A Guide to Mouseover Macros


One of my buddies from Conquest, the resto-shamantastic Catrii, asked me a question this week about setting up mouseover macros. I thought the explanation might benefit the community as a whole, especially as many of us are cleaning up our UIs in an attempt to be faster and more accurate once Ulduar hits. Here’s a short guide to my preferred UI-altering technique: the mouseover macro.

Mouseover what?

A mouseover macro is a series of commands that lets you press a single button (on either your keyboard or your mouse) to heal the target that your mouse pointer is currently hovering over. It replaces tab or click targeting as a quick way to pick up heal targets. With the standard, unmodified interface, healing is a 3-step process: 1) decide who to heal, 2) left click to target her, and 3) click the spell on your action bar or press the keystroke bound to it. This is a very slow process that requires you to move your hand not once but twice. Mouseover macros let you target a player and cast a spell in just one movement. As a note, I’m using druid spells as examples in this post, but mouseover macros will work for any healer. Just substitute in your spells of choice!


To make a basic mouseover macro, go in your character-specific macros window and click “New.” You’ll be prompted to choose a name and an icon for your macro. I usually assign a two-letter code for the spell. For example, I use LB for Lifebloom and RJ for Rejuvenation. But you can call it pizza, and believe me, it won’t matter. After a while, your fingers will learn the key binding and you won’t need to look. I prefer to choose highly individual (and funny) icons for mine, but you can also duplicate the original spell icon, as I will explain below.

Once you have your name and icon, go into the dialog box and type your commands one per line. Each command line starts with a / just like when you type commands manually. I don’t personally mess with cast sequences, and I actually think it’s best if healers make each macro cast only one spell.

Here are a couple of simple examples for what you might put into a mouseover macro. As you can see, the name “mouseover macro” comes from the first line, the one that lets you target by hovering over a player’s health/information bar in your unit frames or the Blizzard default UI.

/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

/target mouseover
/cast Rejuvenation

If you want the Blizzard standard spell icon to display instead of using a new one of your choice, write your macro as shown below and choose the red question mark as your icon. The #showtooltip command will update that question mark to the default icon for that spell.

/target mouseover
/cast Lifebloom

As per reader Llanion’s suggestion, if you would like to cast a spell on mouseover without switching your target (keeping your target set to the MT or the boss), write your macro as below:

/cast [target=mouseover] Lifebloom

Fellow blogger Keeva contributed another version, which you’ll see below. And if you haven’t been to Keeva’s blog, go now! Well, as soon as you finish reading my post, that is.

/cast [target=mouseover,help] Lifebloom; [help] Lifebloom; Lifebloom

As per Keeva’s explanation, this macro means:

“If I have a mouseover target, cast Lifebloom on them
If I don’t have a mouseover target but I have a normal target, cast Lifebloom on them
if I don’t have a mouseover target or normal target, cast Lifebloom on me.”

These examples represent the very simplest incarnations of the macro, no frills. You can add lines to your macro if you’d like to, say, use a trinket with your spell.

Here’s a macro you might use to link up your Swiftmend spell with the effect from the Living Ice Crystals. Doing this is called “slaving” a trinket to a spell.

/target mouseover
/cast Swiftmend
/use Living Ice Crystals
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Don’t forget to put in the line to clear the error message! Otherwise you’ll get annoyed by red text and alarm sounds if you hit the macro when the trinket isn’t off cooldown. There is some debate about whether to slave a trinket with an on-use effect to another spell, but personally I’m all for it. Your trinket has a greater impact overall if you use it any time it’s up.

Ok, I wrote my macro–now what?

Here’s the tricky part — keybinding the macros to a particular position on your action bars. I keybind my macros to a position on the standard action bars as I don’t use mods like Bongos or Bartender. Follow these steps to bind a keystroke to a particular location on an action bar using the Blizzard default UI.

1. Press the escape key
2. Click on Keybindings


3. Scroll through the long list until you see the name of whichever action bar you are planning to populate with your mouseover macros. I favor Right Action Bar, as you can see below.

4. In the Key 1 column, click one of the red boxes. Once you’ve selected it, just press the key you want to bind to that place. You’ll see the results displayed on your interface, illustrated below.


5. Once you’ve selected your new key codes, hit Okay. If you don’t, kiss your changes goodbye! Go ahead and laugh, but I’ve made this mistake many times.


6. Next, hit /macro to bring up your macros interface. Click and drag the icon for the desired macro onto your action bar. Match it to the space now labeled with the keystroke you want to assign to the spell.


Special Cases

Action bar mods like Bongos or Bartender generally have different names for action bars and you have to configure the keybindings from within their configuration menu. Chances are if you’re savvy enough to set them up in the first place, you’ll know how to configure the keybindings.

A gaming mouse also takes an extra level of configuration, and you’ll need to consult your mouse manual to figure out how to bind the extra mouse buttons to keystrokes. The software always comes standard with the mouse. On my Razer Death Adder mouse, I assign the special buttons to F9, F10 and F11. They now function just like keys.

