10 Tips to Use Mouse More Productively

Though all latest laptop models have a touchpad, many of us still prefer to use a separate mouse. If you have desktop PC then we cannot use the computer without a mouse. However, we use mouse only for defined tasks and do not get the full benefit of using it. In this article, you will find 10 tips to use mouse for additional benefits that can drastically improve your productivity.

Related: How to fix mouse or touch pad problems in Windows?

Using Mouse with Modifier Keys

You may already use the modifier keys like alt and control keys for keyboard shortcuts. It is also possible to use the modifier keys in combination with mouse clicks.

1. Shift + Click to Select Text

On text editors like Microsoft Word, you may select a text by dragging the mouse from the start to end of the selection. Alternatively, you can also use shift and arrow keys in the keyboard for selection. However, you can use shift + left click on the mouse to highlight the text easily.

  • Click on the start of the text to select.
  • Press the shift key
  • Click where you want to end the selection.
  • Now you can see the text you want is highlighted without the need of dragging the mouse or using arrow keys.
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Using Shift Plus Click to Select Text
Using Shift Plus Click to Select Text

2. Control + Click to Select a Sentence

Exactly selecting a paragraph is a frustrating task by dragging from the start to end of the sentence. The easiest way is to hold the control key and click on any word in the sentence. This will select the entire sentence from start to end.  

3. Alt + Click to Select Vertically

On Excel sheets, you can highlight the content horizontally using rows and vertically using columns. However, you can only highlight text horizontally on Word, PowerPoints and other programs. You can resolve this by holding alt key and selecting with the mouse click.  

Select Vertical Columns with Alt and Mouse
Select Vertical Columns with Alt and Mouse

Now you can copy the selected content or highlight with different color.  

Related: How to customize right-click context menu in Windows 10?

Making Use of Additional Buttons

We generally use the center wheel of the mouse to move through the document pages. On some mouse you can press the wheel and position the mouse up or down to automatically scroll the content. You can also use this scroll wheel as a third mouse button for additional purposes.

4. Use Scroll Wheel to Close Browser Tabs

One of the useful functions of this wheel button is that you can simply click the wheel on a browser tab to close it. You can also use this to open the webpages by clicking on a link.

5. Control + Scroll Wheel for Zooming

Press the control key, scroll the wheel up or down to zoom in and zoom out the content in webpages, Word document, Excel spreadsheet, etc. This is useful to increase or reduce the font size quickly on applications like Outlook email.

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6. Side Buttons

Some mouse have additional buttons on the side allowing you to setup several functions with these buttons. You can easily go back in the browser using the side button without clicking on the back arrow on the browser.

Using Multiple Clicks

You can do double or triple clicks to complete some tasks easily.

7. Using Double Clicks

You can select any word on text documents and webpages by double clicking on it. Normally the selection will happened letter by letter when you drag and select. However, you can double click on a word and continue dragging left or right to select word by word.

You probably know that you can move a word by double clicking on it and then dragging to the required place. Instead of using (left) click to drag, you can also use right click to drag after highlighting the word with double click. Most text processors like Word, you will get a context menu with multiple options when you drag with right click.

Drag and Drop with Right Click
Drag and Drop with Right Click

8. Using Triple Click

Click on a word three times in order to select the entire paragraph.

Related: How to use right-click in Google Chrome?

Useful Mouse Properties Settings

Configuring the mouse properties can help you to get things done quickly.

9. Snap To Option

Many times in a day, you may need to press “OK” button to confirm your actions. For example, whenever deleting a file, Windows will prompt you to confirm the deletion action. You need to move the mouse pointer and click on the “OK” button. How about automatically placing the mouse pointer on the default “OK” button when a dialog box opens? In such case, you simply need to click to confirm the action.

  • Go to Control Panel and search “mouse” in the search box. This will filter all mouse setting links.
Search Mouse Properties in Control Panel
Search Mouse Properties in Control Panel
  • Click on any links to open “Mouse Properties” dialog box.
  • Go to “Pointer Options” tab and enable “Automatically move pointer to the default button in a dialog box” option under “Snap To” section.
Snap To Option for Mouse Pointer
Snap To Option for Mouse Pointer

Now, try to delete a file or do some action that prompts the confirmation dialog. You can notice the cursor automatically position itself on the default button. It could be “OK” or “Cancel” button depends on your action.

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10. Use ClickLock

ClickLock is a function enables you to select or drag an item with mouse pointer.

  • In the “Mouse Properties” dialog, navigate to “Buttons” tab.
  • Enable “Turn on ClickLock” checkbox.
  • Click on the “Settings” button and setup the duration for locking your click.
Enable ClickLock
Enable ClickLock

Henceforth, you can click and hold the mouse for setup duration to do the followings:

  • On text editors, you can move the mouse to select the text without dragging.
  • Click on the dialog box’s title bar to move it along with your mouse.
  • When resizing the windows, hold few seconds and then resize without holding.

Conclusion

We hope the above-mentioned tips can help to improve your productivity. In addition, you can various settings the “Mouse Properties” dialog to enhance the pointer precision and show pointer location with control key.  

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