This is really useful information. I'll be I'm not the only one who didn't realize how useful the midle button on my mouse could be. All I knew was changing size of fonts and pictures. This post is a good example of the kind of good help agents get on Active Rain, in addition to the benefits of having our own posts go straight to Google and the great benefit of making it so easy to find really good agents to refer clients to all over the country.
Not only does the wheel on the mouse go round and round but it CLICKS down too! I really like having three buttons on my mouse. I use the third button all the time! Do you?
My favorite use of the middle button (i.e. clicking down on the wheel) is to open a link on a webpage in a new tab. What’s cool about having it open a new tab is that you can go to the article and then easily come back to the page that launched you there. Sure you could use the back button, but if you’re like me, one article takes you to another and another and you are several steps away from a single back step by the time you are done.
Two sites where I often am clicking away with my middle button are ActiveRain and Google. So you start your morning on the ActiveRain home page? How many of those featured articles do you read? I start at the home page and then “click, click, click, click, click” along with my middle button on the articles there to create a reading list. Now I can start reading the first article while the other pages are loading in the background and when I’m ready to switch, they are instantly ready having been already loaded for me (no waiting!)
Google is the other place where my middle button gets used frequently. Your Google search turns up a long list of results. On a more difficult topic, which article is going to be the one you want? It’s going to take several click-throughs to find it. I click the page links with my middle button so I can easily get back to my search results list.
Just as a side note, as an alternative, you can Ctrl+Click a link (clicking with the regular left button on the mouse) to also open a link in a new tab (Macs Command+click).
Besides scrolling up or down a page with the mouse wheel, it can alse be used to zoom the magnification when looking at a web page or viewing a document in MS Word or Excel. Hold down the Ctrl key while you roll the wheel and it will zoom in and zoom out!
My other favorite use of holding down Ctrl and rolling is in a folder view. When you are looking at photos for instance you can use this technique to very dynamically size the icons to be bigger thumbnails and easier to see by using Ctrl when you roll the wheel.
By the way, this thumbnail wheel feature is available only in Windows Vista and newer (Win7/Win8). XP users have one thumbnail size and that’s it. I really like the interface updates in the newer versions of windows and the small things like this are very important to me (for you windows XP holdouts, it is really time to get that new computer now!! :)
Now get out there and start using that multipurpose wheel!
originally posted at Craig's Classroom Tech Blog
About theCraig Daniels is a Technology Manager residing in NYC who specializes in applied technologies in the fields of Architecture and Real Estate. Craig focuses on finding the best uses of tech as can be used to help a business be more successful. He is keen on always seeing the perspective and viewpoint of his audience and he tailors his teaching to be easily understood. Would you like to be a sponsor of Craig's Classroom productions? It is now possible! Please check out my sponsorship page for more information.