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Chapter 2. A Field Guide to Windows XP > Some Mouse and Keyboard Fundamentals - Pg. 14

A Field Guide to Windows XP 14 Basic Mouse Maneuvers If you're unfamiliar with Windows, there's a good chance that you're also unfamiliar with the mouse, the electromechanical (and, thankfully, toothless) mammal attached to your machine. If so, this section presents a quick look at a few mouse moves, which is important because much of what you do in Windows will involve the mouse in some way. For starters, be sure the mouse is sitting on its pad or on your desk with the cord facing away from you. (If you have one of those newfangled cordless mice, move the mouse so that the buttons are facing away from you.) Rest your hand lightly on the mouse with your index finger on (but not pressing down) the left button and your middle finger on the right button (or the rightmost button). Southpaws need to reverse the fingering. Figure 2.3, displayed earlier, showed you the mouse pointer . Find the pointer on your screen and then slowly move the mouse on its pad. As you do this, notice that the pointer moves in the same direction (although it will stop dead in its tracks when it hits the edge of the screen). Take a few minutes to practice moving the pointer to and fro using slow, easy movements. To new users, the mouse seems an unnatural device that confounds common sense and often reduces the strongest among us to tears of frustration. The secret to mastering the mouse is twofold. First, use the same advice as was given to the person who wanted to get to Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice. Fortunately, with Windows XP being so mouse-dependent, you'll get plenty of chances to perfect your skills. Second, understand all the basic mouse moves that are required of the modern-day mouse user. There are a half-dozen in all: · Point--This means that you move the mouse pointer so that it's positioned over some specified part of the screen. For example, "point at the Start button" means that you move the mouse pointer over the taskbar's Start button. · Click--This means that you press and immediately release the left mouse button to initiate some kind of action. Need a "fer instance"? Okay, point at the Start button and then click it. Instantly, a menu sprouts up in response to the click. (This is Windows XP's Start menu. I'll discuss it in detail in the next chapter. For now, you can get rid of the menu by clicking an empty section of the desktop.) · Double-click--This means that you press and release the left mouse button twice, one press right after the other (there should be little or no delay between each press). To give it a whirl, point at the time in the lower-right corner and then double-click. If all goes well, Windows XP will toss a box titled Date and Time Properties onto the desktop. You use this box to change the current date and time. To return this box from whence it came, click the button labeled Can- cel. If nothing happens when you double-click, try to click as quickly as you can, and try not to move the mouse while you're clicking. Windows Wisdom