Demo: Learning to use the mouse

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If you're just starting out with computers and have never used a mouse before, this demo is for you. You'll learn how to move the pointer on your screen, how and when to use the mouse buttons, and how to use the mouse to select text in a document.

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The mouse is like an extension of your hand. It lets you select and interact with anything on your screen, and makes getting around Windows as easy as pointing and clicking.

The mouse sits on your desk or table and is designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, with the index finger on the left button.

When you move the mouse in different directions, the arrow on the screen follows the same movement. This arrow is called the pointer and it always follows the movement of the mouse. Keep in mind you can lift the mouse and reposition it if you need to.

Now let's see how to click. The left mouse button is used to click, but left-handed people can switch the mouse settings to reverse the buttons.

By clicking the Start button, you can open a document that needs some changes. When you quickly click two times—or double-click—the same word, notice how the word becomes selected. This tells the computer that you want to do something with the selected text, like make it bold.

What if you want to select more than just a single word—this entire paragraph for instance? At the top left of the paragraph, you click and hold down the left mouse button. And with the mouse button still pressed, drag down and to the right, across the entire paragraph. After the paragraph is selected, you release the mouse button.

See how the paragraph is now selected, like the word was earlier? After selecting the text, you're ready to do something with it.

To move this paragraph to another location, you point the mouse over the selected paragraph, click and hold down the left mouse button, and then drag the paragraph. When it's where you want it, you release the mouse button. This is called dragging and dropping.

If your mouse has a scroll wheel, you can use it to move around in a document. To scroll down, you roll the wheel toward you. To scroll up, you roll the wheel away from you.

Now that you're comfortable with these basics, let's try right-clicking. Right-clicking means clicking the right mouse button. You can right-click just about anything in Windows, including text, pictures, and icons. When you right-click an item, a menu like this one will display the things you can do with the item, such as opening it, copying it, or deleting it.

Remember: point and click. That's all you need to master the mouse. Give it a try.