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Welcome to my blog for all things related to business quality (processes, systems and ways of working), products and product quality, manufacturing and operations management.

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Mouse tricks

I find that the mouse, not the keyboard, is my main interface with computers these days. I seem to type less and click more!

I’m a big fan of Logitech mice – the ones with extra buttons that you can program to perform different functions – and for several years I have always used the same set-up across several different combinations of computer and mouse as I find it optimises the speed and efficiency of the User Interface.

Let me share it with you in case it helps you, too:

Mouse

I set up the thumb-activated buttons to perform Copy and Cut – if your mouse has only one thumb button, Copy is the one to use.

I set up the button on the top of the mouse to do Paste.

I leave the other buttons, roller, etc, set to their default settings. (By the way, the clutch-controlled roller on this particular mouse is quite brilliant at scrolling through very large spreadsheets, Word document, or applications such as MRP systems.)

So the editing functions that you perform most often in Word or Excel or PowerPoint, i.e. copying and pasting or cutting and pasting, is done by single mouse button clicks rather than multiple presses or on-screen buttons or pull-down menus.

When you get used to it, your speed of editing is transformed; it completely baffles onlookers as it happens so quickly and easily!

It is possible to go to extreme lengths of customisation, whereby each different program you use has different functions for all the extra mouse buttons. And it may be that for the way you use your particular computer, different functions would be more suitable. But I suggest that you start with Copy, Cut and Paste and keep them consistent across all your applications**, then see how you get on.

There are not many areas where the Windows User Interface can out-smart Apple’s, but I believe this is one! (Compare it with Apple’s single button mouse.)

Why not give it a try and see if it speeds you up?

**By the way, if you are using Logitech Setpoint software you might have to set up Copy/Cut/Paste individually for each different application in its Program Selector; I have found that it doesn’t set the same default for each one correctly, even if you ask it to. Do it on each program separately and you’ll be OK.

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