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By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager

How would you like to save time and decrease wear and tear on your body? If you don’t care about that, how about having the ability to feel smug knowing that you know how to optimize your computer settings and most of your co-worker’s don’t? Sounds like a win-win, right? Here are instructions on how to change a few computer settings on your PC to optimize it for you.

Change your File Folder Option from Double Click to Single Click

This allows you to click once instead of twice when opening a file. It saves time and reduces the amount of repetitive motion you are doing with your hand. It’s amazing how much time and effort you can save with this one setting change. You may get so excited that you will go around spreading the praise of the “file folder single click open” to anyone who will listen. If your boss listens, maybe you will get promoted for being such an efficient person.

  1. Open the “Control Panel”
  2. Select “Folder Options”
  3. Select “Single-click to open an item (point to select)”

Changing Your Trackball or Mouse Pointer Speed

If you feel the pointer on your mouse or trackball is too slow or fast, here is the answer. If you have to move your mouse far away from you on your desk like it’s on an exploration mission, that is a clue that the setting is currently too slow. If you feel like your pointer is whizzing around the screen like a hornet whose nest was just hit by a baseball bat, then you need to slow it down. Personally, I like mine on the fastest setting, but to each their own. If you like your mouse to be slow I won’t look down on you. I also won’t honk when you are driving in front of me.

  1. Open the “Control Panel”
  2. Select “Mouse”
  3. Select “Change mouse settings”
  4. Select the speed on the scale from “Slow” to “Fast”

Change the Mouse or Trackball Button From Right to Left Handed or Vice Versa

Not everyone needs to do this, but if you need to use your mouse or trackball on the left, this is how to switch the buttons.

  1. Open the “Control Panel”
  2. Select “Mouse”
  3. Select “Switch primary and secondary buttons”
  4. It’s always funny to watch people try to close out of this screen after switching the buttons. Remember, now the other button is the one to click.

Adjust Your Screen Brightness and Contrast

Push the buttons on the side or bottom of your monitor. This varies by monitor, but there are usually 4 buttons. There is an up and down arrow and a 1 and a 2 button. Play around with it until you get to “Brightness”. Adjust your monitor’s brightness level down to the same level as your surrounding workstation. If your monitor looks like a light source, it’s too bright. Manufacturers usually send out monitors set on the brightest setting so that the colors look impressive, those dirty dogs. It’s not good for our eyes.

Now choose the “Contrast” from the menu. Adjust the contrast up to where you can see comfortably.

Change the Text Size

The easiest way to do this is press CTRL + . Pull out a dollar bill from your wallet or a hundred dollar bill if you are showing off. Make sure the text on your screen is at least the size of the serial number on the bill.









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