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6.2 Mouse Operations

Mouse operations under X are similar to mouse operations under Microsoft Windows, although you perform them differently. The most common mouse operations are:

  • Copying and pasting text

  • Using scrollbars

6.2.1 Copying and Pasting Text

To copy and paste text, you must first mark the text. To do so, you move the mouse cursor to the beginning of the text, press the left mouse button, and drag the mouse across the text to be marked. X automatically copies the marked text into a buffer; you don't need to press Ctrl-C or perform any other operation. If you find that you need to change the size of the marked text section, you can press the right mouse button and move the mouse to adjust the marked text.

Some window managers display a pop-up menu when you click the right button, even when the mouse cursor is above text. When using such a window manager, you cannot use the right mouse button to adjust the size of the marked text section.

To paste the text, properly position the insertion point and press the middle mouse button. If your mouse has only two buttons, simultaneously press the left and right buttons to simulate pressing the middle mouse button. You may find that this operation requires a little practice before you get it right, but once you've mastered it you'll find it works almost as well as having a three-button mouse.

6.2.2 Using Scrollbars

Many X programs provide scrollbars that resemble those provided by Microsoft Windows programs. However, the operation of scrollbars under X differs significantly from that under Microsoft Windows.

To page forward using an X scrollbar, you click the left mouse button on the scrollbar. Clicking near the top of the scrollbar scrolls forward a short distance, as little as a single line. Clicking near the bottom of the scrollbar scrolls the window by a page.

To page backward, you click the right mouse button on the scrollbar. Again, clicking near the top of the scrollbar scrolls a short distance, as little as a single line. Clicking near the bottom of the scrollbar scrolls the window by a page.

Some X programs redefine the operation of scrollbars to correspond to that provided by Microsoft Windows. If a scrollbar doesn't respond as you expect, try using the common Windows manipulations: left click below the scroll box to move forward, left click above the scroll box to move backward, or left drag the scroll box to a desired position.

6.2.3 Virtual Desktop

Under X, your desktop can be larger than the size of your monitor. For example, even if your monitor has a maximum resolution of 800×600, you might have a desktop of 1600×1200 or even 3200×2400. Such a desktop is known as a virtual desktop. Some desktop environments, including GNOME, provide a tool called a pager, which lets you move around the virtual desktop. The pager provides a thumbnail view of your virtual desktop; by clicking within the thumbnail, you center your actual desktop on the clicked location. Some window managers let you simply move the mouse to the edge of the desktop to scroll the virtual desktop.

Previous: 6.1 Keyboard Operations Learning Debian GNU/Linux Next: 6.3 Window Managers
6.1 Keyboard Operations Book Index 6.3 Window Managers

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