Thursday, July 7, 2011

Seven Uses for the Middle Mouse Button

Nowadays every mouse comes with a middle mouse button. Have you ever wondered what the middle button on your mouse is useful for? Here are seven uses for a mouse's middle button:

Middle Mouse Button1. Scrolling

In Windows XP, Vista, 7, pressing the middle mouse button causes a circle to appear where the mouse cursor is located, with arrows in it. Then the mouse pointer can be moved around to control the direction and speed of automatic scrolling. Pressing it again stops this function. This nifty feature can also be used in programs like many popular text editors such as Windows Notepad, Microsoft Word, Notepad 2 ; web browsers like Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome; pdf viewers like Adobe Acrobat Reader (and Writer) and Foxit Reader and many other applications.

2. Close Browser Tabs Quickly

If you have multiple tabs open in a web browser like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer then clicking on a tab with the middle mouse button will cause it to close immediately . This is faster than clicking on the 'x' button on the tabs (or right-clicking it and selecting "Close."). In Chrome, if only one tab is present, then middle clicking on the tab will cause Chrome to exit.

If you are using Pidgin as your chat client, then this trick can be used to close conversations immediately if you are chatting with multiple people at once. In the chat window, just middle click on any tab to close it.

This trick even works with QT TabBar (QT TabBar is a small utility that creates tabbed windows within Windows Explorer) to close tabs.

3. Open Links in New Tabs

When you middle-click a link in Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Opera that link opens immediately in a new tab. Otherwise, this can be accomplished by pressing the right button, then selecting "Open in New Tab" from the menu which appears. If you are using Firefox and have Live Bookmarks (subscribed to pages using RSS), then clinking on the links will cause them to open in a new tab. Same is true for any links in your bookmarks and history (applicable in all the aforementioned browsers).

QT TabBar users can middle click on any folder to open that folder in a new tab

4. Quickly Open and Close Application Windows

In Windows 7, to open a new window for an application, middle-click on its icon in the taskbar. For example, middle-clicking on the Chrome icon will open a new browser window.
To close a window, middle-click on its Aero Peek thumbnail. This could be useful when you have multiple windows open, since you can quickly close a bunch of them by middle-clicking.

Windows XP and Vista users can use Taskbar Shuffle which gives the user the ability to middle-click to close programs on your taskbar.

5. Paste Texts Quickly

In Linux, one can copy and paste in two very simple steps. Highlight the text you want to copy with the mouse. Go to where you want to paste it and press the middle mouse button. Hey presto – the text is pasted under the current mouse position. If you don’t have a middle button on your mouse, you can emulate a middle click by clicking on both the left and right buttons at the same time.

To get this functionality in Firefox, follow these steps:
a) Enter about:config in the address bar and hit enter
b) Look for a value named middlemouse.paste, you can use the filter for searching it. 
c) Double click on the value to change it to true.
That's it, you can now paste with the Middle Click!

Windows users can use a software True X-Mouse to enjoy this nice Linux feature.

6. Quickly Throw a Grenade in a Video Game

In many games like Max Payne 2, Call of Duty 4, Battlefield etc, middle mouse button is the default for throwing a Grenade instantly. This is a much better alternative than using a key (like keyboard button 'G').

7. Application specific uses

a) In Adobe Reader and Adobe Writer, double-clicking the middle mouse button in a page brings up a window indicating what part of the current page is being displayed, as well as the current and total page numbers.

b) In Pidgin, double-clicking the middle mouse button on a buddy results in displaying his information.

c) In Windows Media Player, middle-clicking on visualization results in change in visualization


Touchpad users missing middle mouse button functionality can use the software Middle-Click Simulator to simulate middle mouse click by pressing both mouse buttons at the same time.


  1. I have laptop with me help me to sort out the problem of middle click

  2. These operations depend on how the mouse is set up in the control panel. You can choose from a wide variety of actions for any of the buttons available on the particular mouse you have if it has been properly installed.

    1. Various gestures are available but no option regarding middle click is available !

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