Charting your key bindings

The point of this exercise is to set yourself up for comfort and speed. Here’s what I do. In addition to the mouse buttons, I always bind some keys I can easily reach on my left hand: 1,2,3,4, F, G, R, C, V. Sometimes I overwrite a function I actually use, like the command to toggle the character panel, and I make sure to bind it somewhere else on my keyboard. If you really never turn with the keyboard, A and D are available real estate as well. I recommend that you never, ever, ever bind Q or E: you will need to strafe some time or other. If you want to use Q or E, make sure you have strafe available somewhere else. The same applies to the space bar–don’t be caught on the ledge without a way to jump! I have smallish hands and a short reach, so 1,2,3, and T are a little far out for comfort. Somehow I can reach 4 really well…it’s a mystery. I have offensive spells on 1-3 and push-to-talk on T. I keep my mount on V on all characters for those quick getaways. Below is a chart of where I put the mouseover macros for my major heals.

Click wheel: Lifebloom
Additional mouse button 1 (thumb): Rejuvenation
Additional mouse button 2 (thumb): Swiftmend
F: Nature’s Swiftness/Healing Touch
G: Wild Growth
R: Regrowth
C: Nourish
4: Innervate

My key bindings are based on personal preference, and yours should be too. I have an approximately equal number of casts on the left hand and the right hand, and that helps reduce repetitive stress injuries. I made sure that I could easily reach my “best” spells and that they fit comfortably in my hand.

You can use your macros to modify your behavior and correct bad habits. Rejuvenation is the very easiest spell for me to reach–do you think I would have put Healing Touch there? I also use the letters to remind me if possible. I tried Wild Growth on F, but I kept wanting to hit G for Growth, so I just went with it. Muscle memory ensures that you will grow accustomed to your keybindings–wherever they are–with practice. The only trouble I ever have involves the click wheel. My best click wheel advice is to either stay away from binding the scroll up/scroll down function or to bind them to the same thing. If you can differentiate those two movements well, more power to you! As for me, I only bind the button press function. Even so, it can be awkward to Lifebloom while mouse turning, but I’ve gotten used to it (and I don’t spam LB as much as I did back in BC. In Hyjal, I had the click wheel AND F bound to Lifebloom). If you want a clean-looking interface, you can set up all your macros on one action bar (for example, RightActionBar) and then un-display it once you know the keybindings and clicks by heart. Your macros will work whether or not an icon actually displays on your screen.

What unit frames do I use mouseover macros with?

Mouseover macros pair really well with most unit frames. I’ve used them with both Grid and X-Perl. Pitbull works just as well from what I hear, but I’ve never tried it.

Are there mods that can set up mouseover macros for me?

Healbot supports them to the point that they’re pretty much built-in, and Clique is essentially a mouseover mod. I prefer my homegrown solution because it’s extremely customizable, and now that macros sync between computers, keeping them in shape is a cinch.

But what if you like the mouseover idea and want less set up? Try Healbot or unit frames + Clique. The one drawback to Clique is that it encourages you to do double key combos, as in Shift+right click for Rejuvenation. Any time you have to press two keys to hit a heal, you lose precious time. I know this quite well–I used to use Shift+F for Rejuvenation, with the result that I almost never cast it. Lifebloom (F) was a lot faster. Since then, I’ve gotten a 5-button mouse and I have all my heals bound to a single key or click.

Common Macro Mischief

Here’s a list of the mistakes I’ve seen some players make. Try to avoid them as you learn to play with mouseover macros!

1. Binding the left and right click of the mouse to a spell. Don’t do it. You still need to be able to target, inspect, invite, etc. Some unit frames (I think Healbot) let you use left and right click to heal when you’re hovering on the frames and return those clicks to their normal functions when you’re not mousing over health bars, but I wouldn’t try it without the mod. That’s a macro that’s too complicated for my taste.
2. Letting your macros do too much for you. As I’ve said, I don’t like cast sequence macros for healing. Healing will always be at least partly reactive, and you need to be fully in control of spell choice at all moments.
3. Combining two abilities that invoke the GCD in a single macro. You’ll have to hit it twice. I believe this is the case with castsequence macros as well–you have to click for every cast in the sequence.
4. Misunderstanding trinket cooldowns. If you slave two trinkets to a spell, it’s very likely that only one of them will go off at a time. They might share a cooldown, or there might be a hidden cooldown of 45s or so preventing you from blowing both at once.
5. Changing targets without meaning to. Make sure you’re in control of where your pointer is at all times. Mouseover macros work not only on unit frames but on the avatars themselves. You can use mouseover macros for what Matticus calls “heads-up healing,” but beware that you could also switch targets unintentionally. This is why mouseovers are dangerous for dps–they were more so in the age of crowd control.


I’m no expert on mods or UIs. I try to play with the standard interface when I can because I like as little clutter as possible, and macros are part of that. If you want to learn more about UI building, I’ll refer you to Keeva’s Healbot v. Grid series. I’ve learned so much from her. There’s also a topic going at PlusHeal forums with more macros for other classes, including some that are more complex than the ones I’ve talked about here. Some of that information is outdated, so be sure you read the parts of the discussion pertinent to WoTLK. I’m also interested in hearing what the community has to add to my thoughts on mouseovers. If you have an idea or clarification, please post it in the comments and I’ll try to keep this little guide updated and corrected.

80 thoughts on “A Guide to Mouseover Macros”

  1. Great guide, I recommend Mouseovermacros to anyone. BUT they are especially awesome for instantcast spells. I also would like to add that You can strafe holding down your right mousebutton and pressing A or D. Q and E where the first two buttons I changed from wow standard. But as you say it’s a matter of personal preference.

