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Step-By-Step Tutorial: Windows Basics for the First Time User
Part 1 The Mouse
By Patricia Ouellette

One of the first things we all need to know when we use a computer for the first time is how to use our mouse correctly. We can do a lot of things much quicker and easier if we know what we can do with our mouse.

Mouse Functions:

The most popular mouse will either have three buttons or two buttons and a roller. Some people will have the basic mouse, which only has two buttons. It doesn’t really matter which you have as long as you have a left and right button you will be perfectly fine.

Left Mouse Button

The left mouse button is the one we use the most. There are three different functions in using the left button on the mouse.
  1. Single Click Execute Function: A single click with the left mouse button will execute a command. With a single click you can move the cursor from its present location to another location within a document. You can also open a file, folder or program within a menu with a single click.
  2. Double Click Execute Function: A double click with the left mouse button will also execute a command. You can double click an icon on your desktop to open a program or directory. You also double click as a short cut to execute a command in a function window. For example if you are opening a file from the browse window, you can double click on the file or folder name to open it, rather than clicking on the file name once and then clicking on the open button.
  3. Drag Function: To drag all you do is click once to place the cursor at the start of the text or object you wish to move or highlight, then press the left button down and hold it down. Then move your mouse across the text or object until it is highlighted and release the button. The drag function allows you to drag an item, character or group of words from one place with in a document to another place within the same document. Drag also allows you to highlight text and/or objects.
Right Mouse Button

The right mouse button will bring up small menus. These are shortcut menus and will differ slightly from one program to the next. You will be able to use "cut", "copy" and "paste" in most. Some will have "print", "save" and "open" options, while others will have "sort", "rename", "refresh" and "properties". Every program will have their own little shortcuts included into these menus. They are a time saver as we can highlight objects or text and simply right click to obtain the commands we require without having to go scouting for them in the task bar or tool bars at the top of the window.

Scroll Button or Roller

The roller or centre button is used to scroll down menus or pages for easy reading or browsing.

To activate it you will more than likely need to click the centre button (scroll button) or roller in the window or scroll bar of the program window you are browsing.

It is important to remember that not all programs will have this feature available. Most Internet Browsers and Microsoft programs do have the scroll function available. Another point to remember is that if your scroll function on the mouse does not work, you may need to check that the scroll lock on your keyboard is not turned off. Or you may not have the appropriate software installed for your mouse. If you are unsure check with your computer supplier to see if it has been properly installed or check with a technician.

Cleaning Your Mouse

Cleaning the mouse is important. If you don’t clean it you will find that the cursor will not move freely across your screen. Cleaning is easy to do.
  1. If you look on the bottom of your mouse you will see some pads. These pads assist the mouse in moving freely across your desk or mouse pad. Scrape off any grunge that has accumulated on the pads and wipe over with alcohol wipes (refresh wipes from KFC or fast food outlets are great to use, or rubbing alcohol on a lint free cloth).
  2. Also on the bottom of your mouse you will see an easy to remove place or disk where the ball can be seen. Turn or unclip as directed on the mouse casing to remove this plate. The ball should come out easily. Wipe the ball with an alcohol wipe and place aside for the moment.
  3. Inside the mouse where the ball sits, you should see some rollers. Use a blunt implement like a matchstick or a cotton wool stick to scrape off the grunge collected on the rollers. Then wipe over with an alcohol wipe wrapped around a cotton wool stick to clean off any excess dirt.
  4. Now you can put the ball back inside the mouse and replace the plate.
Trouble Shooting
  1. If you find your mouse is sluggish, you may need to clean it.
  2. Should your mouse still be sluggish and you have cleaned it, make sure that the cord for the mouse has free movement and is not hampered with papers or objects sitting on it. The cord must be kept free at all times.
  3. If your scroll button or roller is not working, check that the scroll lock on the keyboard is not turned off; you can check this simply by looking for a light on the keyboard which has scroll lock beside it.
  4. Mouse not responding: Check to see that your mouse cable is properly connected at the back of your tower.
  5. Reinstall the driver for the mouse.
Coming in January: Basics for a Healthy Computer – Doing That Defrag Thing!
Trish Ouellette is a wife and step-mother of seven glorious children and three grand children. Trish and her husband Jim, run a small computer business from home, as well as two large Internet ministries, which keep her busy designing websites, fixing, upgrading and building computers and teaching computer and Internet technology. With every minute of her spare time she explores her talents in writing and art, which is available to view on her personal website Christ Driven Brush & Pen http://christdriven.evangel-list.com.

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