For Seniors: Make Your Laptop Touchpad Easier to Use
Laptops come with a touchpad instead of a mouse, and the touchpads take some getting used to. In place of the touchpad, Windows 7 allows you to use the numeric keypad to move the mouse from time to time, if you want.
In addition, you can tell Windows to let you activate a window by hovering your mouse over it rather than clicking on it, which helps you avoid having to use the touchpad to click in such instances. If you're left-handed, you can switch the purpose of the two touchpad buttons to make them easier to use. You can also improve the visibility of the mouse pointer and the text cursor.
Choose Start→Control Panel→Ease of Access and then click the Change How Your Mouse Works link.
The Make the Mouse Easier to Use dialog box opens
To use the numeric keypad to move your cursor on your screen, choose the Turn on Mouse Keys option.
If you turn this feature on, click Set Up Mouse Keys to fine-tune its behavior.
Select the Activate a Window by Hovering Over It with the Mouse check box to enable this (pretty self-explanatory!) feature.
If you’re left-handed, click the Mouse Settings link in the Make the Mouse Easier to Use window; then, on the Buttons tab, adjust the purpose of the two mouse buttons and click OK.
The Mouse Properties dialog box appears when you click on Mouse Settings; the options you see on the Button tab depend on the type of touchpad your laptop uses. Use these options to make the right touchpad button handle all the usual left-button functions, such as clicking and dragging, and the left button handle the typical right-button functions, such as displaying shortcut menus.
To modify the behavior of the pointer, in the Mouse Properties dialog box, click the Pointer Options tab.
Here you can set the pointer speed (how quickly you can drag the pointer around your screen), activate the Snap To feature that automatically moves the cursor to the default choice in a dialog box, or modify the little trails that appear when you drag the pointer.
To enlarge the mouse pointer or change its shape, in the Mouse Properties dialog box, click the Pointers tab.
Select the set of cursors you want to use from the Scheme drop-down list. You can also select a pointer, such as Normal Select, and then click the Browse button to select an alternate cursor and then click Open.
Click Apply to apply the settings you choose, and then click the Close button to close the Mouse Properties dialog box.
Be careful not to change the cursor to another standard cursor (for example, changing the Normal Select cursor to the Busy hourglass cursor). This could prove slightly confusing for you and completely baffling to anybody else who works on your laptop.
If you make a choice and decide it was a mistake, click the Use Default button on the Pointers tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box to return a selected cursor to its default choice.
You can also choose the color and size of mouse pointers in the Make the Mouse Easier to Use window. A large white or extra large black cursor might be more visible to you, depending on the color scheme you’ve applied to Windows 7.
Click OK to save the new settings.
Click the Close button to close the Ease of Access Center.