You use a mouse to move the pointer to a location on
the screen, a process called pointing. Everything you
do with a mouse is accomplished by combining pointing with these techniques:
Pointing means pushing the mouse across
On the screen, the pointer moves
in relation to the mouse. Push the mouse forward, and the pointer
moves up. Push the mouse to the left, and the
pointer moves to the left. To point to an object or location on the screen, you simply use
the mouse to place the pointer on top of the
object or location.
The mouse that comes with IBM-compatible
computers usually have two buttons, but techniques such as clicking, double-clicking, and
dragging are usually carried out with the left
mouse button. In multi-button mouse, one button must be designated as the “primary
” button, referred to as the mouse button
Some mice can have three or more buttons. The button's uses are determined by the computer's operating system, application software, and mouse-control software.
To click an item with the mouse, you move the pointer to
the item on the screen. When the pointer touches the object,
quickly press and release the primary mouse button once.
, as it is
also called— is the most important mouse action. To select
any object on the screen, such as a menu, command, or
button, you click it.
an item means pointing to the item
with the mouse pointer and then pressing and releasing the
mouse button twice in rapid succession.
Double-clicking is primarily used with desktop objects
such as icons. For example, you can double-click a program's icon to launch the program.
an item means positioning the mouse pointer
over the item, pressing the primary mouse button, and
holding it down as you move the mouse. As you move the
pointer, the item is “dragged
” along with it across the
screen (see Fig. 1
Fig. 1: Dragging with a mouse.
You can then drop the item in a
new position on the screen. This technique is also called
editing, or just drag and drop. Dragging is a
very handy tool. In a wordprocessing program, for example, you can drag text from one
location to another in a document. In a file-managemcnr
program, you can drag a document's icon and drop it onto a
printer's icon to print the document.
Windows and many Windows programs support right-clicking, which means pointing
to an item on the screen, then
pressing and releasing the right mouse button (see Fig. 2
Right-clicking usually opens a shortcut menu that
contains commands and options that pertain to the item to
which you are pointing.
Fig. 2: Shortcut menu.
has a small wheel nestled among its buttons.
You can use the wheel for various purposes, one of which is scrolling through long documents.
Not all applications and operating systems support the use of the wheel.