Things You May Not Know About Your Mouse

If you look at your mouse, you will notice that it has two buttons, and possibly a third button or a wheel in the center.  They are known as the left mouse, the right mouse, and the scroller.

The left mouse is the most commonly known button on the mouse.  Most of us know you use it to click something.  If you left click once, it selects, or inserts the curser there; if you left double click, it starts a program, opens an e-mail, and in most word processing programs (like Word), it highlights the word.  If you left triple click, usually only in a word processing program, it will select the entire sentence or paragraph for you.

The right mouse clicking is intended as a shortcut to the most common functions you use.  With a right click you can view or change an items properties.  For example you can rename a folder (in doing so you have changed its properties).  Right clicking anywhere in Windows gives you a drop down menu of what you can do with what you are pointing at.   Some examples are:

        In a web page – If you right click on an open web page, you have options to add it to your favorites (or bookmark it in Netscape).  You can right click on an icon in the web page and you should see that the drop down menu list has the option of saving the image as…or you may be able to save the image as a desktop background. 

        On a desktop – If you right click on an empty area of the desktop, you see that you can rearrange your desktop, create a new folder, or change your desktop.  If you right click on a desktop icon, you have options to delete it, rename it, copy it and so forth. Ever sit at someone else’s system and they have the mouse set up for very fast double click. Opening a program can be hard when you can’t quite double click fast enough. Right click the icon then chose open from the menu that appears.

        In a document – If you are working in a document and you spell a word but are not sure.  Left double click to select the word, then right click on it and you will see alternate spelling options.  Try it.  Create a new document in Word and type suden (yes I know it is spelled wrong).  Left double click to select it, then right click on the selected word.  In addition to the regular options you have, there will also be a short list of similar words to chose from.

        Drag & Drop – If you drag and drop an item with the left mouse button it just moves it to its intended location. What if you only need a shortcut to the original or want to make a copy of the original in the new location? Try dragging and dropping with the right button. Surprise… Now you can chose Move, Copy, or Create a Shortcut to the new location. Always drag & drop with the right mouse button!

In conclusion, the left mouse button may see the most action, but if you do not use the right mouse button, then you are missing out on some pretty neat functions that could save you lots of time and effort.

Kathleen Frady for  C & C Computers 05/27/2003