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1 What is the mouse / how do I use it?
The mouse is the device you will use the most, to navigate your way around the computer screen, and as such, around your software packages / the internet. You will notice that you have two buttons you can click, one on the right and one on the left. These are commonly called ‘right-click’ and ‘left-click’. You will probably have a ‘scroll bar’ on the mouse too – this may sit in between the two main buttons, or it may sit off to the side. Generally, it will look like a small ‘wheel’ that you can see the top of. Each of these has a different function, and these are explained below. You should be able to see where your mouse is on the screen at all times, as it is indicated by some sort of an icon – generally a vertical bar. When you move your mouse, the bar moves. If you move your mouse over a menu box, the option that your mouse is over, gets highlighted, or has an arrow pointing at it. And if you ever lose it, or can’t see it, try putting the mouse somewhere in the middle of the screen – ie. Where you think the middle of the screen is, and click on the left button once. You should see it. (If wordprocessing, the mouse bar may not necessarily indicate where you are currently typing – this is indicated instead by a flashing bold vertical bar caller a cursor. To find more information on this look under “Software – Word”.)
Your ‘left-click’ mouse button is the most important, and is designed to sit just underneath the index finger of your right hand. This is the button you will click (by pressing it down) to choose from different options that are presented to you. At times, this may need to be a single click (ie. Press the left-click button once) and at other times it will need to be a double click (ie. Press it twice.) When doing a double click, you will need to press the button quickly though, otherwise the computer will read your command as two separate single clicks rather than one double click. You will see which is needed, either a single or a double, by the pointer. When this pointer changes shape, the computer is indicated that it has understood your command and is processing it.
The ‘right-click’ button on your will generally only require a single click. It is used far less often, as its function is to inform the computer user of the available options at that point in time. Click it, and a small box will appear. You can then move the mouse over the box, and highlight the option you want, then use a single click of the left-click button to choose.
The ‘scroll bar’ is used to move up or down computer pages quickly. Place your index finger on it and roll the wheel down, (toward you). You will notice that the screen scrolls up; ie you can move further down the document you’re reading. This is called ‘scrolling down’. Likewise, scroll up (roll the wheel up, toward the monitor) and you’ll see the page go up towards the top of the document.