ARCHIVED: Basic mouse clicks using a two-button mouse
Many standard mice have two buttons: a left button and a right button. If you are right handed, the left mouse button will be directly under your index finger when you place your hand on the mouse. There are multiple ways to click an item using these two buttons:
Single-click: This is the most common type of
mouse click. To single-click, press the left mouse
button once and immediately release it. Single-clicks are used in a
variety of situations, for example:
- When viewing a web site in a browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, if you wish to visit a linked site, single-click the link for that site.
- To enter text in a specific location, place the cursor there by single-clicking the location. This might be a text box in a form, a particular paragraph in a Word document, or a cell in a spreadsheet program such as Excel.
Double-click: To double-click, click twice in
rapid succession. If you do not click fast enough, however, the
computer will register it as a single-click twice; if you are having
trouble, try tapping your finger on the mouse button instead of
pressing it. Use double-clicks for operations such as:
- Opening applications: To open an application (i.e., Internet Explorer), double-click its icon.
- Opening documents: To open a file you have saved, such as a Word document or a picture, double-click the file's icon. The appropriate application will launch and display the file.
Right-click: When using the right mouse button,
you need only single-click. You will not cause any problems if you
double-click or click twice, but your computer will not interpret
these types of clicking as being any different from a single-click.
Right-clicking will cause a drop-down menu to appear with multiple options. This is called a contextual menu, and the options in the menu will be different depending on the application you are using and where your mouse pointer is positioned on the screen when you click. From the contextual menu, you can do such things as rename the file or folder you right-clicked, save it to a different location, or move it to the Recycle Bin.
Note: In Mac OS X, the contextual menus can be accessed with a
Ctrl-click (i.e., pressing the
Ctrlbutton while clicking). Additionally, while Macs generally come with a one-button mouse, they do support two-button mice: if you plug in a two-button mouse, you will be able to use the right mouse button to right-click.
Click and drag: Use click and drag to select
multiple items. To click and drag, click the left mouse button, and
then highlight the items or text that you wish to select. In some
applications, this will create a box around your selected items. When
you release the mouse, you will be able to drag your selection to a
Click twice: A fairly uncommon type of click is
the "click twice". To perform a click twice, click the left mouse
button twice with a slight pause between each click. If you pause for
too long, the computer may recognize it as two single-clicks; however,
if you click too quickly, the computer may interpret it as a
The click twice is most useful for renaming files and folders on your computer. For example, if you have a folder on your desktop named
Untitled, and you wish to give it a descriptive name such as
Birthday photos, click the folder's current name twice. A text box with a cursor inside will appear, and you can change the name to
Birthday photosor another name of your choosing.
Last modified on January 07, 2013.