5x5 Mac Tutorials - Lesson 1-2: Clicking

5×5 Mac Tutorials – Lesson 1-2: Clicking

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An ongoing series of 5-minute lessons going back to basics with the Mac. This one’s all about clicking!

Hello gang! This is Matt. Alright, I know, you’re wondering how I
talk for 5 minutes about clicking. (I’m frankly wondering that myself.) But here’s the thing. Unless you’re some kind of keyboard wizard
and you do every single action using the keys on your Mac, you’ll have a mouse, or a trackpad,
and you’ll click. A lot. So it’s worth taking a few minutes to talk
about what you’ll click, and why, and the different things that happen when you use
clicks in different ways. No matter whether you’re using a mouse or
a trackpad, you’ve got two ways to click something. You can click the way that you would probably
normally do, which is on the left side of a mouse, or with one finger on a trackpad. You can generally call this a “left click”
– I’m just going to call this a click. The other way you can click is with the right
side of a mouse, or with two fingers on a trackpad. You can also hold down the control key on
your keyboard – it’s at the bottom left next to the Option key – and click, and you
get the same effect as if you’d right-clicked. Apple calls this a “secondary click”. In this lesson I’m going to use a visual
aid to show you when I’m clicking. You’ll see a green ring appear when I eft
click, and a red ring when I right click. I shouldn’ t need to say this, but these
effects won’t appear when you try this at home. Most of the time, a regular left click is
what you need. You can click once on a file on the desktop or a folder in the Finder to highlight it, or you can click twice – what we call a double-click – to open it. You usually click once on any button to do
that action, so you click once on the close button to close a file. You also click once on any Dock icon to launch that application. Let’s make sure you have the secondary click set up correctly before we start talking about it. If you’re using an Apple mouse, in other
words, a mouse that doesn’t have two distinct buttons, go to System Preferences – you can
get there from the Apple menu – and you might also have the icon in your Dock already. Once in System Preferences, click Mouse . What
you’re looking for, under the Point and Click section, is where it says “Secondary
click – click on right side”. Make sure that’s ticked. If you’re using a trackpad, click Trackpad
in System Preferences. Again, under Point and Click, look for “Secondary
click” where it says “click with two fingers” – that should be ticked. Let’s close the window. Now when you click on the desktop with the
right side of the mouse, or with two fingers on a trackpad, you get a different action. This is what happens: A little menu pops up
with various options. One of the, for example, says “Change desktop
background”. If I right click on a file, I see some different
options – for example, I can open the file, move to trash, and so on. So what’s happening when I right click is
that I’m being given a set of actions that change depending on the context. This popup menu is sometimes called the contextual
menu. There’s one other way to do a right-click,
and it’s to hold down the ctrl key on the keyboard as you do a normal left click. Let’s look at some more contexts where you
might use a right-click. In the Calendar app, for example, I can double-click
an event to open it up and see it or change its details. Or I can right-click to see a few quick actions
that I can do with that event, such as change the calendar that the event is in, or delete
it. On a website, if there’s an image that I
want to save, I can right-click it and say Save Image. The takeaway lesson from this is – if there’s
something you need to be able to do with a file or a part of an application and you can’t
figure it out, try right-clicking on that object. You might get a context menu that lets you
do what you need. Let’s recap. You can click once with the left side or left
button on the mouse, or your trackpad. This will highlight a file or launch an application
from the Dock. You can double-click with the left side of
the mouse or trackpad. This will open a file from anywhere in the
Finder. You can right-click, or ctrl-click, a file,
or an area on the screen, to see the contextual menu. There are a lot more gestures you can use,
as well as the two basic clicks. Most of them are in System Preferences under
Mouse or Trackpad. It’s well worth taking a look. Well, by the pricking of my thumbs I sense
my time is up. Next time we’ll stare through windows. Oh I’m sorry – I read that wrong. Next time, we’ll look at windows. Bye for now.

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