Make Your PC Mouse Left-Handed

The "conventional" set-up for a computer is to have your computer mouse placed on the right side of the keyboard and control it using the right hand.  Most left-handers find this not only confusing but uncomfortable.  In fact, prolonged use can cause strain on your body thereby creating fatigue and pain.

With most types of mice being symmetrically designed, it is quite easy to make your life comfortable again by using it with your favoured hand.  And the right-handers in your home or office can easily change it back to their preference by following the same instructions.

If you share your computer with a right-hander, there is now a fantastic FREE 461K download that allows you to toggle between left and right by simply pressing Ctrl-F12. Suitable for PCs only and called SwapMouseButtons, it was designed by Mauricio Tejada to reduce the frustration of always changing the Windows set-up each time someone sat at a computer. It even changes the mouse pointers to left-handed ones too! Click here to go to the download page.
If you are the only person using the computer, you can make your mouse left-handed by following the instructions below:

Windows

The PC mouse comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes with up to 5 buttons and a roller button as controllers.  Many mouse drivers have specific software that is supplied with the mouse and you are prompted during the set-up phase if you want it set up for left-handed or right-handed use.  But once loaded, it is easy to change between the two.

 For most PC mice, just follow these simple steps:

1.  Go into Control Panel
2.  Go into Mouse
3.  On the Buttons tab, go down to the Button Configuration option
4.  Choose the Left-Handed option (some may ask you to select Switch Primary and Secondary Buttons)
5.  Click on Apply
6.  Click on OK (change buttons!).

Your mouse is now set for left-handed use!  Your right button now acts as a left click in all applications and your left button now acts as a right click.  Just move it over to the left side of the keyboard and life is wonderful again!

And you now use the CTRL and ALT keys on the right side of the space bar.

Some mouse drivers may give you the option to select the function of each button individually.  The one we use in our office is set up this way.

1.  Go into Control Panel
2.  Go into Mouse
3.  On the Buttons tab, go to the Left Button drop-down box and select Right-Click
4.  Go to the Right Button drop-down box and select Click
5.  If you have the option with side buttons, these can also be changed over in the same way
6.  Click on Apply
7.  Click on OK (change buttons!).

Right-handers can change back quickly by clicking on the Restore Defaults button.

Apple Mac

We must congratulate Apple Macintosh for considering left-handers in their mouse design - only one button!  Just place your mouse on the left-hand side and away you go.  There is no need to specially configure your computer in order to use it this way.

And you now use the CTRL and ALT keys on the right side of the space bar.

Ubuntu Linux

The operating system has a range of mouse options.

1. Go to the top left of the screen and click 'System".
2. Slide the cursor down to Preferences, slide right then down, and click on 'Mouse' in the drop down list - a small window will open.
3. Under the 'General' tab, click a radio button to choose mouse 'Right-Handed' or 'Left-Handed'.
4. Go to bottom right of window and click the 'Close' button.

In linux, there is no Apply button, actions are saved when you close the window.  Now shift your mouse to the left hand side of the keyboard.

Reduce keystrokes with linux, use the mouse to highlight any text on the screen, move the cursor to where you want to insert that text, then click down on the mouse's centre scroll wheel.  Copy and paste in two clicks, reducing key strokes for editing work.

Other Operating Platforms

We are not familiar with all operating systems on the market.

If you use another platform and can help us prepare similar instructions, please contact us.