    Edit: Someone beat me to it regarding [target=mouseover]

  2. @Llanion: I actually prefer switching targets–perhaps because I still remember how the default UI works rather fondly–old fashioned me. I keep the boss as my focus, and I have a key bound to pick up the MT of the moment as my target. At this point, I don’t think I even see my target screen inside a raid! Talk about selective blindness. Just my unit frames and focus.

    @ Denandra: I don’t know if I could learn to strafe with different buttons after doing it one way for so long! Some things like movement get to be automatic. I notice this particularly when I’m watching a Wow video and, without realizing it, try to move so I can get a better view…funny how the brain works.

  3. Clique also has the option of disabling it for w/e unit frames you use. For example for me Clique will only work on Grid, Blizz party frames, and focus frame. I cannot heal myself with it using my own Blizz frame unless I target myself. But it makes leaving parties and such less annoying than reaching a weak pinkie for the Alt key all the time. In retrospect I can kind of agree that the modifier keys make it almost slower than a mouseover, but now that I’ve trained myself to heal this way it’s best for me. My husband gets a kick out of watching me on movement fights though when he’s not my tank. I use q, e, direction arrows, and mouse movement, while healing using mouse clicks, modifier keys, and regular ol’ key-casts on my target (usually a tank of some variety.)

  4. healbot is win. i can cast 12 different spells (i don’t even have that many!) from the healbot frames with my the four buttons on my mouse. i rarely use mouseover macros (only have a Holy Shock one) except in KT like situation where it would take too long to identify IB on healbot. still great post on how to make mouseovers!

  5. A suggestion, if I might.

    If, instead of using two lines:

    /target mouseover
    /cast Lifebloom

    You use one-
    /cast [target=mouseover] Lifebloom

    You can do mouseover healing and still retain your original target- so you can, for example, keep the boss targetted to know when its health hits phase-change amounts, or keep the understudies targetted on Razuvious while healing the raid… the list goes on.

    Llanions last blog post..Phaerwell.

  6. Excellent step by step tutorial (will link to this)!

    As for the macro mischief, I agree that one shouldn’t overdo the macro stuff but here I stumble on a problem: there are too many spells. Counting all abilities and items, I have 65 functions that are gaming (non-social) related.
    Filtering to healer related functions, I have ‘only’ 42. There is no way that a few simple mouseovers and actionbars can capture all of these in a handy and clear way. That’s when you start using:
    – key modifiers
    – combining some functionality in one macro
    – distinguishing spell selection based on target/focus

    I don’t see why this is considered a misschief.. I consider it a must.

  7. I’d recommend changing the order of the trinket-slave macro:

    #showtooltip Swiftmend
    /use Living Ice Crystals
    /script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
    /target mouseover
    /cast Swiftmend

    This way, you see the errors from Swiftmend, which might be important, but don’t see the errors from the trinket.

  8. @Zusterke: yes, you’ve hit at the heart of the problem.

    What I do is prioritize. High-use functions get keybound or macroed. You can see that Syd still has some spaces left in her macros interface. I always leave some in case there are special boss abilities.

    Low-use or out of combat functions get put on a bar. Sometimes they are keybound to numbers 7-10, but those are hard as heck to reach and they hardly count. I don’t macro to buff, and I think I’m the one druid with no rebirth macro. I used to have one, but I needed the space at some point. I also don’t make a macro for potion or healthstone use. When in doubt, I’ll use the standard interface for something. I am no computer expert, and I have to reduce my complexity somehow. The level of tolerance for keybindings and modifiers varies by user. I can tell you, though, that my left wrist feels much better than it did back when I used a shift + F and a shift +R on a regular basis.

    As I don’t PvP on Syd at all, that makes things a little easier. We’ll see what I end up keybinding on my paladin when I finally get her in shape for Arena healing. I have a feeling her setup will feel quite different and will probably have, on the whole, a greater dependence on key binding.

  9. Why would an error from Swiftmend be important to see? A timer mod can tell you when it is or isn’t available, or for a low tech solution, you can display its icon and see whether it’s greyed out or not. I think there’s hardly ever a time when I want to see red text and hear the “maaaaa” error sound in combat. There’s already a lot of information available, and more might make me crazy.

    However, this macro WILL use your trinket if it’s available and SM isn’t. That can be a good thing if needed (and in fact, I happily use it this way).

  10. @ Rohan

    As you’ve written your macro, the /use function of the trinket would be on your current target, not your new mouseover. This trinket heals your target for a small amount. If it were a +spellpower on use, you’d be right.

  11. I tend to prefer the mouseover priority macro that was posted on Resto4Life last November or so. This macro is shown below using Rejuv as an example.


    /cast [target=mouseover,exists,help][target=target,help][target=player] Rejuvenation

    You can use a more complicated version of this macro to make it cast two different spells based on a modifier key, as shown below. I prefer the single spell version for healing. I use bartender and pressing shift switches to another bar, where I can just put another single spell macro if I want.

    /cast [mod:alt,target=mouseover,exists,help][mod:alt,target=target,help][mod:alt,target=player] Swiftmend; [target=mouseover,exists,help][target=target,help][target=player] Rejuvenation

    #showtooltip => shows the tooltip of the spell. This changes as you press the modifier key.

    #show => Displays the icon of the spell. I always just pick the ? icon, and leave the spell named as one blank space ” “.

