Tuesday, January 1, 2008

PC Basics: Using your mouse

Building a better mouse trap

I'm sure the mouse is probably one of the most over looked and abused items on your PC. Kind of how I feel at my job sometimes but that's another story. It does get noticed when it doesn't work well as it's one of the primary ways to interact with your PC. I don't think many people know that you can make adjustments to them to help you out. I hope to give the mouse a little more respect and so people will understand there mouse. Maybe you'll even buy him a new mouse pad to show your appreciation.

Teaching a mouse new tricks

To change your options as far as the mouse is concerned . Here is how you can check out your mouse properties.

1. Go to your Start button. Choose Control Panel -> Click on Mouse icon (If your in category view choose Printers and other Hardware).

Picture 1

Now hopefully you have the Mouse Properties window open. It will have five tabs. They should be: Buttons, Pointers, Pointers Options, Wheel and Hardware. Let's look at the different tabs one by one.


In our Buttons tab we have Button Configuration, Double-click speed and ClickLock(see Picture 1).

1. Button Configuration: Here you can change the left and right button configuration. You check the box to switch them. I believe this was intended to help out left handed people but I believe most of them adapt to the default configuration.

2. Double-click speed: This is where you can adjust the timing between clicks on the mouse. If your having issues with this there is a slider bar and it even gives you a preview folder to practice on until your comfortable.

3. ClickLock: ClickLock is a feature that allows you click and hold onto a file,folder or icon without having to hold down the button. Click on the Settings button you can adjust the time need to hold down the button to lock it.


Picture 2

In the Pointers tab we have the option of customizing the way our pointer looks like on the screen. It also kind of brings to light what the different pointer configurations means. You can change the Scheme by clicking on the arrow which will bring up o drop down window and you can choose your scheme and it will show you a preview in right hand box.

Picture 3

In the Customize box you change individual pointers by electing a pointer and double clicking on it. You will open another window which will give you a choice of pointers to use.

Pointers Options

If you didn't have enough options before here are some more. Here we have the options of Motion, Snap to, and Visibility.

Picture 4

Motion: Here we have a slider bar to adjust the speed of the pointer while moving it with your mouse. This may be handy if your constantly looking for your pointer but is creams across your monitor or having hard time being precise with your mouse.

Snap To: This sounds like something a drill sergeant would say to you. I haven't tried this but what it apparently does is move your pointer automatically to the default button in a dialog box. Personally I wouldn't use this as this could probably cause errors.

Visibility: This covers what you can do to bring attention(or not) to you lonely pointer.Here you can add a pointer trail that follows your pointer as you move it across the screen. You can hide pointer while typing. If your losing your pointer a lot you can locate it by pressing the Ctrl key.


Picture 5

Should your mouse have the scroll wheel option(most do these days) you can adjust the settings here. You can adjust the number of lines it's scrolls and also whether you want to scroll one page at a time. That would be good one if you want to mess up a friend or coworkers PC.


Picture 6

This is where you can check to see if your hardware drivers are working. It will also tell you the manufacturer, the port your connected to and if your device is working properly. You can also trouble shoot it if you are having problems or if your drivers are up to date.

In conclusion should you make any changes be sure and click the Apply button to make your changes permanent. Now I hope you have a better understanding of the often overlooked and abused items on your PC. You can think of it as the Rodney Dangerfield of computer parts. Thanks for coming by and if you have any questions feel free to ask.

-Windows XP All-in-one Desk Reference for Dummies (2nd Edition) by Woody Leonhard

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