Customizing Your Mouse Pointer

Starting with Windows 95, Microsoft made it easy to change the behavior and appearance of your mouse pointer. To change your mouse settings, open the Windows Control Panel, found under Settings on the Start menu. You can then open the Mouse control panel applet. This applet may appear differently for different mouse drivers, but the default panel has three tabs which may be used to adjust mouse settings: Buttons, Pointers, and Motion.

The Buttons tab allows you to set the double-click speed sensitivity, which is useful if you have trouble clicking on icons. Left-handed users can also reverse the mouse buttons for easier usage.

On the Pointers tab you can choose from several pre-defined schemes. Beyond the standard white pointer, users can select larger pointers that are easier to see on laptops, or animated or 3D cursors for variety.

If you find these extra mouse cursors are missing, you can install them using the Add/Remove Programs icon in your Control Panel. Open this applet and click on the Windows Setup tab. This is where you can add or remove the optional components of Windows. Mouse pointers are an accessory, so select the Accessories line and click on the Details button. Scroll down the list until you see the Mouse Pointers item. Check its box and press the OK buttons to exit the Add/Remove Programs applet. You may be prompted for your Windows CD so the system can copy any required files.

Finally, the Motion tab allows users to adjust the speed at which the cursor moves on the screen. Laptop users can also turn on pointer trails, which create an afterimage of the cursor that is easier to see on some older laptop screens.

August 1999

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