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Tech tips

Here are 7 mouse shortcuts you’ll use again and again

No matter how long you’ve been using computers, there’s still a special feeling when you discover a new shortcut that makes life easier.

The Windows key is a relative newcomer to keyboards, where many standard keys date back to typewriters. Tap or click here for seven Windows key shortcuts you’ll use every day.

Computer mice weren’t widely used until the ’80s, and now it’s hard to imagine a desktop computer without one. Like keyboards, these little peripherals have shortcuts. They’re universal and work on various applications, such as word processors, email and social media. Here are mouse shortcuts you’ll use again and again.

1. Zoom in or out

You can zoom in or out while you work without missing a step by hitting CTRL and spinning your scroll wheel up to zoom in and down to zoom out.

Some websites and applications, such as Google Maps, let you zoom in and out by scrolling up and down.

2. Change the file size of icons

If you’re struggling to see the icons on your desktop or have too many and want to shrink the real estate they’re taking up, you can easily change their size.

Hold CTRL on your keyboard and scroll your mouse wheel up or down to increase or decrease the size of your icons. It’s the same shortcut we discussed to zoom in and out, but here you’re using it on your desktop screen.

3. Select a word or paragraph

You know to double-click to launch applications, but if you’re in a document or on a webpage with text, double-clicking highlights a word. Have you ever heard of triple-clicking? This will highlight an entire paragraph.

These tricks also highlight a word in a URL or the entire URL.

4. Select a column of text

If you’ve used Excel, you know it’s easy to highlight a column of text. But can you do the same in a Word document? Yes, you can!

Hold down ALT + left click and drag the cursor over the text you want to highlight. Release the ALT key and mouse button and you’ll get a context menu with options for your highlighted text.

5. Copy and move items

Here’s a shortcut for the old copy and paste: Highlight some text, hold down CTRL + left click, and drag the text elsewhere. Let go of the mouse button and your text will be copied and pasted there.

To move text around, hold down SHIFT + left click and drag the text to a new location. Let go of the mouse button and the text will disappear from its original location to appear in the new one.

RELATED: 5 things you didn’t know your keyboard’s Shift button can do

6. Open a link in a new browser tab

When you want to open a link without losing the page you’re currently on, you can right-click and select the new tab option from the menu. But there’s an easier way!

Click on the link with your scroll wheel to open a link in a new tab.

7. A new way to scroll

The scroll wheel does precisely as it’s labeled, but there’s another way to read through text that runs multiple pages or screens.

Rather than spinning the scroll wheel up and down, press it in and you’ll see a little circle pop up with a dot and two arrows. Now move your mouse up and down to scroll the page. This eases the strain on your fingers as well.

Bonus: Horizontal scrolling

Some mouse models have tilting scroll wheels. This means you can tilt the wheel left and right in a horizontally scrolling window or app.

Your mouse may have this feature and you don’t even know about it!

When shortcuts just aren’t enough

Sometimes it feels like the world is throwing everything it has at you. To succeed, you need someone to guide you through. That’s what our sponsor, Dell Technologies Advisors, does. They have the tech advice to help you navigate whatever challenges you’re up against — and get you safely to where you want to be.

Call a Dell Technologies Advisor today at 877-ASK-DELL or go to for free expert support.

Keep reading: Master Excel with these five genius tricks

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