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What do these buttons and other gizmos on my mouse do?

Matt Van Arsdel

Question: What do these buttons and other gizmos on my mouse do?

Answer: The computer mouse has come along way since it was first invented back in the early 1970s. Way back when it only had one button and it tracked its movements by a ball that would tell the computer to move the mouse cursor up, down, left, and right. Today’s mice are very advanced using lasers or LEDs to detect the movements and they can have 2, 3 or more buttons, plus the scroll wheel! So what you will find on a typical mouse of today is a Left button, a scroll wheel found in the center, and a Right button. The scroll wheel itself may act as a button as well when you press down on it in to the mouse, but its function may differ depending on the brand name. The scroll wheel allows you to scroll pages up and down instead of having to use the scroll bar that you find on the screen. The main differences between the left and right mouse button is the left mouse button selects the object and right click will show you ways to interact with that object. If you want to select an icon on the desktop, put the mouse cursor over it and click once with the left mouse button to select it. If you would like to open it, click twice with the left mouse button. If you would like to something else with that icon such as creating a short cut, going to its properties, or deleting it you will want to right click on the icon, then left click on Create Shortcut, Properties, or Delete. Not only does this work with icons, but it also works on buttons, windows, programs that are currently open, and even web links. Some of the things you can do when right clicking on a web link would be “Open in a New Window”, “Open in a New Tab”, “Save Target As”, and “Add to Favorites”. These are just some of the examples you can use when right clicking on an object. When you are practicing, remember that left to select, right to interact.

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