back to article Free Wednesday gift for you lucky lot: Extra mouse button!

If you have a plain ol' vanilla wheel mouse, it has an extra button you may not know about, and that button has a whole set of handy functions. Here's how to use it. Back in prehistory when UNIX workstations first gained mice, the standard rodent had three buttons, with three different functions. Apple famously stripped this …

  1. heyrick Silver badge

    RISC OS always used three buttons

    The left, for choosing stuff or making things happen.

    The middle one, for calling up the menus.

    The right one, often the opposite of what the left button did (which meant one didn't need to do weird things like clicking while holding Ctrl to modify selections).

    1. devin3782

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      RiscOS is where I started with computers and man was that UI good and consistent, a level of consistency Windows, OSX and Linux could only dream of. The middle click menu in all applications was a joy. You can imagine my despair when my parents bought a PC and I had to do ungodly things like click toolbar buttons and go to the top of an application for the bloody menu as well as hold shift and ctrl. A single mouse button shows nothing but contempt for your users especially when you then put the charging usb port on the bottom.

      1. -maniax-

        Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

        > RiscOS is where I started with computers and man was that UI good and consistent, a level of consistency Windows, OSX and Linux could only dream of

        Probably due to the fact that the hefty tome that was the Programmer's Reference Manual (PRM) included a Style Guide that most developers adhered to

        https://www.riscosopen.org/zipfiles/platform/common/StyleGuide.3.pdf

    2. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      "RISC OS always used three buttons "

      As did some of the earlier home computers if you added one of the third-party mouse solutions to them - by the time I got my hands on an Archimedes mouse (at my mates house), I'd already learned the dark arts of mouse-based UIs courtesy first of the AMX Mouse he'd bought for his earlier Model B Beeb, and then the one I bought myself for my Spectrum.

    3. milliemoo83

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      You could also use the third button to drag windows around but without bringing them to the front.

    4. J. R. Hartley

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      Actually the Amiga supported 3 buttons from day one. There weren't many about though. I had one.

    5. FIA Silver badge

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      Adjust, or 'The right button' in RISC OS is one of the most overlooked UI gems I think.

      Adjust click on an 'OK' button, it activates the button, but doesn't close the dialog.

      Adjust click on a menu item, it selects it without closing the menu... useful for ticking multiple items quickly.

      Adjust click on a windows close and it opens the 'parent' if there is one, so if you have a document open, adjust click will close it and open the filer window it came from... then you can adjust close that to get to it's parent.

      Adjust double click on directories to open them and close their parent window.

      Adjust click on window titles to move them without raising them.

      lovely.

    6. druck Silver badge

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      If you were trying to scroll a window a line at a time by using one of the buttons at the end of a scrollbar and went too far, you didn't have to move all the way to the other end to correct it, on RISC OS you just used the adjust button to move in the opposite direction to the arrow.

    7. Sampler

      Re: RISC OS always used three buttons

      Is, is this news? People didn't know this? Technical people on a technical news site?

  2. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    I'm ashamed to say I didn't know or had forgotten about the browser functions!

    It's not entirely accurate - middle button title bar click appears to only open a tab on Firefox, not Chromium or Edge, but the other functions work. Thanks for that, it's very useful!

    This is despite the fact my usual browsing box runs FreeBSD, so middle button pasting is the norm. I probably should refresh myself on shortcuts.

    The title bar click to send it to the back must be window manager/compositor specific. It does nothing here on the Wayland labwc compositor.

    In the If I Ruled The World camp, the old CUA shortcuts of ctrl insert, shift insert, and shift delete would work everywhere.

    1. jonha

      Re: I'm ashamed to say I didn't know or had forgotten about the browser functions!

      > It's not entirely accurate - middle button title bar click appears to only open a tab on Firefox, not Chromium or Edge

      It does work on Linux Vivaldi. Can't say anything about other Chromium-based browsers.

    2. Captain Scarlet
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: I'm ashamed to say I didn't know or had forgotten about the browser functions!

      I used to know most key combinations, but my memory has failed me.

      I must admit I had no idea middle clicking a link opens it ont he background, I always held Ctrl so I'll 100% be using this (Since Windows 10 likes to assume I am not clicking Ctrl on occassion, especially when copying and pasting)

    3. JBowler

      Re: I'm ashamed to say I didn't know or had forgotten about the browser functions!

