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For quite some time, the norm has been for computer users to double click every time they need to open something on their computer. Whether it be computer files, music files, documents, etc. For example, if you would like to listen to a music file on your PC, you double click on it to run the music, right? But, in all actuality, we can make life easier by assigning a single click pattern to our Windows system.

By single click, I mean really single clicking on items to open them, so in the end, we will save thousands of clicks from now on. We will be able to open any file with a single click of the mouse. This can save us time and it makes our clicking more productive and enjoyable. It also will help your mouse to live longer as a result of less clicking.

With this method, when you roll your mouse cursor over an item, like a Word document, it automatically becomes underlined and shaded and in fact, is selected (by default, you select a file by clicking on it), showing us it’s ready to launch. So, with just one click, it’ll run.

Now, let’s see how we can enable this feature for Windows XP. First, click on Start and go to the Control Panel, then click on the Folder Options icon.

It is in the useful, handy Folder Options window that we can tell Windows how to open our files. Before we go any further, your Control Panel has to be set in the Classic View for the Folder Options icon to be visible. Under “Click items as follows,” choose the single click option and click OK.

Now, let’s go further and experience what we can do with this. Go back into your Control Panel and click on any empty space below the icons. (Do this to make sure the Control Panel window is selected). Then move your mouse over an icon in your Control Panel (don’t click on anything yet though). For example, move the cursor over the same Folder Options icon. Now what do you see? You will see the icon like in the following image

It may look different, but that is what this whole single clicking thing is all about. Since you have not clicked on the icon yet and you have only moved your cursor over it (or you have pointed at it), it’s going to be underlined and shaded to show that it is selected. Now, if you click on the icon once, it will open. You see, you have enabled Windows to 1.) Select a file by just pointing at it (by moving your mouse cursor over it) and 2.) Open a file by a single click and not the ordinary double click.

I think you may like this method better, because as I said before, it’s time saving and fun. So, from now on, whenever you want to open a file, just move your mouse cursor over the item and it will turn to an underlined shaded icon (meaning it’s ready to be opened) and once you click on it (only once), it will run.

This technique is specially useful in our daily routine tasks. Suppose you listen to several MP3 files everyday and you open several images and folders daily. Doing all of these tasks with less clicking is certainly the recommended choice.

Okay, so we have learned about the single click method, but did you know that we can even decide about the way Windows displays files and items on the screen? I am not talking about arranging files, but about underlining them. Please read on to discover.

Let’s look at two more options of customizing the single click procedure. Again, go to Start, Control Panel and open Folder Options, General tab. Now, there are two additional choices untouched that will help us decide how we like our files displayed. The first option makes our files automatically, and always underlined, regardless of pointing over them with the mouse cursor. You can activate this option by checking its box, which you can see in the following image.

Now, after clicking OK, take a look at the way files are shown on your screen. You can see icons, items and all of the files underlined.

But, the second option, which is recommended, underlines the files on our PC only when you point at them or move the mouse cursor over them. To enable this feature, check the appropriate box, which you can see in the image below. (Again go to Start, Control Panel, Folder Options, General tab).

Click OK and look at your files. At first glance, there may not be any noticeable changes, but you can see they are not underlined anymore. Simply move your mouse cursor over a file and you can see that it automatically becomes underlined and selected.

The choice is really yours whether you like to see your files underlined all the time or only when your mouse cursor is over them. Just experience both of these two options for a couple of days and decide which one you prefer.

From now on, you can have an enhanced working environment, because your file handling will be more entertaining, fun and time saving by opening items and files with a single click of the mouse.

Also, it should be mentioned that you can always turn back to the double clicking method by going through the Start Menu, Control Panel, Folder Options, General tab and selecting “double click to open an item.”

Click OK and you will return to the old way of double clicking to open items.

For other versions of Windows, click on the My Computer desktop icon, choose View and at the bottom of the menu, click on Folder Options. Now, click on Settings in the lower right hand side under the General tab. Go to the bottom of the page and the rest of the directions are just like the ones for Windows XP.

~ Hamid Reza