Can the Mouse Scroll Wheel Be Used as a Trigger?


I was wondering if there is a way to make my scroll wheel on the mouse be a trigger for an action. I have found information on how to make a trigger cause a mouse wheel action, but I'd like the the opposite.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

No, moving the scroll wheel cannot be used as a trigger.

Clicking the scroll wheel button can be used as a Device Key trigger.

Hello, have you find a way around this? I'm also interested in using the Scroll Wheel as a trigger. Thanks!


There is no change on this. It is not planned for version 10 either.

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I also have a need for this.
I have been using "another" macro application for many years that provides easy access to use the scroll wheel (up and down) as a trigger, which I use with modifiers to Zoom In and Out in some specific applications. Because that macro app is no longer supported in the current Mac OS, I am in the process of switching to Keyboard Maestro (and having to rewrite all my macros), but this missing scroll wheel trigger is almost a deal killer for me. Not having it constantly stalls my work flow. Please reconsider.

Hey Rocky,

Keyboard Maestro 10 just released, so that's not happening any time soon if at all.

What specific macro app were you using that supported this?

Zoom-In and Zoom-Out in what way?

Hardware zoom? Or other?


I have used Quickeys from Startly since the 90s and have a ton of macros that I use everyday. The Zoom-In and Out (with opt+cmd) using the mouse scroll wheel has been available for many years and has become a reflex part of my workflow for several applications, including Firefox, Safari, Illustrator, Photoshop, Acrobat, and even Mail. Quickeys will only work with Mojave and I need to upgrade my Mac and OS, so in the meantime, I am still using Quickeys while trying to recreate all the macros in Keyboard Maestro 10 in preparation for the upgrade. The type of Zoom is dependent on the application, in some cases it is just a text enlargement (browsers and text apps) and others it is an actual magnification zoom (Photoshop and Illustrator). In any case, I simply hold the opt+cmd and scroll up or down to zoom in and out.

BetterTouchTool can use Mouse scroll as trigger. You can use BTT to trigger KM macros.


Unfortunately, if you happen to use Logitech mouse and install their software, the trigger will not work:

Mouse Scrolling Can't be Detected or Triggered - Bug Reports - BetterTouchTool Community

I just tested. This has not been fixed as of today.

I just use SteerMouse and uninstalled the buggy logitech software . It works perfectly with the mice triggering KM macros. (in fact...almost perfectly you have to use a kmtrigger://macro=macroName for launching the macros from mice buttons but for the scroll wheel this is not possible so you have to use a "keystroke" trigger)

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Me too!

I am very happy with SteerMouse!

Hey Rocky,

I used QuicKeys from 1985 until the end of 2012, although I saw the writing on the wall long before the end and started evaluating Keyboard Maestro in 2004 as a replacement.

There are some things QuicKeys did that Keyboard Maestro will probably never do, and the reverse is definitely true as well.

Peter has weighed-in on the topic, and that's the end of it for now.

Although you can make a formal feature request and send it to:

If you choose to do this then you need to make a real case – one that highlights benefits for multitudes of users – not just you.

Development of features has to be worth Peter's time, energy, and money.

When I upgrade my hardware beyond my Mid-2012 MacBook Air (which only has 8GB of RAM), I will probably buy copies of both Better Touch Tool and SteerMouse – because they add enough unique features to be worth the trouble and expense.


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Thanks for this response. Yes, I saw the writing on the wall as well with Quickeys, but I had SO much time and energy invested in it already that giving it up just seemed too monumental. I reviewed KM way back in 2004 as well, but at the time it seemed overly complicated and insufficient for my needs. Since then, I believe it has made significant development to not only rival it but to replace it, which is what I am currently doing.
Regarding the mouse wheel trigger issue, I think I have a get-around that will work and I am pursuing that. Certain mice have programmable buttons (and wheels) that will allow me to get what I need. Thanks again for the reply.

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I use SteerMouse for triggering KM macros from my Kensington expert mouse.
I have been using it for at least 3 years and it is exactly what I needed to 'bridge' the turbo mouse to Keyboard Maestro.

  • I also was a Quickeys user since the mid 80's
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I downloaded SteerMouse based on your recommendation, but I don't see how to make the scroll wheel activate a KM trigger. I am using a Logic MX Master 3, which SteerMouse says it supports. However, they have little support about how to use this app. So far, it does nothing.

This may help:

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Hi Jim,

Thanks for the reply. This is what I have entered in SteerMouse for the Mail app (on my Mac).

However, it doesn't work at all when I use the scroll wheel there, and I still don't see how to use the scroll wheel as a trigger in KM.

Hey @Rocadero , After opening the pref pane from within system prefs.
Check that 'ON' is displayed, 'Default' in the pop-up menu, and your device is named in the upper right of the window with a green light next to it.

Next click the 'wheel' 'tab' (next to 'buttons')
Assign a modifier key if desired in the bottom right.

Now click on either the 'roll up' or 'roll down' line and it will expand.
Select 'keyboard shortcut' from the popup menu.
Be sure to select 'enter keys only at the beginning of rolling' unless you want the macro continuously triggering, my experience is I only want it to trigger once.
Now, create a macro that has the trigger hot key of '= + command + shift' (based on your post above)

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Hi Troy, thanks for the response. As you can see by the image I posted, I did all the things you've suggested, but it doesn't work. While I do not have a green light next to my Mouse in the upper right corner, it is amber and does say the name of my mouse (Logitech MX Master 3). I wish there was better instructions for SteerMouse. The things I would consider "intuitive" aren't for me. Thanks again.

I've used BTT for this, it works well for scroll wheel triggers.