Useful Computer Mouse Tips and Shortcuts You May Not Know

Computer Mouse Tips Featured

Most people are aware of the difference between left-click and right-click on a mouse, but there are so many other shortcuts that you can make by using all of the buttons on the mouse. Here are some tricks you can try that will reduce the amount of time it takes to complete some common word-processing and browsing activities.

The Mouse’s Third Button

Ask most people how many buttons a mouse has, and they will tell you there are two. That’s not entirely true, though. The wheel in the middle can do so much more than just scroll. It can be clicked, like the other buttons, by pressing down on it. Several shortcuts use the wheel as a button.


That third button can be used as a shortcut for opening browser links in a new tab by pressing down on the wheel while hovering over the link. To do this, put the mouse over the link, and click the wheel to open the link in a new tab.

Pressing the wheel anywhere else on the page makes it possible to fast scroll through the page to move quickly through the page. This fast scrolling eliminates the need to roll the wheel endlessly to get where you want on the page.

Also, while you scroll, holding the Ctrl button down will zoom in or out. If you hold down the Shift button and scroll the wheel, your browser will go back or forward like when you use the buttons on the browser address bar.

You may have a mouse that allows you to tilt the wheel left or right. If you do, you can use it to navigate back and forth as well. Some other mice have side buttons that you can use to navigate.

Double-Click and Triple-Click


You can select any word by double-clicking on the word. If you want to highlight an entire paragraph or sentence, click the mouse button three times on any word. If you double-click and then drag your mouse, it will highlight one word at a time instead of only one letter.

Shift + Mouse Shortcut

Sometimes trying to select an entire paragraph of text using your mouse can be difficult. This is especially true if you have a small workspace. You can end up having to lift the mouse while still holding down the button so you can move it that far. However, there’s a mouse shortcut that allows you to select full paragraphs of text. Place the cursor at the beginning of the text you wish to select, then scroll down to the end. Hold down the Shift key, and then left-click where you want the selection to end. The entire paragraph or paragraphs should highlight at one time.

CTRL + Click Shortcut


If you want to highlight portions of text that are not adjacent to each other, you can do that by holding the Ctrl key while left-clicking whatever you want to highlight. Highlight the first portion of text the traditional way, and then use this method for the other portions. You may find this useful when you’re trying to copy only parts of a table or a list.

Manage an Open Window with the Mouse

To maximize an open window on your computer, you would usually click buttons in the top-right corner of the window. A quicker way to change the size is to double-click on the top title bar of any window. You can also double-click the icon for the window in the top-left corner of the window to close that window.

Give some of these tricks a try and see if you can be more productive and efficient with your computer tasks.

Tracey Rosenberger
Tracey Rosenberger

Tracey Rosenberger spent 26 years teaching elementary students, using technology to enhance learning. Now she's excited to share helpful technology with teachers and everyone else who sees tech as intimidating.

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