In the past we touched on some keyboard shortcuts that can help simplify your computer usage. In this post, we’re going to look at some ways you can use your computer mouse to improve your productivity and help make your life a little easier.

Shift key and mouse click

Many computer programs allow you to highlight all or parts of your text by using the SHIFT key and the mouse. To do this, you need to place the cursor at the beginning of the area you want to highlight, hold down the SHIFT key, and then click at the end of the area you want to highlight.

Take full advantage of the scroll wheel

Everyone knows that the mouse wheel can scroll up and down on a page. However, this wheel has so many more functions, as shown below.

  • The mouse wheel can also be used as a button. Pressing down on the wheel will act like a third mouse button. This will open a web page in a tab by clicking the wheel on any link and can also be used to close a tab by clicking the wheel on any open tab.
  • Quickly Zoom in and Out on a web page, word document, excel spreadsheet, etc. by holding down the CTRL key and scrolling up to zoom in and down to zoom out.
  • Move forward and backwards while browsing the Internet by holding down the SHIFT key and scrolling up and down. Scrolling down goes back and scrolling up goes forward.

Select with double and triple click

Any word can be easily selected by double-clicking the word. If you want to highlight the whole paragraph, click the mouse button three times on any text in the paragraph.

Use the right-click

When moving or copying, if you right-click on the file or text and drag it while continuing to hold the right button, when you let go you will be given the option to move or copy that file or text. This saves you the extra step of having to right-click where you want to paste the item.

While in a browser, pressing and holding CTRL while clicking on any link will open that link in a new tab.

Ctrl key and mouse click or highlight

While holding down the CTRL key you can left-click on any text to select the entire sentence.

To select multiple objects or highlight multiple sections of text, hold down the CTRL key and left-click to select.

Use the mouse side buttons

Many of the newer mouse models have been developed with buttons down the side. By default, the left thumb button is used to go ‘back’ when browsing the web. The buttons can, however, be programmed to any function the user desires.

Use the Windows ‘Snap To’ feature

To increase productivity using your mouse, I strongly recommend taking advantage of the Windows mouse ‘Snap To’ feature, which automatically moves your mouse to default buttons that appear in a dialog box. For example, if you delete a file or close a window you may get a prompt asking you if you are sure you want to perform the task. With the ‘Snap To’ feature enabled, the mouse cursor automatically moves to the OK button, so all you will 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 and then click OK.

To enable this feature open the Mouse properties under the Windows Control Panel and check the ‘Snap To’ check box under the Pointer Options tab.

Customize your mouse

If you have a mouse with more than two buttons, installing the included mouse software will allow you to customize the mouse even more. For example, if you don’t use the side buttons to move back and forth in a web page, change it to something you do more often, such as switching between open windows or opening the calculator.

These simple tips should help you get more out of your mouse usage, and give you back some time each day.

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