      The Linux behavior depends on the desktop (as, indeed, should be expected) and in KDE it is "copy selected [to new point]". So that is a copy'n'paste without the clipboard and it doesn't overwrite/change the clipboard. In some ways this is getting close to what I believe to be the original Xerox Alto & Star UI; what I saw in the early '80s in Acorns first operating system for the ARM (never released) was hardwired into the OS by people who had previously worked for Xerox:

      Left button; left select.

      Right button; right select.

      So there are two selections. Alto had three buttons, the middle might have been "menu" (which is what it was in Acorn's operating system). Star only had two, but I don't know which they dropped. Dropping the middle keeps two selections and allows dyadic operations on those; copy, move, swap. With KDE drag'n'drop is an interactive "move" and wheel-button-click is a dyadic copy which actually loses the selection, ctrl-wheel-button-click does a copy and moves the selection to the destination (the copied object). The Xerox approach was simpler and a lot easier to understand; just press the button on the keyboard that was labelled "copy".

  3. b0llchit Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Two better than one

    The middle-mouse-click paste is one I use all the time.

    It is brilliant to have two directly available copy/paste buffers. One on the mouse-select/middle-click and the other on keyboard ^C/^V (or Ctrl-Shft-C/Ctrl-Shft-V in the terminal). Fortunately, most applications and frameworks honour this distinction. It makes my life a lot easier.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: honour this distinction

      Indeed, but then some (usually ^c^v focused ones) honour it so much they refuse to (or are too ignorant to) support the middle button one. And as an inveterate mouse-paster, it is a tad annoying to have to use the keyboard for something that otherwise would be so simple ....

    2. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      Re: Two better than one

      They have been around for a long time. A big advantage is that the two have different lifetimes.

      The first is called the Primary Selection. It is an X-Windows feature that, as far as I know, has been around as long as X. It is quick and easy to use (no keystrokes required) but it is very short term as it is replaces every time you highlight something (which is also quite easy to do by mistake). By the way, there used to be a Secondary Selection as well, but I am not sure that that exists in any modern X-Windows implementations.

      The alternative came, as far as I know, from Windows (or did it come from Mac/Lisa/NeXT?). It is the clipboard. Normally used using keystrokes (^C/^V) or using menu options (Copy/Cut/Paste). It has the advantage of being longer-lived - unlikely to disappear by mistake.

      Having the two, with different lifetimes, is often useful: you can copy a block of text to the clipboard, then do things to it using the Primary Selection, then paste the original text again and change it around differently, and keep doing that. Useful when using boilerplate in a document.

      1. ChoHag Silver badge

        Re: Two better than one

        > The alternative came, as far as I know, from Windows (or did it come from Mac/Lisa/NeXT?).

        The clipboard itself is likely one of those ubiquitous things invented everywhere at the same time. The key combination came from IBM.

        >> The third handy function of your middle mouse button is one that's restricted to Linux users, and we haven't found a way to bring it to other operating systems yet.

        This one's been around since long before gnu (do they have a gui yet?), let alone linux. Heaven knows how they managed to unport it from all of that* while enabling it in just one kernel for a widely ported user-space application.

        [*] Somehow they missed mine.

  4. Clive Galway

    Windows supports 5 buttons

    The Windows operating system has a concept of Left, Right, Middle, XButton1, XButton2, Wheel up / down / left / right

    No drivers are required to support these inputs. I forget whether XB1 and XB2 do anything by default (Most mouse utilities will map them to browser back / forward)

    AutoHotkey on windows will allow you to map them to pretty much whatever you want without the need for the OEM specific mouse software.

    Any buttons you may have on your mouse beyond that will need OEM-specific software to use them

    1. Zenubi

      Re: Windows supports 5 buttons

      " I forget whether XB1 and XB2 do anything by default (Most mouse utilities will map them to browser back / forward)"

      Yes - so useful - these also work as back / up folders.

      1. RAMChYLD

        Re: Windows supports 5 buttons

        Yep, it still does. I think on modern Linux systems it works too.

        I have a original Microsoft Intellimouse Web 1.0. It's a five button PS/2 mechanical mouse. And yeah, there are side buttons for forward and back, something carried forward to every other mouse that has more than three buttons that I've owned.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  5. Plest Silver badge

    Only ever used the middle button on CDE desktop on Solaris!

