Your computer mouse is pretty much standard equipment. We often overlook it, and don’t realize there are many things we can do to optimize our computer experience by giving it a little attention. Here are a few tips to utilize and care for your mouse.
1. Understand Right Click vs. Left Click
- Left clicking allows you to select an item, double-clicking will allow you to open files and folders.
- Right clicking usually causes a menu of options related to the selection to pop up. If you right click an image, a web page, a document, or your desktop, you can epect to find a quick menu of actions for what you are working with.
2. Take Advantage of Your Scroll Wheel
- The scroll wheel allows you to move up and down your computer screen without having to constantly click the down arrow button.
- The mouse wheel can also be used as a button. Pressing down on the wheel will act like a third mouse button. This can be used to open a web page in a tab by clicking the wheel on any link and can also be used to close a tab by clicking the wheel on any open tab.
- Quickly Zoom in and Out on a web page, word document, excel spreadsheet, etc. by holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling up to zoom in and down to zoom out.
- Move forward and backwards while browsing the Internet by holding down the Shift key and scrolling up and down. Scrolling down goes back and scrolling up goes forward.
3. The Click-And-Drag is your Friend!
- Often times, if you are trying to move a file, or several files from one folder to another, a menu window will pop up, and you will be prompted to go to a file folder and select the documents or images you wish to move. It can take a long time to navigate the folder system this way. Luckily, you can also move files by clicking them, holding down the button, and simply dragging them into the folder of your choice. It’s a huge time saver for moving documents, as well as downloading images to the web, if you are a blogger or if you share things via social media.
4. Remember Ctrl+Click
- Holding the Ctrl key down when you are clicking allows you to choose several files at once. If you are trying to move multiple files, this allows you to do a bulk move instead of moving each file individually. You can also click and drag to highlight many files at once to move them from one folder to the next.
5. Are you a Lefty?
- If you are left handed and want to change your mouse settings, you can switch the left click button to right click, and so on… To change what your mouse buttons do go to the control panel, open the mouse icon, and here you can change all the settings for the mouse.
6. Use the Snap To Feature in Windows
- Take full advantage of the Windows mouse Snap To feature, which will automatically move your mouse to buttons that appear in a dialog box. For example, if you delete a file or close a window you may get a prompt asking you if you are sure you want to perform the task. With the Snap To feature enabled, the mouse cursor automatically moves to the Ok button, so all you will have to do is click the mouse button if you agree. This saves you the time of having to move the mouse cursor over to the Ok button and then click Ok. To enable this feature open the Mouse properties under the Windows Control Panel and check the Snap To check box under the Pointer Options tab.
7. Customize your Mouse
- If you have a mouse with more than two buttons, installing the included mouse software will allow you to customize the mouse even more. For example, if you don’t use the side buttons to move back and forth in a web page change it to something you do more often, such as switching between open windows or opening the calculator.
8. Move your Mouse with your Keyboard
- If for some reason you find yourself without a mouse, you can enable Windows to use the arrows on the number pad as a mouse. Go to the Control Panel and open up Accessibiity Options, then click the Mouse tab. Check the Use MouseKeys box, then click Settings to edit the speed of the cursor, etc.
9. Select With Double and Triple Click
- Any word can be easily selected by double-clicking the word. If you want to highlight the whole paragraph, click the mouse button three times on any text in the paragraph.
10. Know How to Care for Your Mouse
- Older mechanical mouses (the kind with the rollerballs) need to be disassembles and cleaned regularly, as the trackball can pick up quite a bit of dirt. A dirty trackball leads to jumpy, frustrating navigation. You can clean lint, dirt, etc from the inside of the mouse and the trackball using a piece of scotch tape or tweezers. Refrain from using alcohol. If you have an optical mouse, gently rub it with a lint-free cloth, and use a cotton swab to clean the optical lens.