gest tutorial

Gest Tutorial

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In this tutorial you will be shown how to set up, customise, and use Gest to get its full functionality. The tutorial has been written in a simple, easy to understand way. If you have any queries or issues, you can always contact us at

Windows Explorer

Windows Exporer

Gest allows you to use 'mouse gestures' in Windows Explorer, internet browsers, and Photoshop. Windows Explorer is the program on your computer that allows you to navigate your way through folders and view icons of files. If you open 'Computer', 'My Documents', 'Libraries' or any folder on your computer, the window that will appear will be a Windows Explorer window. These are only examples of Windows Explorer windows. See the example of an Explorer window on the right. Gest only allows you to use mouse gestures in Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Adobe Photoshop. Gest does not support other programs yet, but you can suggest other programs you would like Gest to support by emailing us.

Mouse Gestures

Mouse gestures allow you to increase productivity in a similar way to keyboard shortcuts. Like keyboard shortcuts, such as one which saves a document, mouse gestures will perform actions that have been set up beforehand. Right mouse button Gest allows you to perform lots of cool actions, very quickly with a flick of the wrist. To perform a mouse gesture, hold down the right mouse button (see the image on the left for a diagram) and move the mouse in certain direction/s. Then release the right mouse button.

Depending on how Gest is set up, your gesture might perform an 'action' (an action is something that Gest does when you perform a gesture associated with it, such as opening or closing a tab or window, minimising a window, or flicking forwards and backwards through the history). For example, by default, holding down the right mouse button, moving the mouse down and then right, and then releasing the mouse button will close the window or tab. In this example, the action is closing the window and the gesture is the direction you moved the cursor - down and left (or DL). Gest has detected the directions that you moved the mouse with the right mouse button down, and performed an action. Gest can detect the directions Up (U), Down (D), Right (R), and Left (L). Circles are also detected as a combination of these directions.

Of course, Gest still allows you to right-click as you would normally but if you begin to move the mouse with the right mouse button held down, Gest will kick in and start trying to detect your gestures. If you want all the functionality of Gest but you do not want to sacrifice the using of dragging with the right mouse button, a simple option in the settings will enable you to limit Gest so that it only kicks in when a specific 'modifier key', such as shift or ctrl, is held. To enable this feature, head to the Extra Settings tab in the settings box (read on to learn about the settings box) and change the Require Modifier Key to an option from the list.

If you try this, you will notice a blue line appearing behind the path of the cursor. This is called the 'mouse trail' or just 'the trail'. You will also notice a box, called the 'gesture box', which appears at the top of the screen indicating what directions you have moved the mouse in the gesture. These two things help you to perform mouse gestures. Gest can perform lots of these actions and you can customise what actions Gest carries out when you perform a mouse gesture from the settings box.

Defining Gestures from the Settings Box

The settings box

Gest allows you to create or 'define' your own gestures and not just use the default ones. This means that you can choose what directions you need to move the mouse in order to tell Gest to perform and action. You can define gestures from the 'settings box'. When you first run Gest, you will see the 'settings box'. To open this box again, double-click on the Gest icon (a blue 'G') in the system tray menu - the small space at the bottom right of your screen where the clock is normally found. You may need to click the arrow in the system tray to see the Gest icon if it is hidden.

In the first tab of the settings box (the 'Gestures' tab) you can define your own gestures. See the image of the settings box on the right. There are a number of boxes with editable text. In these, you can define your gestures. Beside each of these boxes, is the name of the action that the gestures perform. To understand what an action does, move the cursor over the name of the action and read the tip box that appears.

To change a gesture, type what you want the new gesture to be into the box which is associated with the action. For example, if you wanted to create a gesture that refreshed the page, you would define (type in) the gesture into the box beside the words, 'Refresh page'. When defining (typing in) gestures, use the keys 'R' (for right),'L' (for left),'U' (for up), 'D' (for down), and 'O' (for a circle). Don't include the inverted commas. A gesture might be 'RLU' - if you saved this, moving the cursor, right and then left and then up, all whilst holding down the right mouse button would carry out the action. To save your settings, click on the 'Apply' button or hit Ctrl+S.

You can have more than one gesture that is associated with an action. This would mean that performing any of these gestures would all result in the same action being carried out. To define multiple gestures, you need to type in the gestures into the box and separate one gesture from another using a comma (','). For example, if you defined a gesture as 'RLU,LRU,RLD' then performing the gesture - right, then left, then up OR performing the gesture - left, then right, then up OR performing the gesture - right, then left, then down would all result in the same action being carried out. Defining a gestureYou can also use 'O' to represent a circle, so 'LORD,ROLU' would mean performing the gesture - left then drawing a circle, then right, then down OR performing the gesture - right, then drawing a circle, then left, then up would both also result in the same action being carried out. See the image on beside this for an example of defining gestures.

Some gestures can be applied to both the window and the tab (Close/Last/Next/New window). In these cases, the default response from Gest is to perform the action on the tab. However, you can put a plus sign (+) in front of the gesture that you are defining to tell Gest to send the action to the open window instead. For example, for the action 'Close window' defining the gesture, '+DL,DR' would mean that performing the gesture down, then left, would close the window but performing the gesture down, the right, would close the tab. As Windows Explorer does not use tabs, the action will always be performed on the window.

Defining Gestures by Performing Them

If you have saved gestures before and you haven't checked the option 'Don't ask to add unrecognised gestures', you can define new gestures simply by performing them. Defining a gestureFor example, if you hold down the right mouse button and move the cursor down, then right, then up, and this is not detected as a gesture (you have not already defined it), a box, like the one in the image on the right, will appear on the left side of your screen offering to match this gesture with an action. If you select the action from the drop-down list and choose 'OK', that action will be carried out if you perform that gesture again. This makes it easy to define new gestures. If you ignore this box for a while, click 'Cancel' or right-click again on an Explorer window, this box will disappear.


Gest has loads of other simple and advanced settings that you can change to suit your needs. These can all be set from the settings box. Read 'Defining Gestures from the Settings Box' for instructions on how to open it.

The 'Gesture Box' tab allows you to change settings about the gesture box - the box which appears when you are performing a gesture These settings include its position on the screen, its colour and whether or not to show it at all

The 'Mouse Trail' tab allows you to change settings about mouse trail - the line (which is blue by default) which appears behind the cursor when you draw a gesture. You can change the line's width (diameter), colour, and opacity. 'Opacity' is how opaque (the opposite of transparent) the line is. You can also disable the trail altogether.

The 'Extra Settings' tab allows you to change a number of ranging settings including managing updates, whether to show the system tray icon, whether to prompt you to add unrecognised gestures and 'move sensitivity'. 'Move sensitivity' is how sensitive Gest should be when it is detecting mouse movement which is done when detecting gestures. A lower sensitivity means you have to move the cursor further for Gest to recognise that it has moved. If the sensitivity is too high, Gest may recognise unintentional movements of the cursor as gestures.
The 'Requier modifier key' feature enables you to limit Gest so that it only kicks in when a specific 'modifier key', such as shift or ctrl, is held. This allows you to retain the ability to drag with the right mouse button and still use all the functionality of Gest.

The 'Startup' tab allows you to change your settings regarding its automatic startup when you log on to your account on the computer. This means it will run in the background without you having to launch it.

Copyright © Joshua P Bambrick 2019. All Rights Reserved.