    Most half decent mice and trackballs have 5 buttons minimum, some expensive gaming mice will have 7-9 buttons. Someone gave me a gaming mouse once, wireless and led rainbows, have replacement parts held in with magnets and 9 assignable buttons and 2 scroll wheels! I found it so stupid it gave it away to someone still fully boxed. 2 buttons and a wheel is all I need on my trackball.

    Unix seems to be the only window system that encourages use of the middle clicker hidden under the wheel, you never use it on MSWindows and Apple you just get used to 2 buttons and an wheel doing everything.

    1. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Only ever used the middle button on CDE desktop on Solaris!

      Once you've used a mouse with bark/forward buttons, you'll never want to use a three button mouse ever again.

      1. Alistair
        Windows

        Re: Only ever used the middle button on CDE desktop on Solaris!

        Once you've used a mouse with bark/forward buttons,

        You use your mouse to intimidate folks by barking at them? I need this mouse button.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: a mouse with bark/forward buttons, ...

        Er, I think you'll find that's usually known as a "dog".

        .

        HTH :-)

    2. druck Silver badge

      Re: Only ever used the middle button on CDE desktop on Solaris!

      9 assignable buttons and 2 scroll wheels!

      The MX Master 3 is not a gaming mouse but has god knows how many buttons and two scroll wheels. I use the second scroll wheel to zoom in or out, it is a real time saver, to almost the same extend as the forward/backwards buttons. Works on Linux too.

    3. that one in the corner Silver badge

      Re: Only ever used the middle button on CDE desktop on Solaris!

      > Most half decent mice and trackballs have 5 buttons minimum, some expensive gaming mice will have 7-9 buttons.

      Yet they are so rarely built to be held comfortably in the correct hand :-(

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The second handy function, which The Reg FOSS Desk does dozens of times a day, is Linux-only by default, "

    OK, I'll bite. which window managers does it work / not work in?

    1. botfap

      Ive been a cinnamon user for a few years and its always worked there. It also works on KDE Plasma, XFCE, Mate, lxde/lxqt and used to work on Gnome before all the CSD bullshit came along. Now its hit and miss on Gnome

    2. YetAnotherXyzzy

      Like Liam, I've used this multiple times a day for years and I've not found any DE or WM it hasn't worked in.

      Gnome being what it is, I wouldn't be surprised if they deliberately broke it there.

  7. alain williams Silver badge

    Where does it work ?

    I use Mate (under Debian) - works for me.

  8. MrXonTR
    Linux

    Another Linux trick

    Most terminals allow Shift+Insert to work the same as middle button pasting, but falls back to clipboard pasting if nothing is selected. This is great if you forget that Ctrl+V doesn't paste but Ctrl+Shift+V does, and that's an acrobatic combination to press. And unlike graphical interfaces, terminals don't combine selection and insertion points so you can select in one place and paste somewhere else in the same window in more or less one operation. In addition to double-clicking to select a word there is also triple-clicking to select a line, so now you can copy and paste an entire line with the mouse in vim without having to learn the unholy key combinations that it insists on.

  9. GrumpenKraut
    Boffin

    shift-insert for paste

    For Linux users: As clicking the wheel tends to rotate it a bit (which messes things up) you can use shift-insert to paste. Apparently very few people know this.

    I have long looked for a mouse that has a non-wheel middle key, found zilch. Why the heck does nobody build one?

    1. GrumpenKraut
      Meh

      Re: shift-insert for paste

      MrXonTR faster by 2 minutes, dammit.

    2. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: shift-insert for paste

      "you can use shift-insert to paste"

      CTRL-Insert and Shift-Insert has worked since Windows 2.0 (at least) and was typical in many other DOS era software. Still works on Win11.

      I think CTRL-[X/C/V] became preferable (and dominant) during NT4/Win95 years because CTRL and Insert are not as close to each other.

      "I have long looked for a mouse that has a non-wheel middle key"

      Perhaps you could look for a setting that completely disables the wheel?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: shift-insert for paste

        "Perhaps you could look for a setting that completely disables the wheel?"

        I've not used low level mouse config settings in a while, but isn't the wheel Button4 and Button5? Just remap those to null.

    3. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: shift-insert for paste

      Unfortunately, not all apps implement shift-insert in the same way. I would love it if all apps pasted what you have just highlighted (ie, do the same as mouse middle click), but Firefox, for one, pastes the contents of the main copy/paste buffer.