    The casting priority goes as follows: (copied from resto4life.com)

    1. If ALT is not pressed and the target under your mouse is one you can help, it will cast Rejuvenation on her.
    2. If ALT is not pressed and the target under your mouse is one you cannot help but your current target is one you can, it will cast Rejuvenation on your current target.
    3. If ALT is not pressed and both the target under your mouse and your current target are ones you cannot help, it will cast Rejuvenation on you. (This is particularly helpful for healing on the run via insta-cast HoTs in PvP!)
    4. If ALT is pressed and the target under your mouse is one you can help, it will cast Swiftmend on her.
    5. If ALT is pressed and the target under your mouse is one you cannot help but your current target is one you can, it will cast Swiftmend on your current target.
    6. If ALT is pressed and both the target under your mouse and your current target are ones you cannot help, it will cast Swiftmend on you.

  12. Sid – “What I do is prioritize. You can see that Syd still has some spaces left in her macros interface. I always leave some in case there are special boss abilities.”

    And yet, I can see a ‘kiss’-macro in there! 🙂

    But you did formulate the key in structuring the access scheme: prioritizing them on ‘how’ and ‘when’ they are used. That is exactly the basis of my keymap analysis. I consider these criteria fundamental:
    – urgency
    – mobility (instant spells on shortcuts that allow moving)
    – target (ie: predefined, raidframe, world)

    To decrease the wrist straint, I added:
    – fase: maintenance, active, passive
    – loyalty: likelyhood that the spell is chained with another spell from the same group
    – frequency of the spell

    It’s a lot of work (42 functions, ugh!) but I found it well worth it.

  13. A very nice guide to getting started with macros.

    You can add [] to conditionals meaning the spell will go to whoever it would have without the other conditionals. You can also add a nodead conditional, so you won’t try to cast lifebloom on somebody that is already dead. This changes your lifebloom one-liner to

    /cast [target=mouseover,help,nodead][] Lifebloom

    It will only use your mousever target if he is friendly and alive. Otherwise the lifebloom will go to your current target (or if no current target, it will be cast on yourself, with the right option in the interface panel).

    Here is a macro that puts Nourish, Revive, and Rebirth, all on the same key. Only one of those is optimal in any given situation, and the macro makes the choice for you. Like my lifebloom macro it prefers a mouseover target, but if there isn’t one it will use my current target.

    /target [target=mouseover,help][]
    /use [dead,help,combat]Rebirth;[dead,help]Revive;Nourish

    1st line: If mouseover is friendly, target him, otherwise target my current target.
    2nd line: If target is dead and I’m in combat then Rebirth, otherwise if target is dead then revive, otherwise (target is alive) then Nourish.
    3rd line: Restore my target to whatever it was at the beginning.

    I’m Moonkin. I tend to organize my keys:
    Unshifted = attack, prefer mouseover
    Shifted = heal, prefer mouseover
    Ctrl = Forms/items
    a sample, putting all that together:

    /use [mod:ctrl]Cat Form;[mod:shift,target=mouseover,help,nodead][mod:shift]Regrowth;[target=mouseover,harm,nodead][]Starfire

    When 3.1 comes around and I dual-spec resto, I expect I’ll just change this in my Resto form so that Starfire is shifted and Regrowth is unshifted.

    I do occassionaly find myself dropping Starfire on some critter that I accidently mouseovered. To help limit that, I use an addon (currently Skinner) that gives me some off-viewport real estate to park my mouse.

  14. @Zusterke: /kiss is high priority. It’s a mouseover, to boot. Very helpful for flirting with Brio, admiring other people’s non combat pets, or annoying the shit out of the rest of my guildmates. However, I have to be careful with the targeting. I missed Brio once and hit S13. It’s out of the way so I don’t think I’ve ever hit it in combat…

  15. @Erdluf: I shy away from solutions like yours. Blame my low level of computer literacy, but that gets too automated for me. If I’m targeting a dead player on my unit frames, I deserve to fire that spell on myself instead of another target. I like to keep close enough to the standard UI that I could play without my mods or macros. I’m not sure why you would link a heal to Rebirth. I only get to battle rez when I’m told to by the raid leader. There’s no way I would risk it firing out of turn. It would be terrible to expect a Nourish and get a battle rez out of it. The lesson here is that “too much macro” is a condition that has to be individually defined.

  16. Personally, I bind Q and E to useful spells, because I also occasionally play another MMO called Perfect World, where strafing is bound to A and D, with no option to turn and no way to change your keybindings. I just changed my keybindings in WoW to match and got used to it.

    I have to disagree that Healbot uses mouseover macros. It uses click-casting. I HATE click-casting. I disabled all of it and continue to use my mouseover macros that let me keep my target:

    /use [target=mouseover, help] Lifebloom

    (/use is less characters but does the same thing, a good habit to get into if you want to write really long macros)

    My keybinds are generally:
    ~: Nourish
    1: Glyphed Healing Touch
    2: Wild Growth
    3: Swiftmend
    4. Healthstone
    F1: Regrowth
    F2: Rejuv
    F3: Lifebloom
    F4: Herbalism self-heal
    Q: Mark of the Wild
    E: Thorns
    F: Tree form
    T: Tranquility
    Z: Shadowmeld
    Mouse Button 1: Remove Curse
    Shift-Mouse Button 1: Abolish Poison
    Mouse Button 2: Nature’s Swiftness Regrowth macro

  17. @Kiryn: sounds like you’ve got a great setup (and long fingers!). That’s a good example of a way to map your abilities on the keyboard. I’m glad you still have a way to strafe built in. You just don’t want to be left without that.

