Hardware

Pop Quiz Solution: How to right-click without a mouse

One TechRepublic member received a $25 gift certificate for Fatbrain.com, and we gave away some bonus T-shirts to say thanks for the great response to this pop quiz.

This pop quiz topic generated the biggest response of any quiz we’ve ever published: nearly 1,000 correct responses. To celebrate, we put everyone’s name in the cyberhat and selected one winner at random to win the $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain. Then we pulled out five more names and sent those folks TechRepublic T-shirts.
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry. The winner of the $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain is AnthonyM.Viggiani. We’re sending TechRepublic T-shirts to AdrianLong, DennisRobinson-Kenner, DiannaDeatherage, DragosIonescu, and RebeccaVanHorn.
The situation:
Here’s the dilemma we described. You’re working on a Windows computer that has no mouse. Or the system has a mouse, but the right button is broken. The keyboard works, so you can tab around between objects on the Windows desktop. But you need to open the Context menu so you can view the properties associated with a particular object.

The challenge:
How do you simulate a right-click from the keyboard?

The shortcut solutions:
The responses to this quiz provided a nice lesson in Windows shortcuts and configuration options. Here are the highlights:
  • Press [Tab] and use the arrow keys to highlight the desktop object, then press [Shift][F10]. When you do, the Context menu will appear—the same as it would if you right-click on the object. Then you can select an option by pressing its hot key or by using the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the list.
  • Select the object, then press the Context key, which is between the [Control] key and the Windows key (the one with the Windows logo) on the right side of your keyboard. (This key may not appear on every keyboard—it features a hollow mouse pointer arrow pointing at what looks like a filing cabinet.)

The MouseKeys solution:
Many TechRepublic members recommended configuring the numeric keypad to simulate the mouse. Here are the steps:
  1. Press [Ctrl][Esc] to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Select Settings, then Control Panel, and press [Enter].
  3. Once in Control Panel, select the Accessibility Options icon (by using the tab and arrow keys) and press [Enter]. Note: If you’re using Windows 98, you may not see the Accessibility Options icon. If so, you’ll have to install it using Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs utility. Click the Windows Setup tab, then activate the check box for Accessibility Options and install it. You’ll need to have the Windows 98 CD (unless the needed files are already on your drive).
  4. Once in the Accessibility Properties window, use the tab and arrow keys to move to the Mouse tab.
  5. Activate MouseKeys by pressing [Alt]M and apply the changes by pressing [Alt]A.
  6. Turn NumLock on, and you should now be able to move around using your numeric keypad.
  7. To move right, left, up, and down, use the 6, 4, 8, and 2 keys on the numeric keypad, respectively.
  8. To do a single-click, press the 5 key on the numeric keypad.
  9. To do a double-click, press the plus sign (+) on the numeric keypad.
  10. To right-click, press the minus sign (-) and then press 5.
  11. The 5 key will remain as a right-click until you press the slash (/) on the numeric keypad, which will switch it back to standard clicking.

The bonus solution: Go directly to Properties
But hold on to your hats, folks! Several TechRepublic members pointed out that you can bypass the Context menu and godirectlytothePropertiesdialogboxbypressing[Alt][Enter].
To comment on this pop quiz solution, please post your remarks below. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future pop quiz, please drop us a note.
This pop quiz topic generated the biggest response of any quiz we’ve ever published: nearly 1,000 correct responses. To celebrate, we put everyone’s name in the cyberhat and selected one winner at random to win the $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain. Then we pulled out five more names and sent those folks TechRepublic T-shirts.
Congratulations to our winners, and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry. The winner of the $25 gift certificate to Fatbrain is AnthonyM.Viggiani. We’re sending TechRepublic T-shirts to AdrianLong, DennisRobinson-Kenner, DiannaDeatherage, DragosIonescu, and RebeccaVanHorn.
The situation:
Here’s the dilemma we described. You’re working on a Windows computer that has no mouse. Or the system has a mouse, but the right button is broken. The keyboard works, so you can tab around between objects on the Windows desktop. But you need to open the Context menu so you can view the properties associated with a particular object.

The challenge:
How do you simulate a right-click from the keyboard?

The shortcut solutions:
The responses to this quiz provided a nice lesson in Windows shortcuts and configuration options. Here are the highlights:
  • Press [Tab] and use the arrow keys to highlight the desktop object, then press [Shift][F10]. When you do, the Context menu will appear—the same as it would if you right-click on the object. Then you can select an option by pressing its hot key or by using the up and down arrow keys to scroll through the list.
  • Select the object, then press the Context key, which is between the [Control] key and the Windows key (the one with the Windows logo) on the right side of your keyboard. (This key may not appear on every keyboard—it features a hollow mouse pointer arrow pointing at what looks like a filing cabinet.)

The MouseKeys solution:
Many TechRepublic members recommended configuring the numeric keypad to simulate the mouse. Here are the steps:
  1. Press [Ctrl][Esc] to bring up the Start menu.
  2. Select Settings, then Control Panel, and press [Enter].
  3. Once in Control Panel, select the Accessibility Options icon (by using the tab and arrow keys) and press [Enter]. Note: If you’re using Windows 98, you may not see the Accessibility Options icon. If so, you’ll have to install it using Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs utility. Click the Windows Setup tab, then activate the check box for Accessibility Options and install it. You’ll need to have the Windows 98 CD (unless the needed files are already on your drive).
  4. Once in the Accessibility Properties window, use the tab and arrow keys to move to the Mouse tab.
  5. Activate MouseKeys by pressing [Alt]M and apply the changes by pressing [Alt]A.
  6. Turn NumLock on, and you should now be able to move around using your numeric keypad.
  7. To move right, left, up, and down, use the 6, 4, 8, and 2 keys on the numeric keypad, respectively.
  8. To do a single-click, press the 5 key on the numeric keypad.
  9. To do a double-click, press the plus sign (+) on the numeric keypad.
  10. To right-click, press the minus sign (-) and then press 5.
  11. The 5 key will remain as a right-click until you press the slash (/) on the numeric keypad, which will switch it back to standard clicking.

The bonus solution: Go directly to Properties
But hold on to your hats, folks! Several TechRepublic members pointed out that you can bypass the Context menu and godirectlytothePropertiesdialogboxbypressing[Alt][Enter].
To comment on this pop quiz solution, please post your remarks below. If you’d like to suggest a topic for a future pop quiz, please drop us a note.
0 comments