Copyright (c) 2012-2016 Hyperion Entertainment and contributors.

Mouse Operations

From AmigaOS Documentation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Using the mouse in Workbench

Your mouse has at least two buttons. The Left Mouse Button (LMB) and the Right Mouse Button (RMB) are often used to control the Workbench.

Using the Left Mouse Button

This button is mainly used to select and move icons around and click on gadgets (or buttons).


To select an icon, move the pointer over the desired icon and then click the LMB once. The icon will change to a reverse or an alternative image to indicate it has been selected.

When using gadgets such as those on windows (there are four default gadgets on a window: Close, Depth, Zoom and Resize, as well as an Iconify gadget on many newer programs using the Reaction GUI framework), move the pointer over the desired gadget and click once to activate it. The gadget will change briefly and the action will be taken.


This is sometimes a tricky technique to use and requires a steady hand. This method is used to open disks, drawers and files or run programs. To do this, move the pointer over the desired icon and in quick succession (without moving the pointer) click on the LMB twice. This should open the icon.

Note that you can change the delay between two clicks in the Prefs/Input program. This way you can adjust the double-click timing to your liking.

Multiple selection

You can select more than one icon at a time. To do this, click on the first icon, press the CTRL key down (either one) and then click on the second, third, fourth icons etc. to select multiple icons. You can unselect icons, still keeping the CTRL key pressed.

You can also select a whole group of icons by pressing the LMB e.g. at the top left of the icons and, while keeping the LMB down, moving the pointer towards the bottom right. An expanding box (or "lasso") will appear, and the icons in it will be selected.


This technique allows you to move objects such as icons around the screen or re-size windows. Select one or more icons with your mouse, then click one of them and with the LMB still down, move the pointer, the icon(s) will be dragged with the pointer. When you release the mouse button, the icon(s) will be dropped into its (their) new position. To move a window, click and hold the LMB on the title bar (top border) of the window and then drag it to the desired position. Likewise, to resize a window, click and hold LMB on the resize gadget (lower right corner) and drag it until the desired size is obtained.

Using the Right Mouse Button

To use the menus, press down the RMB and move the pointer to the title bar at the top of the screen. Move the pointer over one of the menu names, and some menu items will appear. Now, still with the RMB pressed, move the pointer down to the selected menu item and release the RMB to select that item.

In some cases, a menu item has a submenu; you can tell by the arrowhead pointing right after the item. When the pointer is over the item, the submenu will appear. Then while still keeping the RMB pressed, move the pointer to the right to enter the submenu and down to select the required subitem. Be careful when you move the pointer right; it easily slips onto the next main menu item, which will make the submenu disappear. You have to move the pointer exactly in a lateral direction to stay on the item with the submenu.

You can change the way you operate menus in the GUI preferences program. For instance, if you find it hard to keep the RMB pressed during menu operations, switch on the Sticky feature; it means you only have to press the RMB once to open the menu, and it will stay open by itself until you either select an item or press the RMB again outside the menu. You can also make your menus pop up anywhere on the screen, not just drop down from the title bar.