    I’m also no Healbot expert. I used it for one raid on Vashj and switched for Grid. I’d like to say that I did so for some good reason, but it was all aesthetics.

  18. I use a combination of mouseover macros and click healing. I’ve actually got mine setup so my CTRL key acts as a modifier if I’m not holding it down it casts on my current target, if I’m holding CTRL down it will cast on my mouseover target.

  19. I did read the comments, but not very very carefully, so if I missed it somewhere I apologize, but there is one important item which I feel was left out of the (very good) article.

    If you have a “mouse button” bound to a heal, it will not work on a unit frame, it will work on the actual unit/mob, but not the frame.

    I have mouse button in quotations, because some mice, like you mentioned, allow you to bind keys to their buttons. However, if you are using a standard 5-button mouse and you go and set your keybind to that button, the key binding tab will say “mousebutton 3,” for the mouse wheel. If that keybinding text says “mouse button” on it, it will not work with unit frames on mouseover.

    In your case, it works fine, because when you press your mousewheel, it sends “F9.” On a non-gaming mouse where the buttons have not been mapped, however, you would be unable to use that macro on a unit frame.

    That is why many people pair Grid with Clique, as it works for a broader range of hardware configurations.

  20. Sydera, most trinkets don’t need a target.

    As for errors, maybe it’s just me, but I like knowing that my healing spell has failed to cast, rather than just assuming it went through fine.

  21. @Rohan: You can read everything you need to know on the unit frame. You don’t need to check up on every cast (which you can do, if you like, through WWS). The point is–does person still need heal? If so, try again. If not, move on to next hurt person. Decisions have to be made split-second. An error message for a heal is just slowing me down. However, don’t assume that you have to play the way I do or prioritize what I do. I don’t ask anyone to do that. I am one player of the game, and feel free to do things as you like. When I make suggestions, it’s usually aimed at people who don’t already have a setup that works for them. I have read many “guide” type articles and I incorporate the advice as I see fit. I certainly don’t adopt anyone else’s advice verbatim, at least not without thinking about it. As I said in my article, personal preference weighs very heavily.

    And on the trinket question–I assumed you’d read the tooltip, which I linked. The point with trinkets is that they all do different things. If you’re going to macro them, care should be taken to make sure you get the right formula.

  22. @Apoketino: I don’ think you could buy that article on healbot from me or Matticus. I’ve grown to like Grid (warts and all) and Matt’s a Pitbull user. Maybe fish around on PlusHeal for a blogger who loves Healbot. Keeva, though, seems to be doing a good job elucidating its features on TreeBarkJacket.

  23. i’ve raided with healbot for about 2 years and have really gotten used to it. i’ve used grid for a while but couldn’t get it set up just how i wanted it. way too many customizations that i couldn’t get quite right. i should try pitbull, though. a different addon would make healing in naxx interesting, for a change.

    and yes… it is an EXTREMELY slow day at work. = P

  24. I do indeed have long thin fingers 🙂 But the keyboard I use at home has small laptop-style keys, with the F keys lined up right next to the number keys, not hard to reach at all. I’d never be able to raid on a keyboard like the generic Dell one I use at work, there’s this huge gap between the number keys and the F keys.

    I used Pitbull for my entire BC raiding career. Recently tried out Healbot because I got tired of Pitbull not differentiating between my HoTs and the other druid’s (which was never a problem in BC, as I was a priest then >_>) Loving it so far. I tried Grid for one raid and hated it. I like having my bars colored by remaining health. The precise shade of red or yellow tells me just how much danger someone is in, and without having such an option on Grid, it’s pretty much unusable for me.

  25. @Kirin: Big standard keyboards absolutely defy me and my tiny tree paws. Hate them.

    On Grid: I had the same problem with Grid when I first used it. A priest friend of mine, the awesome Carluta, told me to use health deficit as my center text. Good advice! But it turns out that a similar option is available with the new Grid. On Keeva’s latest post (treebarkjacket.blogspot.com) she mentions how you can set black as the background color and thus see the length of the health bar. Revolutionary! I’m about to go fix mine that way.

  26. Sydera, I didn’t look at the specific trinket. You are right that you need to control the current target for that trinket. For most trinkets you don’t need to.

    As for errors, the major error I need to know about is Line-of-Sight errors. I can’t detect a Line-of-Sight error from the UI, and I need to know that I have to move and reposition.

  27. one thing i despise (and i mean DESPISE like the 50% healing debuff on plea) is that when you scroll over peopl on the new healbot, it pops up a box in the middle of your screen about that gives you pointless information about the target while blocking out a portion of the center of your screen! i’m sure there is a way to disable this but so far i haven’t been able to figure it out. i’ll head on over to this treebarkjacket site (trees /shudder) and see if i can’t figure out what to do. = P

  28. @Apoketino: Maybe you could ask Keeva? She’s good at figuring out stuff. There is always some way to disable annoying crap.

  29. Very nice write-up!
    Only thing I have to add is the tip to have a look at an addon called BindPad. It makes it 100times easier to bind your macro’s to keys (compared to the Bliz version). You do not need your macro’s in your bars anymore. Just drag them to the screen of Bindpad and add your favorite keybinding to it.

