What is the Difference Between Trackball mouse and Spaceball mouse?


Trackball mouse VS Spaceball mouse

Trackball VS Spaceball Mouse

Both Trackball mouse and Spaceball mouse are computer input devices you can track, point and execute commands to perform actions. They may look a bit similar but have many dissimilarities. In this post, I will explain the difference between trackball and Spaceball mouse.

What is a Trackball mouse?

Unlike a mechanical mouse, you can think of a trackball mouse as an upside-down mouse where the ball is placed on top.

Thumb Trackball mouse

A trackball is a pointing device; it can perform the same tasks that you can do with a regular mouse. A trackball is a static pointing device; you move the pointer by rotating the ball on top or side. You can use any finger, thumb, or palm of your hand to move the trackball.

The buttons are arranged around the trackball and are mostly configurable to act as you desire; in the finger-operated trackball mouse, a rotatable ring is placed to act as a scroll wheel. You will find a thumb-operated trackball scroll wheel just like a regular mouse.

Check out the difference between a finger-operated trackball and a thumb-operated trackball mouse.


Use of Trackball in Computer Graphics and Design

A trackball is popular among graphic, CAD, and 3D designers because it offers precision and ease of use which is essential for this type of work. In the start, it could be difficult to work with a trackball mouse, but once you get used to it and learn how to work with it, you will forget any other pointing device for design work.

What is a Spaceball mouse?

A Spaceball mouse that looks like a trackball mouse is a special mouse to work in 3D software or in a virtual reality environment only. Primarily you work with Spaceball with models created in 3D design software like Sketchup, Blender, Autodesk Maya, and many other applications. In short, you can say it can act as a graphical input device.

Spaceball mouse

The Spaceball mouse is strictly used for inputting graphical data in 3D softwareThe main edge that a space ball gives over a trackball or standard mouse is that you can zoom, pan, rotate, and examine the 3D model with several options.

The Spaceball mouse has a fixed spherical ball on top. The ball is glued to the base and can’t be rotated. You can say it’s like a joystick with the difference that the stick is replaced with a round ball.


To input data or commands, you put pressure on the ball to the side, and when you release the ball, it returns to its original position. You can also rotate the ball, and Spaceball translates those motions into a computer application that supports 3D rendering.

Spaceball mouse is hard to find but there are some alternate options which are advance than the Spaceball mouse.

1) SpaceMouse Pro 3D Mouse

2) Space Mouse Enterprise

Differences and similarities between Spaceball mouse verse Trackball mouse

Trackball Mouse

Spaceball Mouse 

Work in two dimensions

Work in three dimensions

Trackball is rotatable

Spaceball is a stationary pointing device

Track by moving the trackball

Track by putting pressure and rotating the spaceball

It can be used in 3d applications and as a regular mouse

It can only be used in 3D-supported software

The trackball is suitable for desktop computers, laptops or notebooks

Spaceball can be used with applications like Solid Works, AutoCAD, and other similar applications.

Trackball moves in 2D dimensions

A Spaceball is used to work in three-dimensional space

Trackball has actions that include Click, Open, Move

Spaceball has actions Rotate, Pan, Zoom. Not possible with any other device