Using the mouse and keyboard

Using the mouse and keyboard
Computer Beginners Boot Camp
PART ONE: Basic skills
Using the mouse and keyboard:
What is a Mouse?
A computer mouse is a hand-held pointing device
that allows you to control the movement of a
pointer on the computer screen. This pointer is
called the cursor. The cursor acts like a virtual
finger that presses buttons and selects items on
the screen. A mouse has two buttons (left and
right) and often features a scroll wheel.
The ability to properly navigate a computer screen with a mouse is essential, as
the mouse is used for virtually all movement within the computing environment.
The Cursor:
The cursor may appear in several different forms, depending on where it is, what is
on the screen, and what you are doing. There are many forms, but here are some
common ones:
The cursor typically appears as an arrow.
If there is a button or a link on to click on the cursor turns into a hand.
When the cursor is on a document or a text entry box
on a webpage it turns into an i-beam.
Holding the Mouse:
The key to good mouse control is a steady hand. Pinch the mouse firmly between
your thumb and third and fourth fingers. Resting your whole arm—or at least your
wrist—on the desk helps to stabilize the mouse; otherwise the cursor can jump
around on the screen. Many of the items to be clicked are quite small, so you
must be able to stop the mouse on that exact spot and then steadily click the left
(or right) button.
How the Mouse Works on the Computer Screen:
To open or select something on the screen, use the mouse to place the cursor over
it and click by quickly pressing and releasing the left button. Try not to move the
mouse as you click. Sometimes double-clicking is necessary, which means pressing
the left mouse button twice in rapid succession.
The right mouse button is used only occasionally. Right clicking displays a menu
with more options. The options change based on what was clicked. When this
menu appears, chose an option by clicking the left mouse button.
If the mouse has a scroll wheel, moving it up or down scrolls the page up and
down the screen.
Practice Using the Mouse:
Now let’s practice using the mouse with an online tutorial. Open Internet Explorer
by clicking on the blue “e” in the taskbar at the bottom left of the screen.
In the address bar at the top, type
Feel free to use this tutorial as many times as needed to feel comfortable.
Additionally, Windows typically includes simple games that can help with mouse
agility, including Solitaire, FreeCell, Hearts, and Minesweeper. They can be
accessed through the start menu: click Start (bottom left corner Windows logo)
then click All Programs then click Games then click to open your game.
Keyboard basics:
The computer takes a familiar tool like a keyboard and empowers it with useful additions and
functions. Although a computer keyboard is based on the old typewriter layout, there are
some major differences in the ways that keys are used. Computer keyboards also have
additional keys. Learning to use the unique keys and special functions of the computer
keyboard can save you time and make you more comfortable with your computer.
Return or Enter Key:
This key is usually marked Return or Enter, but sometimes is labeled with only a large arrow.
This key is used to enter commands or to move the cursor to the beginning of the next line.
Also, in every dialog box there is a default button or box that is recognizable by its bold or
segmented outline. Pressing the Enter key will select that choice. (There is sometimes a
second Enter key on the numeric keypad. This works exactly like the larger Enter key near the
alphabet letters.)
Escape Key:
The Escape key, which is marked ESC on most keyboards, is basically used to exit or escape
from programs and tasks. In many cases, it will have no effect at all. However, it can
sometimes get you out of trouble by making the computer go back or escape to a previous
Control Key (CTRL):
The CTRL key is used in conjunction with another key. Holding it down while pressing another
key will initiate a certain action. CTRL key combinations are defined by the application being
used. Some, however, have become a standard. The most commonly used is, CTRL+C to copy
and CTRL+V to paste. Also in many programs CTRL+S will save the current file or document,
and CTRL+P will print the current file or document. CTRL+Z will often undo your last action.
Caps Lock:
The Caps Lock key is a toggle key. Pressing it once turns it on. Pressing it again turns it off.
Some computer keyboards have a light or indicator that shows when the Caps Lock is on and
when it is off. When Caps Lock is on, every letter that is typed will be a capital letter. Unlike a
typewriter, the Caps Lock key on a computer keyboard affects only letters. It has no effect on
the number or symbol keys. The Number Lock or Num Lock key works similarly to Caps Lock.
If you have questions don't hesitate to contact the library by calling or emailing the
Reference Desk
[email protected]
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