  30. I always have the background black, and I always show health deficit. But whenever I tried searching for how to color the Grid health bars by remaining health, the only things I ever found were “why would you need to do that? You can already tell how much health they’re missing by the size of the health bar!” My brain just doesn’t work that way.

    Oh, and on the Healbot tooltip, yeah, you can turn it off completely. There’s a whole section in the Healbot options menu for that tooltip.

  31. Great minds Sydera, I was going to do a macro post in the near future 😛

    I would add this one:

    /cast [target=mouseover,help] Lifebloom; [help] Lifebloom; Lifebloom

    if I have a mouseover target, cast Lifebloom on them
    if I don’t have a mouseover target but I have a normal target, cast Lifebloom on them
    if I don’t have a mouseover target or normal target, cast Lifebloom on me

    Regarding Grid/Healbot stuff:
    – you can definitely colour the bars by health remaining, but unlike Healbot (which changes the colour very gradually), It just has preset thresholds (that you can change) to say when to turn yellow and then red, for example. Healbot’s is smoother and more gradual.

    – I’d love to see more writeups on Healbot because in my experience there are very few of them out there. I prefer Grid, but if people prefer Healbot then I would rather help them than try to convert them! If anyone wants to do their own writeup (as an experienced user) I would love to see it/link to it.

    Keevas last blog post..Raid frame challenge: an in-depth view of Healbot

  32. Sydera said: “Some things like movement get to be automatic. I notice this particularly when I’m watching a Wow video and, without realizing it, try to move so I can get a better view…funny how the brain works.”

    Do you also hit your press to talk key when sitting at my computer and talking on the phone. My guildies give me heaps.

  33. I think we already had this discussion on your blog a while back, Keeva 🙂

    I should correct what I said earlier, the macro I actually use is:

    /use [target=mouseover, help] [ ] Lifebloom

    Those little brackets afterwards make all the difference. They let me cast the spell as normal if I’m not mousing over anyone, helpful if I want to heal myself really quickly, as I usually have the boss targeted during a fight.

  34. @Erdluf – great Rebirth/Revive macro, I’m changing mine to that when I get home!

    (Missed it on my first pass of the comments)

    I’ve been lazy – Phae had a combo macro ages ago but I never uh… “got around” to changing it.. bad druid. So I’m sure you can guess what’s happened – I’ve mistakenly hit Rebirth when I meant Revive.. once or twice. Wasted Rebirth, yuck.

    I love yours though – it’s not just a combo macro for your rez spells, but frees up an extra keybinding (two, in my case.. lazy druid) by combining 3 in 1. No more accidental Rebirths, and two free binds to use for something else. Thanks!

    *slinks off*

    Keevas last blog post..Ulduar "Immortal" to be per-boss, not per-lockout period

  35. Ooh, I missed that one too. That’s brilliant… I have a button on my bars for my revive/rebirth macro (rebirth in combat, revive otherwise) but I never thought of combining it with one of my other macros to simply use when my target is dead.

    Bravo. I’ll certainly be incorporating that one myself.

  36. Good post but most of this ignores all the nice changes brought by patch 2.1 to simplify macros.

    The simplest mouseover macro system is based on Steve’s comment, who suggested:

    /cast [target=mouseover,exists,help][target=target,help][target=player] Rejuvenation

    Except you can shorten it even more

    #show is rendundant with showtooltip in this case, help already assumes “nodead” and “exists” are true. [target=target, help] is the same as [help]
    In other words, the simplest “wrapper” for healing spells should be

    /cast [target=mouseover, help] [help] [target=player] Spellname

    Everything else is superfluous.

  37. Gwaendar,

    Are you sure that [help] implies [nodead]? I’m asking because this seems to work for me (reposting from my earlier comment):

    /target [target=mouseover,help][]
    /use [dead,help,combat]Rebirth;[dead,help]Revive;Nourish

    and particularly for Revive, I’m pretty sure that I’ve just been using it with mouseover. I would expect the first line of the macro to fail to aquire my target if help implies nodead.

    I agree that the [help] I have on the second line should be redundant, given that it is also on the first line.

    I will admit that on occasion I’ve gotten a Nourish castbar when I expected a Revive castbar. However I attributed that to having my mouse in the wrong place.

  38. Thank a lot for this thread, it helps me a lot with the KT’s tech “Frost Blast “.

    As a pally healer i use this macro to heal with Holy Shock the one in ice block :

    /target mouseover
    /cast Holy Shock

    It’s a pretty usefull one, so again, Thank you so much …

  39. Now that I’ve actually had a chance to look at it, the rebirth/revive macro that lets me keep my target looks something like this:

    /use [target=mouseover,help,nodead] Nourish; [target=mouseover,help,combat] Rebirth; [target=mouseover,help] Revive; Nourish

    If my target is alive, it uses Nourish. If they are dead, it moves on to the next option and checks to see if I’m in combat. I’ve still gotta play around with it some. I think the last part will just use Nourish normally if I don’t have a mouseover target, but I haven’t tested it.

  40. The whole mouse-over thing got me thinking. Consider a highly mobile fight like Sarth+3D. As a DPS player, I generally keep the same target (ie, Tenebron, Shadron, etc) while I’m ducking between fire walls and skipping out of fissures. My mouse is entirely free to control my movement.

    For a healer who needs to use the mouse for directing heals (whether via mouse-over macro or by just targeting), how do you manage the movement and targeting simultaneously?

