One of the ways to make the most of your computer is by improving your proficiency in using the computer mouse. This article will give you some ideas and tips on how to use your mouse in such a way as to improve your overall productivity while working on the computer.

Make the most of the scroll wheel

Every computer user knows that one can scroll up and down on a page using the mouse wheel. However, there is so much more to this wheel than scrolling. Some of the other functions are highlighted below.

  • You can zoom in and zoom out on a web page, Microsoft Word document, Microsoft PDF document, picture etc. by holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling up to zoom in and scrolling down to zoom out.
  • In most internet browsers, you can go back and forward between web pages by holding down the Shift key while scrolling up or down.
  • The mouse wheel can also be made to act like a third mouse button by pressing down on it. You can use it to open a web page by clicking the wheel on any link. You can also use it to close an open tab by clicking the wheel on it.
Shift key and mouse click

In most text editors and programs, you can use the Shift key and the mouse to highlight text. For example, if you intend to highlight an entire page in a text document, click at the beginning of the page, hold down the Shift key, scroll to the bottom of the page and click at the end of the text.

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Double and triple click

You can select a word by double-clicking it. If you want to select the whole paragraph or sentence, click the mouse button three times on any word within the paragraph. Try it on this paragraph now. Click three times very quickly on any word in the paragraph and see what happens.

Use the right-click

Make the most of the right-click whenever you highlight text or want to check the properties of an object. You can right-click on an item to see various options of what you can do with it. For instance, you can right-click a file and send it to a storage device connected to your computer.

Ctrl key and mouse click or highlight

You can select multiple objects or highlight separate sections of text by holding down the Ctrl key while left-clicking the items or portions of text that you intend to select.

Enable the Windows Snap To feature

Take full advantage of this mouse feature in Windows which automatically moves your mouse to the default button in a dialog box. For example, if you want to delete a file or close a window you may be prompted to confirm if you are sure you want to perform the action. When you enable the Snap To feature, the mouse cursor automatically moves to the OK button, so all you have to do is click the mouse button if you agree. This saves you the time of having to move the mouse cursor over to the OK button before you can click OK.
To enable this feature, go to Control Panel, open Mouse Properties and check the Snap To check box under the Pointer Options tab. You may want to explore other available features in Mouse Properties.

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Manage open windows with the mouse

Double-clicking the top title bar of any window will maximise the window. If it is already maximised, double-clicking the title bar will resize it. You can also close a window by double-clicking the icon for that window in the top-left corner of the window.

Which of these mouse tips have helped you to work more efficiently and which ones did we leave out?