Graphic Design is crippling me, and you too!

hand on mouse click

Is Graphic Design Crippling You?

I believe I have an extreme case of tunnel vision, where I can be entranced buy an idea and work solidly towards it for hours on end whilst the sun rises and sets in the background without me even noticing. My chiropractor and optometrist both say “you need to take regular breaks, it’s not healthy to stare at a computer screen all day”. I know it’s true but I honestly keep forgetting to.
As graphic designers we constantly battle sore shoulders, wrists, hands, backs, eyes, the list goes on and on. One of these problems however brought me down and nearly out a few years back, and stumbling across a random website by accident told me why.

RSI and Easter Eggs!

Repetitive Strain Injury (also known as repetitive stress injury, repetitive motion injuries)
Did you know there are hidden features with-in Adobe (and other) programs. They’re called “Easter eggs”.
This random website I came across (I would credit the website but have no idea which one it is now) showed me a simple trick to gain some nifty hidden features, and some stupid ones too. Here’s how to do it.

Illustrator Easter Eggs (hidden awesomeness!)

With a new or existing document open, go to the bottom left of the screen and click the little arrow head just left of the horizontal scroller bar (see image below)

Graphic design and RSI
Once you click on this you should get a popup menu item with a few standard options in the show field, these are, Artboard name, Current tool, Date and Time, Number of undoes.

adobe illustrator easter egg
To get extra hidden bonuses (illustrator easter egg), hold down Options key (for mac ) or Alt key (for Windows) and click the little arrow again. Now you should see added options in the ‘show’ menu, these are, Mordy’s home number(???), Eyes, Moon phase, Mouse Clicks, Illustrator Units Sold, Random Number, and Shopping day’s until Christmas.

illustrator click count easter egg

Mouse Clicks Easter Egg

The mouse click eater egg was the option that made me really think about what I was doing to my fingers. After finding this hidden gem I could visually see how many click I was making every day, and the numbers were scary. I was posting, 2-3 some days even close to 4 thousand clicks, no wonder my fingers and knuckles were killing me! No amount of using different finger to click , or swapping from left hand to right hand was going to save my hands from the stress of repetitiveness.

The solution

The solution for me was simple, I invested in a Wacom drawing tablet. I don’t wish to brain wash anyone into buying one (I have no affiliate with Wacom) all I can say is since buying the drawing tablet I’ve never had sore hands, except for the time I go burnt by the steaming iron on a photo shoot (true story, I might share at a later date)

Wacom have many option now which you can check out here which range from cheap to fairly expensive for the pimping 24” LCD you can draw directly on, so cool. I’ve got two, and A3 Intuos and a small half A5 size one I picked up for $50 in the specials section of their website.
I’d be super stoked to hear what number of clicks you guys are posting. Why not leave a comment below?
Is anyone clicking more than 4 thousand in one day?