    Amavas last blog post..Alt Leveling Quickies

  41. Me too (confessions of a healer…)

    That’s why I can’t bind A and D. I’ve learned to Rejuv and turn with the mouse at the same time, but I have to leave the clickwheel alone. You have to judge very, very carefully what you’re going to do in each fight. Turning with the mouse is like having a super-speed enchant. In a fight like Sarth, if you’re positioned badly it’s better just to run and mouse turn and pick up healing when you get where you’re going. If you watch me, Amava, I position myself so I only have to move for void zones and 50% of firewalls until the drakes are dead. I also position myself so that the “safe” firewall comes in behind me and “danger” is ahead, in my line of sight. Also, if you’re slow, running at an angle can help you beat the firewall. Sarth is “slow-ish” as far as the movement speed goes but penalties are high for screwing up. I try not to keyboard turn in that fight, though it has happened.

  42. Sydera,

    This might very well be the best mouse-over macro write-up I’ve seen, including my old write-up over at WI. You’re dead on about the mods one might use to do the same thing. However, I think you field an excellent argument for mouse-over macros.

    Bravo! Love the site!


  43. Impressive post!

    I’m new to the mouseover business, and got a really sub par explanation from my guildies. Thanks for answering pretty much all of my questions. 🙂

  44. Hello,

    I have a question regarding mouseover macros and announcing targets. For my Power Infusion, I have a simple macro that goes like this:

    /y Casting Power Infusion on %t, GET UR PHREAK ON!!!
    /cast Power Infusion

    It’s simple and effective, and my warlock friends love it. A few days ago, during a particularly nasty Marrogar encounter, I got to thinking how awesome it would be to make a mouseover macro for Pain Suppression, so I could slap it on one of the three tanks if needed as fast as possible. I am currently using a pretty standard Grid+ Clique setup. I have it set up to cast P.S. as a mouseover, no problem there; however, I need to find a way for it to yell as well when I cast on my mouseover target. I tried a mechanic similar to the above macro to with no success. Here’s what I’ve written:

    /y Casting Power Infusion on %t!
    /cast [@mouseover] Pain Suppression

    Instead of the macro announcing the person I cast P.S. on, it simply announces “no target.” Less than ideal in a situation where multiple tanks and heals are popping cooldowns with some frequency. Is there a way for it to announce the name of my mouseover target like a normal target? Haven’t run across this issue in any of the mouseover macro guides I’ve read.

    Thanks for your help,


  45. I have a general question about mouseover targets.

    I recently noticed that taking my cursor over my own character does NOT highlight it like it does other characters. My character does get highlighted when I mouse over my unit frame. It also works fine for any other character (but my own) whether player or npc.

    The result of this is my mouseover macros only work for myself when I mouse over my unit frame, not when I mouse over my character itself. I was wondering if this is default behavior or I have been dumb enough to select some wrong option somewhere.

  46. This is one of the most useful write ups i have found so far. and the comments left by people help explain even more.

    i have just hit 70 with my 1st healing character (druid) and healbot was getting harder and harder with all the mouse binds (shift+alt+spinroundonchair+rightclick= NS+HT).

    i have used this info and now have all my spells mouseover macro’d for use with grid.

    many thanks guys 🙂

  47. Template for healers:

    Note:The first test in [ ] that tests true will apply and the following tests are ignored.

    /cast [@mouseover, help, nodead] [@mouseovertarget, help, nodead] [help, nodead] [@targettarget, help, nodead] [@player] Flash Heal

    Logical Tests are grouped and flow as follows:

    1 — If unit or unit frame under mouse pointer is friendly and alive, then cast Flash Heal on the unit under the mouse pointer, else…

    2 — If unit or unit frame under mouse pointer is unfriendly, and their target is friendly and alive, then cast Flash Heal on their target, else… (i.e. if you mouse over the boss and they have the tank targeted, your heal lands on the tank.)

    3 — If you have a friendly unit targeted and it’s alive, then cast Flash Heal on them, else…

    4 — If you have a unit targeted and their target is friendly and alive, then cast Flash Heal on their target, else… (i.e. if you have the boss actively targeted, your heal will land on their current target.)

    5 — Cast Flash Heal on self

    If you include [@player, nogroup] it will ignore mouseover and targettarget if you are not in a group… always self-casting instead. IMO, not very helpful if you’re inclined to jump to someone’s aid in a PVP realm or rescue a lowbie player who bit off a few more Defias Cutpurses than they can handle. If you don’t want to be healing random people when you’re solo, what I would do is this:

    /cast [@player, nogroup] [@mouseover, help, nodead] [@mouseovertarget, help, nodead] [help, nodead] [@targettarget, help, nodead] [ ] Flash Heal

    The nogroup test is first so that it will override everything else. The open brackets are added at the end to prevent an error if all of the tests are false. Since it’s blank it always returns true. If you leave the autoselfcast turned on in your interface options, it will still cast on yourself if all of the other tests are false.

    Hope this helps.

    (If your macros start getting a bit long with all of these tests, check out a macro addon such as BindPad.)

  48. Just realized you could rearrange that nogroup one to work a little better…

    /cast [help, nodead] [@player, nogroup] [@mouseover, help, nodead] [@mouseovertarget, help, nodead] [@targettarget, help, nodead] [ ] Flash Heal

    By moving [help, nodead] first, an actively targeted friendly target will still get your heals, followed by yourself. If you are ungrouped, it stops there.

