Information Technology Services

Windows Mouse Tips

Windows Mouse Tips (and Mac too!)

A few simple tweaks that will make your mouse navigation easier!

Learning to make a few tweaks to your mouse properties will enable you to cut down on the amount of repetitive mouse movements you perform on a daily basis. This will save you time and also cut down on your wrist movement. Mouse properties are located under the mouse icon in control panel. The items available in the Mouse Properties dialog box vary depending on your mouse software; the steps we describe in the following tips may be slightly different on your system. In some cases your mouse drivers may not have a given feature, or your mouse utilities may include options not listed here. Dig through your Mouse Properties and check out all your options.

Tweak your double-clicks
If you double-click too slowly, you may inadvertently change the name of your file, folder, or shortcut instead of opening the item you need. Match your mouses double-click sensitivity to your finger's pace.

Turn on ClickLock
ClickLock and drag the easy way. Are you one of the growing number of people who find it painful, annoying, or just plain bothersome to hold the mouse button down as you select blocks of text or other objects? When ClickLock is enabled, click and hold the mouse button for a few moments before you begin to drag, then release the button and move the mouse. The click stays "locked," just as if you were dragging with the mouse button held down. Figuring out how long to hold the mouse button before the lock engages may take some practice. If you don't like the default hold time, return to Mouse Properties and click Settings in the ClickLock section. Set the slider at different positions until you have the hold time you find most comfortable.

Tweak your scroll
If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you may find that your scrolling requires too many spins to be useful. Or it may scroll too far with each turn. To fine-tune your scrolling, open Mouse Properties and click the Wheel tab. Enter a number from 1 to 99 to set the number of lines each turn of the wheel will scroll. Or select the one screen at a time option for high-speed scrolling.
Bonus tip: The scroll wheel on some mice also acts as a button. Pressing it may activate a panning, or "AutoScroll," feature that lets you scroll the current window up, down, left, or right by moving the mouse in that direction. Press the wheel again to turn the panning feature off.

Change your mouses pace
If your mouse pointer takes too long to move around the screen, or if you have to lift the mouse entirely off its pad to reposition it, you may need to adjust the mouse's speed. This setting changes how far the pointer travels each time you nudge your mouse. Experiment until you find the speed that works for you. With many mice, you can make the pointer travel farther as the mouse moves faster. This lets you set the pointer speed relatively fast yet still be precise when you move the mouse slowly. To enable this feature, look for a setting in Mouse Properties labeled 'Acceleration'.

Snap To
To make the pointer appear poised over the default option when you open a dialog box, enable the ‘Snap To' option. You will be surprised at the amount of mouse movement you will save yourself.
Note: this may not work for every dialog box in every application.

Button Configuration
Are you a south paw? A lot of lefties have learned to work in a right handed world. But you don’t have to when it comes to using your mouse. Under the Buttons tab in mouse properties, you can switch primary and secondary buttons.

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