A mouse is a small device that you connect to your computer. Moving the mouse with your hand, you can then control items such as files and folders on your computer screen. By pointing and clicking on items with you mouse, you can open or move files and folders and complete other actions.
Most computer mice have two buttons and a scroll wheel. Here’s how to get to grips with your mouse.
When plugged into your computer, most mice will work straight away. Some come with special software that add advanced features. If necessary, follow the manufacturer’s intructions (usually included in the packaging) on how to install this software.
Hold and move the mouse
Position your mouse next to your keyboard on a smooth surface, such as a mouse pad. Place your hand on the mouse, with your index finger on the main button and your thumb resting on the side. Move the mouse slowly in any direction and you’ll see the cursor on your screen moves in the same direction. If you run out of room to move your mouse on the mouse pad, simply pick up the mouse and move it closer to you.
Move your mouse so the cursor on screen appears to touch an item. The cursor may change shape depending on what you’re pointing to on screen. For example, if you point to a link in your web browser, the cursor changes from an arrow to a hand with a pointing finger.
Most mouse actions combine pointing with pressing one of the mouse buttons:
Click – sometimes referred to as left-clicking, this involves pressing the left-hand mouse button just once. Whenever you’re instructed simply to click on something, this means a single left click.
Double click – pressing the left-hand mouse button twice in quick succession is known as double-clicking. You may need to double click an icon to open a program, or document to open the file.
Right click – pressing the right-hand button, or right-clicking, often reveals a list of functions you can perform. Highlighting text and right-clicking within a Word document, for example, reveals options to change the appearance of a paragraph.
Drag and drop – you can move items from one place to another by dragging them. To drag an item, point to it on the screen, press and hold the left-hand mouse button, drag the item to a new location, and then release the button.
Highlighting – click your mouse at the start of a section of text and keep it held down. Drag your mouse cursor to the end of the section of text and release the mouse button. Your selected text will be highlighted and you can right click to access further actions (or use the toolbar at the top of your screen).
Scrolling Most mice have a scroll wheel between the left- and right-hand mouse buttons. To scroll down, click on the page once and roll the scroll wheel towards you. Alternatively, press down on the scroll wheel and roll the wheel towards or away from you to move down or up a page. If your mouse doesn’t have a scroll wheel, click on the up or down arrow on the right-hand side of any page, or drag the bar if it’s a long document or web page.
Often hovering your cursor over something will reveal another menu without the need to click on anything at all.