As you certainly know, the right mouse button brings up what is known as the “context menu.” As the name implies, the choices available on the menu differ according to the current situation.

Well, here are 5 tips involving context menus that you may not know.

On thing you may not have noticed is that one item in every context menu is usually presented in bold. This is the default action that is taken when the left mouse button is used.

Tip #1: If you are ever in doubt about what will happen when you double-click on something (with the left mouse button), then use the right mouse button to bring up the context menu, and look for the item in bold.


Right-click also works with click and drag operations. Try this the next time you do a click and drag: Instead of clicking with the left mouse button, and then dragging the object, use the right mouse button. When you finished dragging (i.e. when you do the drop), a context menu will appear (a different one, specifically for dragging). This shows you all of the actions that are available for the combination of the object that you are dragging and the location you have dragged it to. Once again, the default action will be shown in bold. This is the action that normally occurs when you use the left mouse button to do the click-and-drag.


Tip #2: If you are ever in doubt about what will happen when you click-and-drag an object (with the left mouse button), then use the right mouse button to perform the dragging, and then look for the action that is in bold.

When might you be in doubt? Well, in the case of dragging files around within the Windows Explorer, two of the possible actions are Move and Copy. These two take turns being the default action, depending on the drop zone. If you are dragging a file to a different location on the same to disk drive, then Move is the default action, but if you drag it to a different to disk drive altogether, then Copy is the default action.

Another option available when using drag-and-drop in Windows Explorer is to create a shortcut to the object, rather than copying or moving the object itself.

Tip #3: Use right-click-and-drag to quickly create a shortcut to an object on your desktop. This will leave the actual object in its original (proper) location, yet give you convenient access to it from the desktop.

Tip #4: A corollary to Tip #3 — Using right-click-and-drag to create shortcuts is particularly handy when dealing with batch files. When you create a shortcut to a batch file it gives you more control over executing the batch file then simply double-clicking on the batch file itself. This is because the shortcut contains adjustable properties specifically for this purpose. So, after creating a shortcut, right-click on the shortcut, select the Properties option, and then adjust them as necessary.


Tip #5: Have you ever accidentally dragged an object to the wrong location? Just as you let go of the mouse button, your hand twitches, and the cursor ends up in the next file folder over. Depending on how much work it was to select the files being dragged (perhaps with lots of Ctrl+Click and Shift+Clicks), this can be a real nightmare. The solution to this is to use the right mouse button to do the dragging. When you let go of the right mouse button, the context menu pops up. One of the choices there is Cancel. The destination gets “locked in” when you let go of the mouse button, so if the wrong location is locked in, then all you have to do is click on Cancel and try the drag again. Otherwise, go ahead and select the action that you wanted to perform in the first place. (Probably the one in bold.) source

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