Nandakumar Edamana
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How to Swap Mouse Buttons

Usually we use mouse with our right hand. The pointing finger is for the left button, and the middle finger is for the right one. But sometimes we will have to use mouse with the left hand (for example, when we get injured). Now the fingers also change. The pointing finger is for the right button, and the middle finger is for the left. Everything gets messed up!

What do we do now? Swapping mouse buttons is the solution. No, don’t take screwdriver, the computer will do this for you!

Mouse Settings dialog in Ubuntu 14.04
Mouse buttons swapped using the Mouse Settings dialog in Ubuntu 14.04, by selecting the right one as the primary button.

Open System Settings if you are using GNU/Linux or Control Panel if you are in Windows. You may search the the Start menu, Start Screen or Main menu to get this opened. Now select Mouse Settings. There you can see an option called Swap Mouse Buttons. Sometimes it is split as Right-handed and Left-handed. In newer versions of Ubuntu, you have to select the primary button, which is Right for left-handed use. Choose what you want, and the mouse buttons get swapped!

Using mouse with alternative hands has health benefits also. It avoids frequent strain for a single hand. Also, it should boost your brain since you are doing an unusual task!

Bonus points

  • Douglas Engelbart is known as the father of computer mouse. He developed the mouse in 1960s and gave a historical demo in 1968.
  • Similar to the animal's name, computer mouse also has the plural form mice. But it is okay to use mouses. as well.
  • Early mice which used wheels or balls to detect motion are known as mechanical mice. Modern mice use light, and are known as optical mice.

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