Set up the stereo mapping Softmouse 3D mouse

The 3D input devices used to support stereo mapping in ArcGIS Pro include the Softmouse 3D mouse. This device supports stereoscopic mapping workflows by reducing digitizing fatigue with two-handed mouse operation and reduced feature compilation duration by providing access to multiple editing commands at your fingertips. Each device is equipped with a scroll wheel for precise elevation definition, and multiple programmable buttons. Additional information on installation, setup, and use of the Softmouse is given below.

Stereo mapping Softmouse 3D mouse

The Softmouse is a 3D input device designed specifically for use in topographic mapping applications. The Softmouse has 10 buttons and a high-precision horizontal thumbwheel to support height definition. The 10 buttons can be programmed to store up to 20 commands, which simplifies the editing workflow by allowing you to assign commonly used editing commands to the mouse keys, reducing the need to access desired commands from the ArcGIS Pro main menu.

Once ArcGIS Pro has been initialized, the Softmouse can be used as both a system mouse and a stereoscopic input device. Unlike a regular system mouse, the Softmouse will not work if there is not an active instance of ArcGIS Pro.

Configure the Softmouse stereo mouse

The Softmouse can be configured to work with ArcGIS Pro for efficient stereo compilation operations. Follow the steps below to properly configure the Softmouse.

  1. Connect the Softmouse to a computer with a USB port.
  2. Open an ArcGIS Pro project, or create one.
  3. Once ArcGIS Pro is open, on the main menu, select Project > Options.

    The Options window appears, allowing you to set preferred options to configure the use of the Softmouse in ArcGIS Pro.

  4. In the Application section, click 3D Input Device.

    The Set options for Stereo Map mouse window appears.

    Softmouse stereo mouse configuration options

    Next to Mouse Type, a Soft Mouse Detected notification is displayed, indicating that ArcGIS Pro recognized the connected Softmouse device. The absence of this notification indicates the device is disconnected.

    Once connected, the Softmouse can be disconnected and reconnected without the need to restart ArcGIS Pro.

  5. From the Mouse Type drop-down list, select Soft Mouse.

    A graphic of the Softmouse model is displayed on the page. You may need to expand the page to view the full image.

    The button function user interface shows default button assignments and allows you to assign commands to your preferred mouse buttons.


    Buttons with associated functions that are unavailable and show a lock icon are not customizable. Those include Softmouse buttons 1 (left button), 2 (right button), 7 (left shift), and 8 (right shift).

Assign mouse buttons

Various editing and stereo mapping functionality can be assigned to the Softmouse buttons to enhance stereo mapping efficiencies. The Softmouse is equipped with 10 buttons and a horizontal thumbwheel. These buttons can accommodate up to 20 programmable functions. A list of commands that can be assigned to the mouse buttons is shown in the steps below.

  1. In the Button column, click a specific button or button combination number to assign a function to.

    The function associated with the selected mouse button is highlighted in the list. The selected mouse button is highlighted in blue on the Softmouse graphic.

    Assign functions to the Softmouse stereo mouse buttons

  2. Click a function.

    A drop-down list of supported functions is displayed.

  3. Select a function to assign to the associated button or buttons from the drop-down list.
  4. Repeat the above steps to assign other functions to the Softmouse buttons.
  5. Once you finish assigning functions to buttons, click OK at the bottom of the window to accept all changes.

    Click the Restore to Default button to return to the default button assignments.

The table below lists the commands that can be assigned to the Softmouse buttons.

Programmable Softmouse commands

Programmable Softmouse button commands are shown.

The table below provides a brief description of non-programmable function keys for the Softmouse.



Left button

Mimics left-click functionality on the system mouse.


Right button

Mimics right-click functionality on the system mouse


Left shift

Similar to a function key, the Shift key works in combination with other keys to expand mouse button mapping capacity.


Right shift

Similar to a function key, the Shift key works in combination with other keys to expand mouse button mapping capacity.

7 + 8


Clutch enables the moving of the mouse without changing its x,y and z position on the screen.

Invert mouse wheel scrolling

You can invert the scroll direction on the Softmouse by following the steps below.

  1. Open ArcGIS Pro and click Project > Options.

    The main Options window appears.

  2. Under the Applications section, click Navigation.

    The Set options for navigating maps and scenes pane appears.

  3. Under Mouse wheel roll forward, click the Zoom out button, and click OK at the bottom of the window to accept the changes.

    The Set options for navigating maps and scenes pane closes.

  4. Click the back arrow in the About ArcGIS Pro window to return to the ArcGIS Pro home page.

Adjust the mouse z rate of change sensitivity

The thumbwheel on the Softmouse enables accurate height adjustments in the stereo window. Height increment changes are controlled by the Change Z Value By option in the Stereo Cursor section, found at the top of the Set options for Stereo Map mouse window.

Stereo cursor Z setting

This option can also be found on ArcGIS Pro main menu, on the Stereo Map tab, with the Z Sensitivity option in the Cursor group. For ease of access, it is recommended that you use the Z Sensitivity option when working in the Stereo map display.

Z Sensitivity setting on the Stereo Map tab

The default settings change the height value in system defined increments. For smaller, or specific, increment changes, follow the steps below.

  1. Open a Stereo Map window. On the main menu, click Insert, and on the New Map drop-down menu, click New Stereo Map.

    The Stereo Map tab is enabled on the ArcGIS Pro main menu.

  2. Click the Stereo Map tab, and click Z Sensitivity in the Cursor group.

    The Z Sensitivity dialog box appears.

  3. Click the button below Default to enable custom height increment settings.
  4. To adjust z values in increments of 30 cm, enter a value of 0.3 in the box adjacent to the units setting.
  5. Stereo cursor z setting
  6. Click Apply to accept the changes and close the Z Sensitivity dialog box.

    As you rotate the Softmouse thumbwheel, you will see the z values in the coordinate tray (at the bottom of the Stereo window) changing in increments of 30 centimeters.

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