      At least shift-insert works the way I want in terminal programs. It's particularly handy for mouse-free copy and paste between an emacs buffer and a terminal. Still very useful if I have to use mouse to select text in other source apps.

    4. Steve Graham

      Re: mouse that has a non-wheel middle key

      Mine has a button behind the wheel, plus two more for the thumb (if you're right-handed). £4.99 from Home Bargains or somesuch.

      1. GrumpenKraut
        Pint

        Re: mouse that has a non-wheel middle key

        Nice to know such things do exist, will keep looking. Thanks =---->

  10. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

    I presume Liam's granny has been given at least a year long course in ovule osculation.

    1. MrBanana

      Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

      Obvious for decades. Even a super cheap PoundLand mouse has this feature, see BigClive for tear down details.

      And for those Linux users without a mouse wheel, and can't afford a quid, then simultaneous LeftButton + RightButton usually does the trick.

      1. GBE

        Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

        And for those Linux users without a mouse wheel, and can't afford a quid, then simultaneous LeftButton + RightButton usually does the trick.

        Depending on your desktop or WM, you might need to enable "middle mouse button emulation" (or something like that) in the mouse settings. IIRC, It can be controlled by 'xinput' if you're the type who edits config/rc files manually.

    2. Liam Proven (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

      [Author here]

      > I presume Liam's granny has been given at least a year long course in ovule osculation.

      I am naming no names, but one of my colleagues commented "I am learning a lot here!" when I described the outline of this story.

      No, people don't know.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

        "No, people don't know."

        You should have put a poll at the bottom of the story. It'd be interesting to see how much of the target audience didn't know about the wheel/middle button. I'd expect a high number of readers reading the story and asking themselves why the story was even written for this audience :-)

        Personally, as a FreeBSD user and reading El Reg with Firefox, I'd find it very awkward without the middle button. My usual MO is to start at El Reg "Latest" stories, scroll down to last read/visited story/link then scroll back up to the most recent story, middle clicking anything that looks interesting on the way up, opening a number of stories into new tabs. Likewise when commenting, highlight/middle click to quote something and ctrl-c/v to copy the URI. Those of us "oldies" probably know about and use various short-cuts because a) we've used them for so long the habit is ingrained and b) once upon a time, GUI users were not 100% assumed to even have a mouse and there were keyboard short-cuts fore pretty much everything, just like the pre-GUI days and again, the most common ones which have survived are ingrained into our muscle memory :-)

        I find it interesting that Windows and Windows programs in particular doesn't often show the keyboard shortcuts in the menus any more. Looking up at my Firefox menu running on FreeBSD, I note that the menu bar still shows the likes of <u>F</u>ile, <u>E</u>dit, <u>V</u>iew etc, , indicating that ALt-F will open the File menu and said menu also has an underlined letter for each choice so, eg ALT_FT is <u>F</u>ile, New <u>T</u>ab, and that also has next to it, CTRL-T informing the user that is the shortcut key. Many of these shortcuts still work in Windows, but with no actual manuals to read and little chance of seeing the hints in the menus, younger Windows users seem to use the mouse for everything, often slowing them down as they reach between mouse and keyboard. I'm sure we've all seen the users who, to log in, use the mouse to click in the username box, type in the username then reach for the mouse to click in the password box because no one, least of all the Windows OS itself, has told them about TAB/Alt-TAB to move forward and backwards through form fields.

        1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
          Windows

          Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

          In a lot of windows programs, holding the Alt button will reveal the keyboard shortcuts in the menu. Not as discoverable as when they were underlined by default though.

          (and it's Shift-Tab to move backwards through form fields; Alt-Tab does different stuff; Windows+Tab does that different stuff differently)

          1. ChoHag Silver badge

            Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

            There's also Alt-Shift-Tab (and presumably Windows-Shift-Tab) to do the differently different stuff differently (backwards).

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

            "and it's Shift-Tab to move backwards through form fields; "

            You're correct of course/ My muscle memory does shift-tab but my cognitive memory somehow regurgitated alt-tab instead, which of course is "next window/program"

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: The big secret is this: your scroll wheel is also a button.

        one of my colleagues commented "I am learning a lot here!" when I described the outline of this story.

        Ouch. I think this says a lot about how El Reg has changed from when I first started reading it (back in the late paleolithic IIRC).

  11. User McUser

    Two more that work in Windows 10

    • Middle-click on any icon in the Task Bar and you get a new window for that app.
    • Hover over an active task then middle-click on the pop-up preview window above the icon to close that window.

