Adjusting Input Options on Your Mac

April 14, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’re coming to the Mac for the first time, one of the first things that you might consider adjusting is the mouse and keyboard settings.

Most users might prefer to get used to the options as they are, but with plenty of settings available there is no need to do this. It is a simple job to open up the preferences for these two input devices and adjust them to meet your requirements, whether it is something like key repeat speed or the key to press while using the scroll wheel to zoom into a web page.

These configuration options are easy to find and use, and will help to make using a Mac that little bit easier.

Setting keyboard input options on your Mac

Changing Mouse Settings on Your Mac

There are various options available for you mouse, but these will depend on which Mac mouse you are using. We’ll assume that you use a two-buttoned mouse with a scroll wheel for the purposes of this article.

Go to System Preferences > Hardware > Mouse in order to alter your Tracking Speed (the rate with which the mouse pointer moves compared with the physical mouse movement), Scrolling Speed (the speed with which your roller will scroll through pages), your Double-Click Speed (the rate at which you double-click to open folders) and to set your Primary Mouse Button as either left or right.

Using the Zoom using scroll wheel while holding setting, if checked, you can select the Control, Option or Command keys to be used in conjunction with the mouse to use the zoom function.

In addition to these settings you can also use the Options button to adjust how the zoom function works, with a choice of moving the screen Continuously with pointer, or Only when the pointer reaches an edge. You can also set Mac OS X to move the screen when zoomed So the pointer is at or near the center of the image. Click Done to confirm your choice here, and close the Mouse preferences box when you have adjusted it to your comfort.

Adjusting Keyboard Settings in Mac OS X

As well as your mouse settings you can make changes to your keyboard and how you interact with it in Mac OS X. Via the Dock, go to System Preferences > Hardware > Keyboard and you will see that the Keyboard tab offers you options for adjusting the Key Repeat Rate as well as a Delay Until Repeat option. These options can make typing a matter of considerable ease if you are a slow typist or have an accessibility requirement.

Meanwhile using the Modifier Keys… button you can alter which keys do what. For instance you can change the behaviour of the Command key so that it behaves like the Caps Lock key, and the same goes for the Control, Option and Caps Lock key itself. Click OK to confirm any changes you make here, and undo them by clicking Restore Defaults.

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