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The five most common "gestures" performed with the mouse are: point (to place the pointer over an on-screen item), click (to press and release a mouse button), double-click to press and release a mouse button twice in rapid succession, right-click (to press and release the right mouse button}, and drag (to hold down the mouse button while moving the mouse).

Most modern computers include a mouse as standard equipment. However, some systems, especially portable laptop and notebook models, may have a trackball, touchpad or Trackpoint on or next to the keyboard. These input devices work like the mouse, but take less space and don't need a desk.

Many other alternatives to the conventional roller-ball mouse exist. A tailless mouse, or hamster, transmits its information with infrared impulses. A foot-controlled mouse is one used on the floor underneath the desk. An optical mouse uses a light-emitting diode and photocells instead of a rolling ball to track its position. Some optical designs may require a special mouse mat marked with a grid, others, like the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer, work on nearly any surface.

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http://peripherals.about.com/library/weekly/aa041498.htm.

PC Guide's "Troubleshooting Mice".

Last updated: 1999-07-21

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