If you have ever tinkered around with your mouse settings, you will see that under “tracking speed” there is a click box called “Enhance pointer precision.” Sounds fancy and very useful, but what does it actually do?

According to CodingHorror.com, the concept is simple. “When enabled, the pointer moves more precisely when you move the mouse slowly, and more nimbly when you move the mouse quickly.” With the option on, if we graph the mouse’s physical speed to its speed on-screen, we won’t get a straight line, but rather a curve that looks like this:

Logistic curve.
(Screenshot on MacOS, but it’s the same idea).

One of the biggest benefits of this option is that it benefits small movements. The explanation for this requires a little bit of basic maths. Say that, for every one inch you move your mouse, the mouse moves 10 inches on the screen. If you only wanted your on-screen mouse to move a tiny bit, say 1/4 inch, you would have to move your physical mouse 1/40 of an inch, which is a ridiculously small distance. However, with the option on, you could move 1/4 inch on-screen simply by slowing down your mouse motion. A similar concept applies to large motions, whereas you can make your mouse move farther on the screen simply by moving it faster.

Published by Geoffrey Liu

Currently a software engineer at Groupon. Recently graduated from the University of Washington, with a degreen in Computer Science and a minor in Music. Web development has been my passion for many years. I am also greatly interested in UI/UX design, teaching, biking, and collecting posters.

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