  49. LOL

    I Just realized that an active target while grouped would override mouseover casting.

    That just goes to show how much you can customize if you rearrange the tests to suite your preferences.

    /cast [help, nodead, nogroup] [@player, nogroup] [@mouseover, help, nodead] [@mouseovertarget, help, nodead] [help, nodead] [@targettarget, help, nodead] [ ] Flash Heal

    That should work with the following priority system:


    1. Your active target if friendly and alive
    2. Yourself


    1. The unit under your mouse pointer (mouseover) if friendly and alive
    2. Mouseover’s target if mouseover is unfriendly and mouseover’s target is alive and friendly
    3. Your active target if they are friendly and alive
    4. Your target’s target if their target is friendly and alive
    5. Yourself

  50. Change 3:

    – removed unnecessary spaces & semi-colon
    – added key to override targeting with a self-cast instead

    /cast [mod:alt,@player][@mouseover,help,nodead][@mouseovertarget,help,nodead][help,nodead][@targettarget,help,nodead][] Flash Heal

    /cast [mod:alt,@player][help,nodead,nogroup][@player,nogroup][@mouseover,help,nodead][@mouseovertarget,help,nodead][help,nodead][@targettarget,help,nodead][] Flash Heal

  51. iam trying to use a simple mouseover macro for my priest

    /target mouseover
    /cast Renew

    (i have tied all with help brackets etc none works)

    but this shit doesnt work for me anywhere .in party/raid and bgs..nothing happens if i click or hoverover a players health/information bar in my unit frames ..any suggestions why..many thx

  52. @ James

    /cast [@mouseover][] Renew

    You might want to add “help, nodead” to avoid issues if your mouse is over an enemy or dead player. #showtooltip will show the tooltip for the Renew spell if you mouse over the macro and it will display the Renew icon if you select the question mark icon in the macro setup menu.

    /cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][] Renew

    … with that, the mouseover will only do it’s thing if the target under the mouse pointer is alive and friendly, otherwise renew will cast as normal (friendly target if you have one, self-cast if you have that enabled.)

  53. Towards the end of this guide you state that these macros work with grid.

    I have not been able to get them to work with either grid or the default UI.

    The macros bound to my mouse wheel up and down work fine but the rest of the buttons on my mouse only work if I am mouse-ing over the avatar not the unit frame.

    This makes healing challenging having to discern the player’s avatar among all the aoe effects,etc.

    I know my macros are correct because as I said they do work perfectly as long the mouse is over the actual avatar of the player/npc. So what is wrong here?

    please help?!?!?

    • hi im having the same problem however i use tukui and the unit frames that go with this. there are no options to enable/disable click through. this is the case with any mouseover macros 🙁

  54. So, it’s been a few months, but I got it!

    This macro will cast Pain Suppression on a mouseover target, and whisper them a custom message! Works with my Grid+Clique just dandy!

    #showtooltip Pain Suppression
    /cast [@mouseover] Pain Suppression
    /script local n,r=UnitName”mouseover”;if(r)then n=n..”-“..r;end;SendChatMessage(“Pain Supression is UP on you!!”,”WHISPER”,nil,n)

  55. hey if any one could help would be grate
    I am looking for a healing adon like heal bot for pvp but I have noticed the heal bot does not show if the party member is out of range that well

  56. @afkuheal – first, love the name. 😛 Second, that issue is one of the main reasons I personally began using Grid – those out of range are greyed over a bit, allowing you to focus only on those that are within range. I’m not sure if the new ‘gridlike’ interface in game does that or not, I haven’t run a BG yet. 🙂

    @the author – Thank you for the article, I have been looking for things that will help with healing, and some of these will do the trick, with some tweeking I will be ready for tomorrow’s xpac release! 😀

    • yer i found using clique and xpearl works realy well for pvp healing just set xpearl to 30 yard ranged detect and i love it clique is like a mouse over macro but you can bind it like heal bot i can be used with billzards raid frames grid any other raid frame really

  57. Hey really nice guide.
    Just some questions, whats the difference with Llanion’s macro and Keeva’s? Whats the [help] part for?

  58. Hey Guys,
    Would really appreciate some input; I am trying to write a macro that places a spell on target and then uses the healbot mouseover target to announce to the party that a spell (Guardian Spirit in this case) has been set on the target
    Idealy a typical message would then read:
    Guardian Spirit set on “PLAYER” (where “PLAYER” is the healbot mouseover target.
    Any Ideas?

  59. @Alexander Gerlach  The [help] specifies that that portion of the macro will only be cast if the target is friendly, e.g. not trying to bash your face in.
    I made a slightly-modified version of the above macro, just to include a focus-friendly check between the mouseover and the regular target. Just insert the line below if you want to implement it.
    -A geek.

  60. @ Iaxis. The macro is great! I use it on my holy pally. Was just wondering which part is the part that send you back a tell from the mouse over target? I would like to omit that.

  61. Great post! Simply priceless. Now I can level my healing alts and practice the use of mouseover macros on every single toon with healing possibilities. 
    My level 35 Shaman, that i’ve been afraid to level for years, is suddenly more fun with just 2 instant cast mouseover healing spells.

  62. Wow. Im like a noob when it comes to /m but thank you! this has been a great help-helps me understands basic key techniques! thank you!

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