Once you try this mouse from Logitech, it is likely that your Wacom tablet will be pushed to the back of your desk to gather dust. With 20 fully programmable buttons, including a clickable scroll wheel that also tilts either way, the level of functionality reached with this mouse is unmatched by any mouse or peripheral device on the market. Not to mention, it's budget-friendly!
We recognize that most of our readers probably aren't interested in geeking out over a computer mouse, so included below is a list of the main benefits of this mouse to Photoshop users. For the rest of you weirdos, keep reading below.
- 20 Programmable Buttons
- "G-Shift" Button - Shifts All Buttons to a Second Function for a Total of 40 Programmed Commands
- Clickable/Tiltable Scroll Wheel
- Two Additional Middle-Click Buttons
- Auto-switching Mouse Profiles for Different Software Programs
The 12 highly tactile side buttons along with the other eight buttons can be programmed to any combination of keys and mouse functions using the Logitech Gaming Software included with the mouse. Overall, the process is fairly seamless. You can even record delays between keys and clicks. Other mice on the market can do this, though, and some of them are even wireless. What really sets the G600 apart is the "G-Shift" Button, which is a third button where you rest your ring finger. When held down, this button shifts all 20 functions to another set of programmed functions, for a total of 40 programmable functions. This may seem excessive to the uninitiated, but with the amount of commands and actions used regularly in Photoshop, the 40 slots fill up quickly. This functionality truly sets the G600 apart from other mice and peripheral desktop devices. You can have virtually all of your favorite Photoshop commands and actions at your fingertips, which makes for fast and seamless processing.
For example, I have one of the 12 side buttons programmed to the Shift key, which means I can conveniently hold that button down and drag the mouse from side to side to zoom in or out. Clicking the scroll wheel lets me Pan, and shift+clicking it zooms me to 100% viewing. I have buttons programmed for Alt, Ctrl, and even buttons assigned to many of my favorite Actions that I have recorded. Similar to the zooming function, I can hold the button I have assigned to Alt + the right-click button and drag the mouse to either side to increase or decrease the size of a brush. I have a button assigned to invert the brush and buttons programmed to invert a layer or a mask. You get the idea. It can pretty much do whatever you want.
Another feature that sets this mouse apart from its competitors is the tilting scroll wheel. Push the wheel to either side and you get a tactile "click," which can be programmed as well. The obvious assignment for these buttons is undo and redo. You can even hold it down to quickly undo several commands, e.g. multiple brush strokes.
Just behind the scroll wheel are two additional middle click buttons, which can contain up to four commands when used with the G-Shift button. Logitech even thoughtfully set these buttons at different heights, which allows for quick and easy control. I have these buttons set to Stamp Visible, Rasterize Layer, Convert to Smart Object, and Hide Marching Ants.
Logitech Gaming Software, the program used to customize your mouse, allows for multiple profiles, which can be associated with different software. One of the critical features of this mouse is the ability to detect when you have switched to another software program and automatically switch to the profile associated with whatever program is open in your current active window. This auto-switching works quite seamlessly and really enhances the experience of using this mouse.
The G600 is quite budget-friendly and can be purchased at B&H for a bargain. It is cheaper than even the low-end Wacom tablets and offers much higher functionality. Though drawing tablets offer finesse and a more traditional brush-and-canvas method of interfacing with Photoshop, I believe the functionality of the G600 more than makes up for what it lacks. At the end of the day, processing images is a creative endeavor, and whether we realize it or not, all of the clunky keyboard shortcuts and general two-handedness of the traditional Photoshop workflow introduce interruptions to our creative flow. If we waste less brainpower on keyboard shortcuts and menu-browsing, we can achieve a new level of creative focus and flow that may have the potential to take our work to the next level.
Lead image "logitech-g600" by Sinchen.Lin is licensed under CC BY 2.0.