Computers have become a necessity for people belonging to all walks of life nowadays. Whether you’re an office worker who needs to use a computer for work, a homeowner who wants to stay connected to their loved ones, or a gamer who wants to play video games, you’re going to need to know how to use a computer.
The most important part of using a computer is knowing how to use the input devices, such as keyboards and mice. That’s where most people struggle, but it doesn’t mean learning to use them is difficult.
If you are also wondering how hard it is to learn to use a mouse and a keyboard, you are in the right place. In this article, I’m going to talk about these devices and how they work.
More importantly, we are going to find out how you can learn to use both of them effectively in order to complete your tasks on a computer. By the end of this comprehensive guide, you won’t have to rely on any external help to be able to use these devices.
So, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What is a Computer Mouse?
One of the most important peripherals that make the computer system work well is the computer mouse. It is an input device that is used to control the graphical user interface of the computer.
With the help of the computer mouse, you can move around the cursor on the screen of the monitor, click on icons, scroll things around, move and drag elements, and do a ton of different other actions as well.
Computer mice have undergone major upgrades in technology, effectiveness, and comfort over the course of the last couple of decades. So, in order to have the best experience, it is important that you make sure the one you’re getting offers you the exact results that fulfill your requirements.
Functions of a Mouse
The computer mouse is responsible for performing an array of functions from basic computer tasks to a specific program and design activities that cannot be performed without the use of a mouse. Let’s take a look at some of the major functions of a computer mouse to get a better understanding of how it works.
- Moving the Cursor – First and foremost, in fact, the most important aspect of the computer mouse is the function that allows it to move the cursor on the monitor screen around. This is the baseline of the mouse commands, which go over an unending range depending upon the activity and program being used.
- Scrolling Documents – Another important function of the computer mouse is scrolling. The wheel in the middle of the mouse is responsible for scrolling documents up and down, and in some cases, left and right as well. It is a very useful part of the mouse and is responsible for many activities itself as well.
- Clicking and Dragging Elements – The mouse is also responsible for clicking icons, files, and folders on the screen, opening them, closing them, and even dragging them around on the screen and from one directory to another one quite easily as well, which is pretty great.
- Cut, Copy, Paste – The right-click button of the mouse can do a lot as well. By accessing the options menu for different files and folders, you can cut, copy, and then finally paste these elements from one place to another depending upon your requirement, making computer usage quite easy.
- Surfing the Web – Computer mice are really important for surfing the web as well. The scroll wheel as well as the movement of the cursor and buttons of the mouse are all used in surfing the web, going to different websites, and having a good experience on the internet.
- Playing Games – When it comes to computer gaming, a large part of it is using the mouse. From first-person shooting (FPS) games needing the mouse for aiming and moving the camera around to other games needing the mouse for different actions and interactions, the mouse is used fairly heavily for playing games.
What is a Computer Keyboard?
The other most important peripheral that is connected to the computer to complete its capabilities is the keyboard. It is another input device that is associated with handling the command line interface of the computer.
The computer keyboard comes in different shapes and sizes, with multiple key-number layouts, the standard being around 108 keys. Each of the keys has its own functionality and capability.
The main purpose of a computer keyboard is to type, but there is so much more to this peripheral than what meets the eye. And just the same as computer mice, keyboards have also come quite a long way.
So, to make sure that you’re getting the best experience, you need to find the perfect keyboard that works the best for you. There’s no doubt that a good keyboard is going to massively enhance your overall computer usage experience.
Functions of a Keyboard
The keyboard is an incredibly crucial part of the computer system. There are a bunch of different functions that the keyboard performs and supports as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most important features and functions that the computer keyboard performs within the computer.
- Enter Text – Most of the interactions that you will have with your computer will require you to add text. The multitude of buttons on the keyboard can be used to add text and enter information or data the computer was initially created to store.
- Start and Close Applications – The Enter key on the keyboard is very crucial to a lot of actions. The main action the Enter key is responsible for is starting programs and applications while the Esc key on the other hand is typically responsible for closing different applications so you can use your keyboard for that as well.
- In Place of Mouse – You might not know this, but if you have no mouse to use or a mouse that isn’t working at all as you wanted it to, you can substitute your keyboard as the mouse temporarily. Using tab and other buttons on the keyboard, you can jump from one part of the screen to another without requiring the mouse.
- Write Programs – With the help of the different special characters, elements, function keys, characters, and whatnot, you can write programs, create instructions, and handle the software capabilities of your computer system as well, even though, this is a more advanced kind of keyboard usage that will take time for you to learn.
- Use Macros – Macros, if you’re unfamiliar with them, are a combination of different keys and functions placed into a single or a couple of keys on the keyboard. This combination makes the functions easier to access and much more efficiently used. You can create and use macros as well over time once you know how to use a keyboard.
- Performing Calculations – The Numpad on the keyboard as well as the full set of numbers available from 0 to 9 allows users to easily perform calculations on their computers. A really fun fact about computers is that they were originally designed as big impressive calculators, which they’re still used even now.
How Hard Is It to Learn to Use a Mouse and Keyboard?
A lot of people ask this question, is it hard to learn to use a mouse and a keyboard? Well, the truth is, it depends. How tech-savvy you are, whether you’ve never used these devices, or you’re returning to use them, and also on the fact how quickly you can learn to use the devices.
