Point-and-Click Operations

Windows XP offers several settings that affect the way the interface responds to mouse clicks. The default setting (the way it works when you first install Windows XP) will also be familiar to most users, as it is fairly consistent with the way most operating systems work.

Depending on your current settings, however, Windows may respond to mouse clicks differently. See the “Alternate Behavior” section that follows for differences. Later on, you’ll see how to choose between the classic behavior and the alternate behavior.

If you are one of the few computer users who haven’t used a graphical user interface before, here are some things you need to know:

  • PCs usually come with a two- or three-button mouse (unlike the one-button mouse used with the Macintosh), although there are a variety of alternatives, such as touchpads (common on laptops), trackballs, and styluses.

  • To click an object means to move the pointer to the desired screen object and press and release the left mouse button.

  • Double-click means to click twice in rapid succession with the button on the left. (Clicking twice doesn’t accomplish the same thing.)

  • Right-click means to click with the button on the right.

  • If your mouse has three or more buttons, you should just use the primary buttons on the left and the right, and read the documentation that comes with your pointing device to find out what you can do with the others. (You can often configure the middle button to take over functions like ...

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