5 Really Cool Mouse Operations You Can Use In Windows

When observing the mouse, you might think, “It has two buttons, sometimes a wheel, and a sensor, and that’s all there is to it!” At least in Windows, right-clicking, dragging, pointing, and double-clicking aren’t the only things you can do with your mouse. There are some operations that can help you save time and make advanced operations like opening new tabs on your browsers, selecting multiple portions of text, and selecting text by columns. In this guide, you’ll learn how to do all that without stressing yourself too much.

If you drag an icon from a folder into another by using the right mouse button, you end up with a context menu like this one:


This allows you to quickly make copies or shortcuts of items without having to jump through any other hoops. By default, Windows often moves files from one place to another when they’re dragged. Dragging them with the right mouse button allows you to have more options.

This kind of trick will only work if your mouse has either three buttons or a wheel in between its two buttons. If you click a link with the middle button or the wheel (by pressing down on the wheel), you will open the link in a new tab automatically. This works when you’re doing research projects that link to several sources and want to do some quick fact checking without having to go back and forth between pages, waiting for them to load. This trick works on most browsers, but might not work on browsers that don’t have tabbed interfaces.

We can all select text horizontally, and it’s the most useful way to normally select text. But what if you’re selecting from a piece of code or some other form of text that requires vertical selection? In Microsoft Word and other advanced editors, you can hold the “Alt” key while dragging your mouse through the text to achieve this result:


Try copying and pasting a selected column of text. You’ll see that the results are within whatever you selected. It’s a cool trick for when you want to paste something from code.

If you’re familiar with holding “Ctrl” while you click and drag through the Windows Explorer interface, you should try that on Microsoft Word. You can actually select multiple separate chunks of text, like this:


If you want, you can apply this to many other things, like selecting certain items from lists on websites. Some interfaces will not allow this kind of selection, but it’s cool when they do. You can gather pieces of a document that you find important, snatch them with this trick, and paste them onto another document that contains only what you find important.

Your context menu is just the beginning of a story. Try holding “Shift” while right-clicking something like your hard drive or a file. The “Send To” menu gets much bigger and you get more options within the context menu. It’s a neat trick for those of you Windows power users!

If you have any new ideas and tricks that other readers could use, let us know by commenting below!

One comment

  1. I learn something new every day. I am a power user, and I use keyboard/mouse short cuts all the time, and even I didn’t know about the column select option. Neat!

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