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One Click Two Click Red Click Blue Click

January 12th, 2008 · No Comments

One Click Two Click

Red Click Blue Click

Or how the Mouse Saved Time.

There are a few skills I have developed while using my computer that I use every single time I sit down at the keyboard. They involve using my mouse to its full capabilities, and not using my mouse at all.

Let’s start with not using the mouse at all, because it seems it is easier to explain how to not do something. When I make a mistake, which is almost never ;-), but suppose I were to make a mistake- I can hit “Ctrl+z” faster than the blink of an eye! That’s because “Ctrl+z” is the universal savior of almost any move you can make in almost every computer program.

“Ctrl-z” is Un-Do, and it works in hundreds of programs, from AOL, to Excel, to Web Browsers and everything in between. You can also get to Un-Do from the “Edit” menu in most programs as well. However, I’ve found that “Ctrl-z” can sometimes work when I can’t get to the menu for one reason or another.

Now on to the mouse, I always click in different patterns depending what I want to do. If I am writing something in MS Word or Outlook (for email) and decide I want to rearrange a sentence or paragraph, I’ll be working with entire words. When I use the mouse to highlight the words I’ll begin by double clicking. That’s because double clicking on a word causes the mouse to select (or highlight) entire words, not just characters.

[Newer versions of Word, etc. usually come with “When Selecting Automatically Select Entire Word” I disable this feature because I like to choose. To disable it go to: “Tools; Options;” and select the “Edit” Tab. Then click on the check mark next to the “When Selecting…” to turn it off and then hit “OK.” That’s it.]

The second way I use my mouse is when I am moving bigger pieces of something, or just trying to select something that is unwieldy to simply click and drag.
Suppose I wanted to copy this entire article from the web page and paste into my new journal “Plagiarist’s Paradise”. It would be difficult to select the entire article by double clicking on the first word (to select in whole words, not characters) and then dragging to the end of the article. This is where Shift-clicking comes into the picture. Shift-clicking begins like a normal click. The trick is the second click- notice I didn’t say drag. In shift clicking you don’t drag, there is no drag shift racing going on here ;-)
To shift-click, you simply click at the beginning of the section you want to select. And then you carefully scroll down to the end of the section you want to select and before you click the second time you hold down the shift key, and then click. I said carefully scroll down, because if you click accidentally while you are trying to scroll, you will have moved your first click. The result is when you shift click at the end you will not select the entire piece you wanted to select.

With shift-clicking you can change the end point, or second point of your selection. Simply hold down the shift key again and shift-click again in a new spot. This can make your selection larger or smaller depending upon where your new shift-click is.
I am always using double-clicks and shift-clicks. You have noticed that some of the words in this article are in another font. I write everything first and then I double-click the words I need to change. It is much faster than trying to drag the mouse from the first letter to the last.

In our next issue: Ctrl+clicking! I can hardly contain my excitement!

By, Chris Kieff

Tags: Ancient Reasons

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