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Programming Windows®, Fifth Edition by Charles Petzold

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The Mouse Wheel

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door," my mother told me, unknowingly paraphrasing Emerson. Of course, nowadays it might make more sense to build a better mouse.

The Microsoft IntelliMouse features an enhancement to the traditional mouse in the form of a little wheel between the two buttons. You can press down on this wheel, in which case it functions as a middle mouse button, or you can turn it with your index finger. This generates a special message named WM_MOUSEWHEEL. Programs that use the mouse wheel respond to this message by scrolling or zooming a document. It sounds like an unnecessary gimmick at first, but I must confess I got accustomed very quickly to using the mouse wheel for scrolling ...

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