Typically, the mouse is easier to learn to use than the keyboard because of the fact that there are lesser keys that you need to get a hang of, than a keyboard. But that doesn’t mean that the keyboard is actually too difficult to learn to use for the average user.
If you’re thinking of learning the use of a mouse and keyboard for basic usage, then you’d need to practice only for a few months. But if you actually want to master all the uses of the keyboard and the mouse, then you’re going to have to actually spend years developing the muscle memory of remembering all the moves and everything in between like any device.
Learning to Use a Mouse
So, you’re looking to learn how to use the mouse? Well, to make sure that you start off on the right foot, I’ve made a comprehensive guide that you can follow step-by-step for starting your journey of using a computer mouse the right way. Let’s take a look at these steps and how you can follow them.
Step 1: Understanding the Structure of the Mouse
If you want to learn how to use the mouse, it is important for you to first understand the structure of the mouse itself. Well, for starters, the mouse comes with a couple of buttons known as the left and the right buttons on either side of the scroll wheel, which is responsible for the scrolling of the mouse.
Occasionally, if you’re getting a high-quality modern gaming mouse, on the side of the mouse, you’re going to find a few extra buttons known for excessive functionality, which you can program according to your liking. All of these elements are fixed into the mouse-shaped body of the mouse that has a wire coming out of the front end of it.
Step 2: Positioning Your Hand on the Mouse
The next step to learning how to use the computer mouse is positioning your hand on the mouse rightly. Well, the typical grip goes like this: place your index and middle finger on the left click button of the mouse while your thumb rests on the side.
And your ring and pinky finger are placed on the right-click button of the mouse. That’s how you’re going to basically position your hand on the mouse which is essential for your learning process.
Step 3: Holding the Mouse
The common grip is the palm grip. But there are other grips like the fingertip grip or the claw grip that you can learn about and start to use if you’re using the computer mouse for a specific type of usage. Once you’re holding the mouse, that’s when the real usage starts.
Step 4: Using the Mechanics of the Mouse
It is time for you to start using the mouse now. Even if it feels unnatural at the start, don’t worry too much about it. You’re going to have a good time once you get a hang of it.
Try pressing the left and right-click buttons of the mouse. Use the scroll wheel wherever you can. Reprogram side buttons and try and use them for yourself when you have use for them. That’s how you’re going to learn the basics of the computer mouse.
Step 5: Practicing Tricks and Skills
Once you’ve got the hang of the basic usage of the computer mouse, you’re going to keep learning and enhancing your skills beyond the basics. From moving the mouse around in different ways to using multiple techniques for playing games effectively and doing such things, there are so many different routes you can go with mastering the tricks and skills that come with computer mouse usage.
Learning to Use a Keyboard
Learning the keyboard is essential if you want to get to using a computer for literally anything. You don’t need to be worried about anything seeing so many buttons. Here’s a full step-by-step guide that you can follow to learn to use the keyboard effectively and get started with the right mindset.
Step 1: Learning About the Keyboard
The first step of learning to use a keyboard is learning about the keyboard itself. The keyboard usually comes with 108 standard keys each with its own functionalities including the character keys, number keys, special characters, function keys, numpad, and special keys.
Combining all of these keys, we get the keyboard. On the front end, there is a wire that extends out and on the back of the rectangular keyboard, are rubber feet that keep the keyboard in place when it is on the table. That’s the long and short of what the keyboard comprises.
Step 2: Positioning Your Hands
Now, this particular step is often debated among different users. Some people tend to place only one hand on the keyboard when using the computer while others prefer to keep both hands on the keyboard.
To give you an idea of where you need to position your hands, on the keys F and J, you’re going to see that there are bumps, these bumps specify that you’re supposed to place your left and right hands there if you want to have a simple, comfortable, and fulfilling keyboard usage experience.
Step 3: Adding Text and Numbers
The next step once you’re done with the positioning technique is using the keyboard. The most common and popular usage of the keyboard, as discussed before is entering text and characters. The text can comprise letters, numbers, and even special characters.
When you’re writing a document or you’re surfing the web, you’re going to have to write down text if you want to interact with the computer and for that, you’re going to simply press the specified buttons on the keyboard.
Step 4: Using Shortcuts and Programming Macros
The next step once you’ve learned the basic usage of the keyboard is using shortcuts for different activities and functions. For example, for copying elements, Ctrl+C is a shortcut that is used, while for pasting them, Ctrl+V is the assigned shortcut.
After getting a hang of using shortcuts, you can define your own macros and make sure that the work you’re doing or the games you’re playing are working efficiently and effectively with the help of the keyboard.
Step 5: Customization and Reprogramming
Finally, you can learn to customize your keyboard and reprogram different keys, replace them, and enhance your overall computer usage experience after mastering the basics of keyboard usage. This is how you’re going to evolve and make your keyboard usage better. This is a continuous process that you’ll have to keep at because constant learning is only what will make you a keyboarding master.
The first step in becoming a computer expert is to learn to use the mouse and the keyboard. Although they may seem simple to use at first, there are a lot of complexities and advanced functions involved that you may want to learn and benefit from.
In this article, we looked at the step-by-step guides on how to use both these devices, including a few of their special features and functions. The guides are easy to follow and will help you start using a computer system without any trouble. Wish you all the best!