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Mouse Properties

Change settings that affect the behavior of your pointing device and the appearance of the mouse cursor.

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Control Panel [Printers and Other Hardware] Mouse

Command Prompt control main.cpl

Command Prompt control mouse


The Mouse Properties dialog controls the buttons and motion of your pointing device and the appearance of the various mouse cursors, such as the arrow and hourglass. Settings are distributed into the following sections:


The three settings on this page allow you to switch the left and right mouse buttons (useful for southpaws or those with unusual pointing devices), change the speed at which items respond to double-clicks, and control the ClickLock feature (which enables dragging without having to hold down any buttons).


The Pointers tab lets you choose how your mouse pointer looks. This affects not only the standard arrow cursor, but the hourglass, the arrow/hourglass combination, all of the resize arrows, and even the hand cursor used in Internet Explorer. Cursors that ship with Windows are stored in the \Windows\Cursors folder and additional cursors are available on the Internet from such web sites as http://www.anicursor.com/. You can also get a cursor editor, allowing you to create your own static and animated mouse pointers (try AX-Cursors, at http://www.axialis.com/axcursors/, or Microangelo, at http://www.impactsoftware.com)(see Figure 4-55).

Figure 4-55. Choosing custom mouse pointers can go a long way to improving your sanity when sitting in front of a computer

The pointer shadow is actually kind of cool, but it isn't compatible with all display drivers.

Pointer Options

These settings are used to adjust how the mouse pointer responds to the physical motion of your pointing device. A fast pointer speed makes the cursor more sensitive. The Enhance pointer precision option enables minor mouse acceleration and deceleration, which moves the pointer more slowly when you move only a short distance.


The mouse wheel, present on some mice and trackballs, is intended to aid scrolling. Just roll the wheel to scroll up or down in a listbox, document, or web page instead of controlling the scrollbar directly with the mouse pointer. If your pointing device doesn't have a wheel, these settings are ignored.


Finally, the Hardware tab simply lists the pointing devices attached to the system. Note that the Properties page is the same one you'll get in Device Manager (discussed earlier in this chapter). The Troubleshoot button simply opens up a Help and Support Center window with a step-by-step troubleshooting tutorial.


  • All settings in this dialog are also covered in Chapter 5.

  • Many pointing devices come with their own software. Some of this software includes hardware drivers and is absolutely necessary for operation, while other software is purely optional, adding only trivial features. Given the potential compatibility problems with Windows XP, it's best to install such software only if it's necessary or if it provides features you can't live without.

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