    1. PRR Silver badge

      Re: Two more that work in Windows 10

      > work in Windows 10

      > Middle-click on any icon in the Task Bar and you get a new window for that app.

      Works in Win7 also.

      A lot of this stuff may be undiscovered since Xerox. Or IIRC Apple had a massive user interface book-of-rules in the early 1990s, now lost to history. Or not: https://www.amazon.com/Macintosh-Human-Interface-Guidelines-Computer/dp/0201622165

      OK, but why do some windows ONLY scroll with a mouse wheel? Amazon "Look inside this book" is one that wears-out my poor forefinger. Many other pages lose Up/Dn/PgUp/PgDn focus with no visual clue where they will go off the rails.

  12. Franco

    It still amazes me that people don't know that the wheel is a button, the number of times people ask me how I opened a link in a new tab without right-clicking is unbelievable given I work in IT.

    Disappointing as well that forward and back buttons positioned for the thumb on the mouse are becoming a rarity as well IME.

    1. HelpfulJohn Bronze badge

      "It still amazes me that people don't know that the wheel is a button"

      I just had a random thought: does *everyone* know that the ALT-CTRL-DEL key combination can be done with one hand using the right hand side of a Windows

      keyboard?

      The "ALT GR" key works fine as "ALT".

      I found that out many years ago when I was too lazy to let go of the mousey with one of my hands so I used the non-rodenty freely floating one on the KB.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least some wheelie mice support moving the scroll wheel left and right, giving you 5 buttons on a "two-button" mouse.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Taekwindow M IA

    Unfortunately https://github.com/downloads/ttencate/taekwindow/taekwindow-0.3.1.zip - which is what is linked to download it - is missing in action.

    Looks like the last activity in the taekwindow project was 13 years ago so I wouldn't hold my breath.

    Nice idea though

  15. Roger Greenwood

    In some cases e.g. CAD...

    ..then wheel is dynamic zoom, press and hold wheel is dynamic pan. I use this quite often.

    Also in some browsers, press and hold wheel is dynamic scroll (usually just up and down), but speed is variable depending how far you move from the point of press. Also has it's uses. I am always disappointed when it doesn't work in some applications.

    1. richardcox13

      Re: In some cases e.g. CAD...

      This is common across a lot of apps (including browsers and Visual Studio).

      Other apps do something of their own (eg. VS Code does rectangle select).

      As this is, for Windows, the most common function of the middle button it is off the article completely fails to mention it.

  16. Michael Strorm Silver badge

    My scroll wheel is also a button I can use to open tabs?

    Has Ric Romero come out of retirement again?!

  17. karlkarl Silver badge

    I have a box of ~200 Sun Crossbow mice. So it is weirdly annoying that I can't justify ever buying another mouse.

    They are USB (yay!) but ball rather than optical (boo!). The middle button has no scrollwheel (boo!) but is really pleasant to click as a result (yay!).

    A true rollorcoaster of emotions!

    1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

      I'm curious to whether you get 6 choices of button-clicking option: L, M, R, L+M, L+R, M+R and L+M+R?

    2. Chris Evans

      contacting karlkarl / can you private message someone on theregister?

      Can you private message someone on theregister?

      I'd like to contact karlkarl re his big box of mice

      I know the sites Ts&Cs say no "solicitations of business" but hope posting that I'd be interested in buying from karlkarl is o.k.

      I'm also not sure if I'm allowed to post my email address in a comment, I'm not worried about generating spam as my address is out there in many places and fortunately doesn't get too much spam.

      Depending on replies I'll probably post my email address here slightly obfuscated.

  18. iron Silver badge

    What a load of crap.

    El Reg used to be a site for IT people. This article proves it is no longer for IT people because we all know the mouse wheel is the middle button.

    I had a 3 button mouse for my Spectrum in the '80s and my current mouse has 5 buttons and 2 wheels!

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Meh

      "we all know the mouse wheel is the middle button."

      I have to agree. This is a ZDNET article.

      "I had a 3 button mouse for my Spectrum in the '80s"

      I had a 3 button Genius mouse for my PC in the 80's - hideous in both aesthetics and ergonomics, no rounded corners there!

      IIRC the middle button was supported in very few applications anyway, so kinda pointless. (Zsoft Paintbrush? Harvard Graphics? All forgotten!)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I have to agree. This is a ZDNET article."

