How to Use a Computer Mouse

By | January 16, 2018

To those people who use a computer everyday, this must seem like a really unnecessary article, but to those people who are getting their first computer only because they want to be able to email their kids in Alaska, it’s not such a small issue. So for all you people that are too afraid to ask this question, here are all the answers. (Hopefully your kids will print out this article for you!)


The mouse is a pointing device. It usually has a wire coming out of it that connects to the computer, it fits comfortably in your hand, and it usually has 2 buttons with a little wheel between them. When you press the buttons down, they make a soft clicking sound. This is known as “clicking the mouse.” If you press the left button, this is known as a “left click” and clicking the other button is known as a “right click” The little wheel is known as a scroll wheel or the mouse wheel, and it also clicks if you push it down, and you can rotate it with your finger as well.


There is a little arrow that appears on your computer screen when you start the computer up. The mouse controls this arrow. If you drag your mouse across your desk to the left, the little arrow moves to the left, move the mouse forward, and the arrow moves forward. The arrow mimics your mouse’s actions.


Probably the first thing you will be told to do on your new computer is “click the start button.” So what you do is this: drag your mouse across your desk to make the little arrow on the screen move down to the extreme left bottom corner of your screen where there is a picture of a green button with “START” written on it. When the point of the arrow is over this button, press the left hand button of the mouse. You have then just “clicked the start button!” This will cause the start button to “depress” and a menu will pop up with lots of other options that you can “click”

If you are asked to “double click” the mouse, it means that you press the left mouse button twice in quick succession about half a second apart. There are many little pictures on your computer screen called “icons.” If you place your mouse pointer over one of these icons and then double click your mouse, it will open up the program associated with that icon and you can then do stuff, like compose and send emails and so on.

Right clicking the mouse often brings up a pop up menu that allows you to do extra things. For example, right clicking in an empty space on your startup screen will bring up a menu of settings to do with your display and it’s appearance.


The mouse wheel is quite a useful feature. When you are reading a long document that extends beyond the size of your viewing window, rotating the mouse wheel scrolls the document up or down so that you can continue reading it without lifting your hand off the mouse or moving it. It also works in web pages and emails, scrolling the window contents up or down. When using internet explorer to look at pages (web sites) on the internet, clicking the mouse wheel (ie. pushing the wheel down) will open a new blank tab, so that you can have 2, 3 or 8 web pages open at the same time.


The best way to get used to the mouse operation is to play games with the mouse. To get to games, click on the start button, move your mouse pointer up to All programs, then move it up to Games, then across to Solitaire, and then click on Solitaire. You can then play this card game to get used to moving and clicking the mouse, and you won’t do any damage! There are quite a bunch of other games you can try there too.

The mouse, invented over 40 years ago, is a really helpful little device, and once you’re used to it, you will find that it becomes like part of your arm. Enjoy it!

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