I often play as a healer. My favorite way to heal is to mouse over a friendly unit frame or 3D model and press the hotkey of the spell I wish to cast. I do this via "mouseover" macros.

Example macro:

/cast [@mouseover,help][] Penance

This macro says: "Cast on a friendly target my mouse is over. If none, try to cast using the default targeting mechanism." This allows me to keep my mouse over unit frames and hit buttons rather than needing to click at all. I find it quick, easy, and intuitive.

However, doing this means I need to have a whole lot of macros. There aren't all that many macros available (18 per-character macros) so it'd be nice if I didn't have to clog up my healer macro slots with pretty much every healing spell I know.

Is there a way to do this mouseover behavior without a macro?


4 Answers 4


The only other way to do this without a macro is through the use of an addon.

Clique is probably the most well known such mod - it essentially allows you to bind spells conditionally based upon the frame which you're currently moused over.

It's extremely popular with healers.

  • My only issue with Clique is that while it supports the mouseover aspect, it requires you to use mouseclicks to register the events. For someone who's used to fine tuning the keyboard for key presses registering, I noticed a significant difference on the "feel" for how my heals were going off in terms of delay. I should note that while Clique does support the use of macros with on-click events, it doesn't solve the click vs. key press difference, and still eats up macro slots.
    – TheQ
    Dec 5, 2010 at 20:21
  • 2
    @TheQ Actually, most of what you said appears to not be true any longer! Perhaps Clique hat changed since you used it last? I just installed Clique on @LessPop's suggestion and got it working nearly how I wanted it - using keyboard keypresses and not eating up macro slots.
    – Mag Roader
    Dec 5, 2010 at 22:06
  • @Mag It very well may have, I might have to give it another look. Thanks for the heads up!
    – TheQ
    Dec 6, 2010 at 1:56

See also @LessPop_MoreFizz's answer. What I want to do is not currently possible in the default UI without using addons. @LessPop_MoreFizz suggested the Clique addon.

Clique supports just mouseover quite easily. However, I want my buttons to cast on either my mouseover or, if I am not mousing over anyone, my target. This is a bit harder to do for some reason! (Maybe I should talk to the author or add it.)

Once again, my intention is to replace this macro:

/cast [@mouseover,help][] SPELL_NAME

Where SPELL_NAME is "Penance" or "Heal" or whatever.

Here is exactly how I set it up. I used Clique version v40000-1.3.2.

  1. Install Clique and sign into WoW.
  2. Open up your Spellbook.
  3. Click on the "Clique binding configuration" tab on the right.
  4. On the bottom of the Clique pane, click "Bind Other" -> "Run Custom Macro."
  5. Set the keybinding by hovering over the button and pressing a key. For example, I use 1 for Heal.
  6. In the box below, type /cast [@mouseover,help][] SPELL_NAME.
  7. Save. You should see your custom macro in the list.
  8. Right click on it and select "Enable/Disable binding sets" -> "Global bindings (no target)"
  9. Repeat steps 3-8 for all spells you want controlled via Clique.
  10. Done!

You could, if you want, leave your action bars empty at this point. Clique is totally handling the keypresses for you and you don't need the buttons. However, I replaced the buttons in my action bars with the regular spells by themselves instead of the macro versions. This allows me to see the icon art with keyboard bindings (in case I forget which button is for a spell), cooldown counts, range indicators, tooltips and such. Though, note that those action bar buttons are mainly artistic - when you press the key associated with the button, you are not actually pressing that button because Clique is intercepting the keypress and doing its own thing instead.

The downsides to this method:

  • It's not easy to set up Alt+1 commands to cast a spell on yourself without another round of custom macros. Ugh. Though just hitting the key with no target and no mouseover casts on yourself by default anyway.
  • It's a little hard to maintain; if I want to move a spell from one key to another, I need to update Clique and I want to update my action bars as well (though again, the action bar part is just so I can see the spell icons & keybindings, cooldowns, range indicators, and tooltips).
  • Doesn't transfer to other machines automatically like macros do.

Mouseover casting is now available natively, no add-ons required

With the release of Dragonflight, Blizzard has added this as an option in the default UI.

Open the Game Menu by pressing the Escape key. Then, click Options. Next, click the "Combat" section on the left underneath the "Gameplay" category, and find the "Mouseover Cast" checkbox. Ticking this will enable mouseover casting. You can adjust the dropdown box to the right of this checkbox to add a conditional button that's required to be held in order to activate it, otherwise it'll always be on.

Here's a screenshot of the menu options you're looking for:

Image of WoW Dragonflight Options menu with the Combat section selected and the mouseover cast option circled


Macros are an intrinsic part of the game. Its expected that you use them. It will also help you understand the game.

False notions of "purity" in playing the game, without addons or macros is just needlessly disadvantaging yourself and putting a hardship on your fellow players your healing/healing.

Likely you dont need that many keys setup as macros, likely just a handful. Remember you have multiple keybinds per actionbutton as well.


You can also statically "/click framenamehereoftank" as a fallthrough

  • He's looking to avoid using macros for this to save slots for other uses. Not some misplaced notion that using them is cheating. Dec 5, 2010 at 19:26
  • @LessPop is right. Don't get me wrong, I have tons of macros. That's actually part of the problem - I want more macro slots, and these healing macros are taking up space! The more stuff I can do without a macro, the more flexibility I have to do other macro-like things.
    – Mag Roader
    Dec 5, 2010 at 19:42

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