Using Keyboard and Mouse
Using Keyboard and Mouse The keyboard and mouse are the two most common ways that users communicate with a computer – or tell the computer what they want it to do.
First, we’ll look at a keyboard and show you that it’s somewhat like a typewriter that has some fancy tools to help you more effectively communicate with the computer. A mouse is a little bit like a television remote – and also helps you tell the computer what to do. Using Keyboard and Mouse
Using Keys on the Keyboard
Caps Lock Key
The caps lock key activates a feature that affects only the letter keys. Pressing on the caps lock button causes all letter keys to type in uppercase. All other keys will act the same as if caps lock is off. To deactivate caps lock, press the caps lock key again. Using Keyboard and Mouse
The shift key is used in combination with a second key. The shift key is used primarily to capitalize letters. Shift differs from caps lock because you have to hold the shift key down while simultaneously pressing another key to capitalize a letter, where you only press the caps lock key once. Holding down the shift key also is used to type the characters and symbols above the numbers on the number keys.
The tab key is used to move from one position on the screen to another. It also creates a “tab stop” (right 1/2 inch) indentation for your paragraphs. This is very similar to a typewriter.
When working with text (words), pressing on the enter key moves the cursor down to the next line. Otherwise, pressing the enter key will activate anything that you have selected.
The escape key is used to cancel the current operation or can be used to exit a program.
Pressing the space bar while the cursor is positioned within text will cause a space (one character wide) to be placed at the position of the cursor (like on a typewriter).
The control key (Ctrl) is usually used with another key. Holding the control key in addition to another key or keys will start a function. Later on, we will teach you some control key functions that deal with word processing.
The alternate key (Alt), similar to the control key, and is used in combination with other keys.
The four arrow keys are located on several keys to the right of the spacebar at the bottom of the keyboard. Pressing one of these keys will cause some type of screen movement in the direction of the arrow on the key.
These keys are frequently used when correcting mistakes in documents and allow users to “go back” and fix mistakes instead of erasing all of the work since the mistake was made.
Pressing the backspace key while the cursor is positioned within text will delete the character (or space) immediately to the left of the cursor.
Pressing the delete key while the cursor is positioned within text will delete the character (or space) immediately to the right of the cursor.
- When typing, you only have to quickly press the key to make it appear on the screen. If you hold it down too long, multiple same letters will appear (rrrr).
- When the caps locks is activated, a light appears on the keyboard.
- When typing, remember to press on the space bar after typing each word in a sentence. If you forget, your sentences will appear as one long word.
Using the Mouse
1. Let your hand rest comfortably on top of the mouse. Most people are right-handed and therefore, the mouse is usually on the right side of the computer. All left-handed folks don’t have to worry because millions of “lefties” use computers. Some left-handed people simply move themouse over to their left side of the computer and use it there. Others use their right hand and soon become ambidextrous! It’s most important to remember to “do what’s most comfortable for you!” For teaching purposes, we will now continue using the right hand terminology.
2. Fit the palm of your hand around the mouse, with your index finger resting on the left (the primary) mouse button and your middle finger resting on the right (the secondary) mouse button. Let the heel of your hand rest on the desk or table.
3. As you move the mouse, the mouse pointer (the cursor on the screen) will move in the same direction as your hand.
Pressing the mouse buttons is easy and takes a slight amount of pressure.
As a beginning computer user, avoid pressing or clicking with the right mouse button. It’s for additional options that advanced users typically use and since you don’t need to use it as a beginner – best avoid it for now!
Using Keyboard and Mouse Mouse Cursors
The arrow/cursor/pointer is the visual cue that points, moves, and selects things on monitor. You can remember this as your “electronic finger” that points to things on your computer screen (monitor).
The mouse pointer is somewhat like your virtual finger inside the computer. It may change shapes as you move it around the screen – which gives you a visual cue that the function of the pointer has changed.
The mouse pointer is in the shape of an arrow as you point to icons, menu choices, toolbar buttons, etc.
The mouse pointer will change to an I-beam shape (cursor) when it is over text (words). You can continue to use the mouse to move the I-beam until it is positioned at the place where you would like to
work with the text (e.g. where you would like to insert a word or letter). Then click the left mouse button to actually position the cursor at that point, and enter the word or letter.
Because the mouse is a critical component of the computer, we’ll examine some mouse techniques that will be used.
The mouse can be used in many different ways. There are primarily the two mouse buttons, known as the left and right button. The left button is primarily used. Some mouse techniques include:
This is the easiest of the techniques, however it is very important that you do it properly. To click, you press down one of the mouse buttons. As you click it, it makes a “clicking” noise.
The most important skill to learn when clicking is that it only takes a very light, short tap to click a mouse button. Don’t click the mouse too hard since this tends to slow you down. Once you have mastered clicking, you will be ready to move on to the next most essential practice, pointing.
This is the primary “click” that you will use. This is clicking on the left mouse button. When someone says, “click here,” that usually means to left click.
This is used to change options or perform specific functions that aren’t usually necessary for beginner.
Use the mouse to move the mouse pointer so that it hovers over the top of an icon or word on the screen. Sometimes, this is all that you need to do in order to prompt a response from the computer (as an example, the shape of your cursor may change).
Point and click
Move the mouse pointer over the top of an item (such as an icon) on your screen and then (while holding your hand still) gently press and release the left button on the mouse. This technique is often used to make a selection.
While hovering the mouse pointer over an item on the screen, quickly press the left mouse button two times. This may take some practice but it is a very useful and important skill. If you are having problems double clicking, it’s most likely because you’re moving the mouse slightly when double clicking. Try to steady your hand and try it again. By double clicking, you are usually prompting the computer to take an action on the item you selected (double clicking on an icon on your computer desktop may open or start a program).
Click and drag
Press and hold down a mouse button (usually the left button). As you hold down the button, move the mouse in any direction. Click and drag is a method used when “highlighting” or “selecting” text. To do this to text, click at the beginning of the text that you want to select, hold down the left mouse button, and move your mouse to the end of where you want to highlight.
The Right Mouse Button (Uh-Oh!)
What happens if you accidentally press the right mouse button? A menu pops up— and it’s not a problem, but it can make the computer do something that you don’t expect if you then click on the menu. For now, avoid “confusing” the computer. If you accidentally right click and open a box, left click in an open space (see picture) and the box will close.
Using Keyboard and Mouse