        Article? Nah mate. It's a whole "special issue" for the Summer in W.H. Smiths. "100 things you didn't know your mouse could do!!!" (Windows only, of course)

        (Or maybe a 3 hour YouTube video)

  19. Shak

    Multiple buffers hurt my brain

    As hard as I try, I can't get my head around multiple buffers and the inconsistent ways in which they are used. This is both on the Linux OS level and within apps with their own buffers (eg vi). I find I have to use trial and error to see what is where.

    In my ideal setup, there would only be one buffer, with a decent clipboard manager to rotate/reorder historical copy actions (be those that were done with a button or selection). Failing that, I'd much rather just have one buffer than two opaque ones.

    Is there a way to disable/collapse the primary and secondary buffers in Linux?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Multiple buffers hurt my brain

      ISTR seeing at least one clipboard manager that remembers multiple copy/cuts and you right (or was it left?) click the system tray icon to get a pop-up list of those clipping to choose from. But for real "old skool" (sort of) cut'n'paste at the command line, just type "history" and see every command you ever typed as far back as your custom extended buffer will go. And don't forget to man history to all the other clever stuff it can do :-)

  20. Blackjack Silver badge

    I found the most use of the third button when doing drawings using a computer.

    Unfortunately hand cramps means I went back to use the mouse buttons as little as possible.

  21. cuthbertgraak

    Forgotten lore

    On X, left click at the start of the passage to copy, followed by a SHIFT left click at the end of the passage to copy will highlight the passage, and copy to the PRIMARY SELECTION buffer.

    Middle click to paste the contents of the PRIMARY SELECTION buffer into another window.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Forgotten lore

      Also works with the cursor keys from the cursor position, just hold down shift. Double click a work to highlight everything between two items of white-space/punctuation. Triple click to get a whole sentence/paragraph. Hold Shift down to manually extend the selection. Hold Control down to add a completely separate bit of text to the selection (although when pasting, it's all one big lump that you need to manually separate again. Once highlighted, you still get to chose whether to just middle-click/past or ctrl-c/copy. Same result when you paste.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the first things I disable is the clipboard stack. I'm old and set in my ways.

  23. Roopee Silver badge
    Pint

    “middle-click on an empty area of the tab bar”

    What is this “empty area” of which you speak?!

    Nice article btw - when I saw the title I guessed (correctly) exactly what you were gong to say, because I’ve seen it so many times (admittedly not amongst geeky people because I rarely meet any). In my previous line of work I regularly came across users who didn’t even know about using the right button, let alone clicking the wheel...

  24. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Windoze Meeses

    If you are a Windoze user then I can heartily recommend X-Mouse Button Control (freeware) to enable/disable whatever you want on your mouse. I actively HATE the scroll-wheel button as I constantly end up activating it when scrolling. I also hate all of those "gaming" buttons that certain Meeses are festooned with but I have massive spade like hands so they are often my only choice to get a Mouse that doesn't feel miniscule in my hands. I do however understand that some people like them so that is where XMBC comes in. Customise your Mouse your way. I have no relationship to the creator of XBMC, just a very satisfied user. Between Open-Shell, SharpKeys, and XMBC I can setup any PC how I want it, not how some interface designer has decided I must have it.

  25. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
    Boffin

    Missing

    The whole article misses the main use I have for the middle button: omni-directional scrolling.

    Got a web page that needs you to (gasp) scroll horizontally? Click the scroll wheel in and then move sideways. Click again to release.

  26. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Small things....

    《...– hoi polloi got just two buttons.》

    The apparently deliberate omission of the redundant "the" really made my day.

    Of course it was such a bloody useless day that getting a black jelly bean from the packet would have also made my day red letter.

    Never really fussed about mice - just getting one that could plug into the hardware was a win for a lot of my time. DIN socket PC/AT, PS2, Sun odd DINish socket, HP7000/7xx (HIL?)... and finally usb.

    The opposite scroll direction for the wheel got me really going on a mac until the PFY showed me how to reverse that insanity (fortunate as could feel an outburst of defenestration coming on.)

  27. Barry Rueger

    Hate it!

    Simply select some text in any program, switch to a different window, point where you want it to go and middle click.

    Mint, Dell laptop. I am forever inadvertently inserting blocks of copied text where I don't want them by accidentally tapping the wrong part of the trackpad.

    More critically, there is apparently no way to disable the function.

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