Windows 98 Getting Started Guide

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Appendix A - Using a Mouse

A mouse is a hand-held device that controls the movement of a pointer on your screen. You use your mouse to perform tasks on your computer.

Note "Using Your Mouse," an interactive tutorial, may be included in your copy of Windows 98. If it's available, you can find it in the "Computer Essentials" section of the Discover Windows 98 online tutorial. For information about how to open Discover Windows 98, finish reading this appendix, and then see Chapter 1, "Welcome."


As you move the mouse, a mouse pointer moves on your screen. When you position the pointer over an object, you can press (click or double-click) the mouse button to perform different actions on the object. For example, you can double-click to open and work in files, click-and-drag to move files, and click to select files. In fact, you'll probably use your mouse for most tasks. The pointer usually appears as an arrow, but it can change shape.

The following sections explain the other actions you can perform with your mouse.

Pointing and Clicking

You perform most of the tasks on your computer by pointing at an object on your screen, and then clicking a mouse button. To point to an object, move the mouse until the tip of the mouse pointer is over the item or area you want.

The following table describes common click actions.





Click: Press and release the left mouse button once.



Double-click: Quickly press and release the left mouse button twice.



Right-click: Press and release the right mouse button once. A shortcut menu appears.


You can switch left and right mouse buttons. For more information, look up "mouse" on the Index tab in Windows Help.


Moving objects on your screen is a lot like moving objects around your desk. For example, clicking and dragging an icon is a lot like physically picking up a pencil with your hand and dropping the pencil in a new location. Similarly, to move a screen object, you first position the mouse pointer on the object. Next, you "pick up" the object by pressing and holding down the left mouse button. While you're still holding down the mouse button, move the mouse pointer to where you want to "drop" the object, and then release the mouse button. The following illustration demonstrates dragging a document to a folder.


You also drag to select text, such as words in a document or the name of a file. To select text, you first insert your cursor (a blinking vertical line) where you want to start the selection. Then you hold down the left mouse button, move the mouse pointer to where you want to end the selection, and release the mouse button.


For more information, look up "dragging files, folders" on the Index tab in Windows Help.