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Absolute Beginners: Basic mousing "around" technique

Most of your interaction with your computer will be via the mouse, keyboard and screen. If youíre a poor typist, do yourself a very big favour and get a typing tutor program for your computer. You can buy such programs in computer stores or you can download an excellent one from the Internet by visiting Typingmaster.

The mouse is used to move a pointer, or cursor, on the screen. To learn mousing technique, try playing some of the simple games supplied with Windows. Go to the Start Menu and select Programs, then Accessories, then Games in Windows 95 and Windows 98; in Windows Me, itís Start Menu, Programs, Games.

Basic pointers

Orientation. Keep the mouse facing directly forward, with its cord at the top. Keeping that orientation, move the mouse north/south, east/west, or diagonally across the mouse pad. Donít try to skew the mouse around.

Typical mouse orientation for a right-hander. To get a better grip, you should bend your thumb at the first joint so it rests firmly against the side of the mouse.

Hand position. Place the back of the mouse so it sits near the heel of your palm, with your thumb resting gently down one side and your index and little fingers down the other. Your index finger should be positioned on the left mouse button and your middle finger on the right button. (For lefties, reverse those finger positions.) If thereís a middle button or wheel on the mouse, use your index finger (for right and left handers) to manipulate it. Itís important that you keep the mouse stationary when you double-click.

Typical mouse orientation for a left hander. To get a better grip, you should bend your thumb at the first joint so it rests firmly against the side of the mouse.

Mouse terminology

click: Press and release the left mouse button once. Note that unless you are specifically instructed to use the right mouse button (as in right-click or right-drag-and-drop) you always use the left button.

right-click: Press and release the right mouse button once.

double-click: Press and release the left mouse button twice in rapid succession. Make sure you donít move the mouse at all between clicks.

drag-and-drop: Depress the left mouse button and, while keeping it depressed, move the mouse pointer to another location.

right drag-and-drop: Same as drag-and-drop, but using the right mouse button.

select: Click an object once to select it.

open: Double-click an object to open it.


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