor, the mouse just moves to the left / right side of the screen. How can I fix this?
    • If you are left-handed make sure you have selected the left-handed mode in BetterTouchTool’s mouse mode settings, if you are right-handed make sure right-handed is selected (that’s the default)
    • Do not move your arm, only point with your index finger into the direction the cursor should move
  • Gesture XY does not work while in mouse mode, although it’s checked in the mouse mode settings?
    • If the gesture is checked in the mouse mode settings, it means that it is DISABLED, not enabled :-)
  • Why do I have to tuck in my fingers so tightly when using BetterTouchTool with the Leap?
    • Answer: Unfortunately, due to the way how the Leap Motion Controller  works, fingers that are not tucked in can cause irritation and unreliable recognition. Think about the Leap as a camera that films your fingers from below. Now if you for example do not tuck in your middle and ring finger, and point with your index finger to the right (if you are right handed) the Leap won’t be able to see your index finger anymore because it’s obscured by the other two fingers. You can easily reproduce this with the diagnostic visualizer that is available in the Troubleshooting tab in the Leap Motion Controller settings. As of now, I don’t think that I can workaround this problem.

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