The Mouse

Your mouse could be one of several different varieties, anywhere from a simple two button mouse, a three button mouse, a wheel mouse, an optical mouse, anything in between, or a trackball.

It really doesn't matter, the main thing is the left mouse button is for selecting things or starting things.  The right button is used to bring up context menus (whenever you are on the desktop, or in a Windows program, the computer tries to give you a menu of options of things you may want to do according to where the cursor is). As far as mice with additional buttons, refer to your owners manual for their functions.  If you are left handed, you can also swap the mouse buttons in the software if you desire.

When I refer to clicking on something, I am indicating clicking the left mouse button, and right-click therefore is referring to the right mouse button.  Only use the right mouse button if I tell you to by indicating right-click.  Some people prefer to use the mouse as much as possible and some people want to keep their hands on the keyboard so there are many ways to start programs and perform functions, and that's what we are going to attempt to cover in these discussions.

Most of the computers now come with a two button wheel mouse, usually the optical variety.  The optical mouse has the advantage of working on almost any surface and you don't have problems with dirt accumulating on the ball and causing the mouse to be erratic. When you are moving the mouse around, the oil from your skin on your thumb and little finger get on the mouse pad which tends to pick up airborne dirt.  The ball then picks up the dirt and it accumulates on the two little rollers inside the mouse which actually control where the mouse pointer goes.  I've seen a lot of people throw their mouse away thinking it was not working properly, when the only problem was dirt.

A lot of people don't use the wheel in the middle.  You can use it for scrolling through documents or web pages instead of hitting the Page Down key or using the scroll bars.  The wheel can be set to scroll however many lines you want at a time. 

To change your mouse settings, Click on the Start button, then Control Panel.  When control panel starts up, open up the Mouse icon and change the setting to whatever you prefer.  The only setting I recommend you don't change is the single click option.  This makes everything work with a single click. While this sounds more convenient, sometimes, like when using Windows Explorer to manipulate files, the single click option makes it much more difficult to perform functions.


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Please Note: All information provided in The Help Desk web site is in easy to understand terms, in my opinion only, and may not necessarily be the only accepted answers or advice.  I will not be responsible for any problems caused from anyone making any configuration or hardware changes to their computer system resulting from information obtained from this web site.  Please contact me prior to using any content from this web site.