Configuring an effective healing UI – Part 2: Keybindings and Bars

Welcome to part 2 of our series on how to configure an effective World of Warcraft healing UI.  Ok now that you have read the first in the series, and I’m going to assume you have some hardware. Let’s get cracking, shall we?

Ok first, make sure your Razer Naga is setup for the left thumb keys to be 1 through = (number keys). The switch underneath the mouse should be on 123 (and not Num) and the software should look like this:

Naga Configuration

Side note: I think this is default by the way.

Next, let’s configure your gamepad. To do that, open the gamepad editor tool on your computer.

Gamepad configuration tool


I set mine to this….

top row: V Q W E R

middle row: Control A S D F

bottom row: Alt Z X C

The extra button near my thumb I use for G.

I use the top of the thumb pad for spacebar (to jump), one for B to open my bag, one for a hotkey to my mount macro (same for all toons), and thats pretty much it.

Now, grab an action bar mod addon from curse. You have several options including the most popular Bartender4 and Dominos. Choose one of these, I personally am using Dominos. Once you have this, enable it and log into game.

The first thing I recommend is change your default move / strafe keys from Q and E to A and D. You can do this in the “keybindings” screen when you hit escape or the menu button. It should look like this:

Now you can move with your left hand on your gamepad, and jump with your left thumb on the keypad. If this is the first time for you to move left and right ONLY with strafe, it will take some getting used to. Give yourself the time to adjust, I repeat DONT FREAK OUT!

But before you dive in, we have more work to do! Let’s make your bars pretty and functional now!

  1. Next, open your bar addon and move bar 1 and bar 2 horizontally next to each other at the far bottom of your screen.
  2. Make them smaller, like 80% so they fit beautifully in one row (see below screenshot).
  3. For now, add an additional vertical bar to on the right hand side of your screen (we’ll call this bar 3), this will be your dps (while as a healer) and random shit bar.
  4. Hide all other bars.

See bar notations!


Rebind those bars’ keys!

Now, go into the keybind screen of your bar mod (it’s generally super easy to do this, via Dominos it’s /dominos and right click on each bar). On bar #2 directly next to your main action bar (1 through = bar), change that to Q E R T F Z C V binds.  On the vertical right hand side bar 3, set this to Alt or Shift 1 through Altor Shift  =.

Let’s fill em up!

What I normally do for each of my healers now is create an Excel file or Google Doc Spreadsheet with a list of ALL of the numbers, and modifyers available, then I fill in my keybindings/macros there first. I follow up by replicating this in my bars, macro slots, and bar mod to set the keybindings. But I won’t force you into my silly method, so let’s do it the easier way :)

With bar 1 on the left of the row, fill this with all of your most used heals for now. Each heal should use a mouseover macro (you’ll need it in Part 3 when we setup your raid frames!) like this:

#showtooltip Greater Heal
/cast [@mouseover] Greater Heal

Replace Greater Heal with each of your heals. So in addition to the number bar, we made a custom bar 2 next to it on the right with keys that your left hand can reach easily on the gamepad.

For my healers, I always keybind certain things the exact same way (even in Rift) such as:

  • my defensive cooldown to R. This is where I keep Pain Suppression or Nature’s Swiftness, it’s my OH SHIT button or big cooldown button
  • my clicky to F (pvp trinket, Hand of Freedom for my pally, etc.)
  • my crowd control to C (Fear, Hex, Sheep, Silence, Shackle, Cyclone, and Hammer of Justice)

However, my 2 most used keybindings and easiest to reach are Q and E – both of these I bind also sometimes to a spell that doesn’t have a target or is simply my most used spells. Q is Prayer of Healing and E is PoM on my priest. On my Pally, I use Q for Word of Glory and E for my judgement macro. On my resto druid, Q is Rejuv and E is Lifebloom.

Your mileage may vary but you’ll need to get everything mapped out, and play for a week or so with the keybindings to memorize them. You’ll be happy you did and gave yourself time to learn them.

In the next part, we’ll walk through setting up your raid frames so you can actually see what you NEED to see. Not too much, not too little, just the right amount.

Happy healing! :)

  • Jenetha

    Good write-up!

    I can’t advertise the gampads enough, I use the Logitech G13 and couldn’t live without it. They do take a little bit of getting used to, but after an hour of playing with them, you won’t ever want to do without!

    How are you finding the Naga? I use a mouse with only 2 extra thumb buttons now and really like the extra buttons. I allways thought I’d find all those buttons a bit too hard to keep track of. I’m afraid I’d constantly push the wrong buttons! :-D

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