RUI-Recording User Input

This site accompanies RUI, a simple keystroke and mouse move logger. It is similar to MouseTracker, but also records keystrokes. RUI and related topics have been reported:

Morgan, J. H., Cheng, C.-Y., Pike, C., & Ritter, F. E. (2013). A design, tests, and considerations for improving keystroke and mouse loggers. Interacting with Computers. 25(3). 242-258.

Kukreja, U., Stevenson, W. E., & Ritter, F. E. (2006). RUI -- Recording User Input from interfaces under Windows and Mac OS X. Behavior Research Methods. 38(4). 656–659.

It has also been used in projects to record keystrokes and mouse moves in theses [Kukreja, 2004; Friedrich, 2008].

General Information      Example short log [hh:mm:ss format]     Example long log [hh:mm:ss format]
Example short log [s.xxxx format]
Translation of this page into Ukrainian (thanks to Vlad Brown)

Rui (looks like 24 apr 12)

Rui (looks like 3 feb 12)
    [Instructions for OS 10.7+, apply these after the instructions, 10.7 and higher versions until the accessibility panel changes to match 10.13]
    [Instructions for OS 10.13, 10.14, perhaps higher, apply these after the instructions, maybe earlier versions]

RUI for Windows 2.03 (of 3 Nov 2008) RUI2 for PC resources

RUI for Windows 2.0.1 (of 2 Sep 2008) RUI201 for PC resources [this version anonymizes keystrokes, based on a keystroke hook, Razvan Orendovici modified Pike's 2.0.0 version]

RUI for Mac OS X 1.0 Beta 2 (of 31 Aug 2006) RUI for Mac resources

RUI for Windows 1.0 (of 10 Nov 2004) RUI for PC resources


If you're looking for an application that keeps timing, and you don't need to log keystrokes or mouse activity, consider using this JavaScript stopwatch. Peter Springer has also started a more general review of logging tools.

Currently asked questions about common problems

1. RUI does not run on my Mac

a. In 10.7-10.8, you need to have, in the Systems Preferences: Universal Access: Keyboard dialog, Enable access for assistive devices, checked.

b. In 10.9, you need to have, in the Systems Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy tab; unlock the tab by clicking on the lock and entering your password; check the box for terminal under "Allow the apps below to control your computer"; click the lock again to save the settings.

c. you may need to run it from the command line, which is a little more difficult the first time, but gets easier.

d. If you are trying to run from the command line, you have to use a valid path to the application. If your shell has the current directory (".") in the path, then you can run it as "rui", if you do not have it in your path, then you have to use the full path, such as "/Macintosh HD/user/ritter/Desktop/Rui/rui". If you do not know what a path is, you probably have to include the full path.

2. On the PC, replay does not work.

a. For replay, only A-Z are replayed, and all others produce an "A". Its not that its not possible, its just that these additional keystrokes were not included in the original version and the software is incomplete. Urmila expects to fix this for the PC version in December 2007.

3. Logs stop suddenly.

This can happen if users type the stop keystroke ^s either accidently or as part of what they should type as part of the experiment.

4. Can I choose to only log the mouse?

Yes. The PC interface has a check box to selectively log mouse moves, mouse clicks, and keystrokes.

5. On the PC, when I stop RUI it crashes!

That is a known bug, more recently reported by Wen Yao. What is happening, is that RUI stops logging, and then saves the file, and then can't log the keystroke to stop logging. We believe that this is a benign bug, although one that should be removed. [We believe that it has been removed in RUI 2.]


This document last modified 23 sep 2020 by Frank Ritter.