Mouse Basics: Left vs. Right Click

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The standard mouse has two buttons, plus a scroll wheel in the middle which sometimes is a button.

But most mice do just two things: right- and left-click.

Left-click is often referred to as “normal-click” or “regular-click.”

Most tasks on a computer can be accomplished solely by using the left mouse button. Pressing the left mouse button seems to simulate the mouse cursor being pressed down on the screen: you can drag items or select text or open files.

A double-click is a special type of left-mouse-button click which is getting used less and less. A double-click is usually used for opening files on your computer, where a single-click is used for navigating web pages. Because so much computer is online, the double-click is declining in use.

 

Left vs. Right click graphic

The right mouse button is often ignored for weeks or months at a time, and it’s less understood than its brother.

However, the right mouse button is one of the most valuable tools on the computer. It’s not strictly defined as having a function which makes it hard to describe, but the basic purpose of the right mouse button is this: to give you information *about* what you’re clicking on.

If the left mouse button directly interacts with an object, the right mouse button often allows you to indirectly interact.

Right-clicking a file gives you a list of things to do with the file, or the option to see its properties. Right-clicking your desktop background allows you to modify the desktop. Right-clicking a link allows you to do other things with that link besides visiting it.

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