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Monday, January 4, 2010

Ask Sam: Where's my mouse pointer?

Ever lose your mouse pointer? It happens to me all the time. Maybe I park the pointer at the edge of the screen--or when I'm using multiple monitors, on the screen I'm not looking at. Sometimes I simply lose track of where it was when I last used it. Rather than hunt for the mouse pointer, I use one of Windows' accessibility features to locate it by pressing the Ctrl key.

To turn this feature on, perform the steps outlined below. Note: These steps assume that the default settings for how things appear are in place; if you've changed how the control panel appears, you may have to poke around a little to find the mouse pointer settings.

  1. Click the Start Button.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Depending on your Operating System, perform one of the following steps:
    • Vista or Windows 7: Click Ease of Access.
    • Windows XP: Click Printers and Other Hardware.
  4. Depending on your Operating System, perform one of the following steps:
    • Vista or Windows 7: Click Change how your mouse works.
    • Windows XP: Click Mouse.
  5. If you are using Vista or Windows 7, near the bottom, click Mouse settings. (XP users skip to next step.)
  6. Select the Pointer Options tab.
  7. Check "Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key"
  8. Click OK and close the control panel.

Now press the CTRL key, and a circle will appear for a moment on the screen, centered on the mouse pointer location.

This is the first in a weekly series of tips and tricks for Windows and Microsoft Word. I have some topics lined up already, but if you have questions about using Windows (XP, Vista, or Windows 7) or Word (2003 or 2007), send an email to stfalco AT and I'll try to answer them here.

1 comment:

Kaye George said...

Worked great, Sam! Thanks for the tip. It's a big help in a Word doc.