About this Guide

This guide is intended to explain the basic use of MouseTrap and how to run it. You can also download the guide here. Figure 1 explains the basic functionality of MouseTrap:


A web camera is needed for running MouseTrap. Please note that not all web cameras are recognized by MouseTrap. In general, the camera must be able to be detected in the Linux operating system before it can work with MouseTrap, but this is not always the case.

Running MouseTrap

To run MouseTrap the user has to open a terminal window, navigate to the folder where the software was installed and type in the command ./mousetrap.

After running MouseTrap, the software will take a few moments to analyze the images that are coming from the camera in order to find a tracking point (ideally the user's head). This process is visible in the script mapper and is denoted by the message “Found a matching point”.

User Interface

The MouseTrap user interface is very simple and consists of the basic functions that the user needs in order to move a mouse cursor without a mouse. Please note that MouseTrap does not have a click function yet, meaning that the user can only move the cursor by the movement of his/her head but can not make it click. To enable the accessibility function for mouse clicking built in the Linux Operating system please follow these steps:

  1. Go to System->Assistive Technology menu.

  2. Click the Mouse Accessibility option.

  3. Enable the "Initiate click when stopping pointer movement" option.

See Figure 2 for a visual aid:

To learn more about this, please visit the Ubuntu Accessibility web page.

Figure 3 shows the main interface of MouseTrap:

As visible in the image, MouseTrap looks for the person's head and marks the image with a green dot (see the Camera Image in Figure 3). The movement of the user's head will determine the movement of the green dot, hence moving the mouse cursor.

From the main interface the user has access to some of the features built in MouseTrap. To access them click on the Preferences button. Figure 4 shows the Preferences menu:

Through the Preferences menu, the user has access to 6 tabs: General, Camera, Algorithm, Addons, Mouse, Debug.

Figure 5 represents the Camera tab:


The default settings of MouseTrap are generally all the user needs in order to interact with the cursor. It is also a good idea to double-check that some of the features are enabled. For example, Camera Image and Script Mapper are very important to the user when using MouseTrap; therefore, to enable them the user would have to go to the Preferences menu and make sure that “Show Point Mapper” and “Show Capture” are enabled. At the same time, it is important to make use of the “Input Video Device Index”; if the camera does not get detected by MouseTrap, then it could be that the user has multiple video capturing devices plugged in the computer and switching between them is done by changing the “Input Video Device Index”.

MouseTrap Arguments List

NOTE: This information can be found running man moustrap under the OPTIONS section.




Changes the input video device index. E.g 0 for /dev/video0

-e cam
-e main-window

When starting MouseTrap, force the enabling of the supplied options.

-d cam
-d main-window

When starting MouseTrap, force the disabling of the supplied options.


Show the help message of this release of the MouseTrap program.


Return the MouseTrap version number.


Quit MouseTrap.

Running MouseTrap

The way to run MouseTrap is as simple as running the command:

$ mousetrap [ OPTIONS ]

MouseTrap will load the default settings and will overwrite them if an option flag was used (This wont the configuration file).

Mouse Movement Methods

It is possible two chose between 3 mouse movement methods (for now):

The first method is the Joystick method known in MouseTrap as the Hold method which will interpret the head movement as joystick movements. The second (and default) method is the Screen method which emulates a real mouse, so the head movements will be interpreted as a real mouse movement. The third and last movement mode is the Drag-Drop method which lets the users drag the mouse pointer and drop it in a different position, this movements can be performed horizontally or vertically not both at the same time.

Projects/MouseTrap/UsingIt (last edited 2013-11-22 15:20:57 by WilliamJonMcCann)