How to make the mouse left-handed in Gnome 2.2

This page explains step-by-step how to make the mouse left-handed in Gnome 2.2 for Linux. By default your mouse is set up for a right-handed person, with the primary button on the left. However, you can swap the function of the mouse buttons from the default left click, so that a right click is instead used for selection and dragging. You'll just need to remember to press the opposite button to what is called for when you are following instructions (for example, if you are requested to right-click on something).

Video how to guide

Text version

Making the mouse left-handed in Gnome 2.2

Change the function of the mouse's left and right buttons

Step 1: Open the 'Mouse Preferences' window

Click on 'System' in the menu bar, then 'Preferences' and then 'Mouse', as shown in Fig 1. Alternatively, press Alt + F1 and then use the arrow keys to move to 'System', then 'Preferences', then 'Mouse', and then press Enter.

Fig 1'System' drop-down menu

This will open the 'Mouse Preferences' window shown in Fig 2. The 'General' tab should be selected by default. If it is not, click on the 'General' tab, or press Tab until any of the tabs is highlighted, then press the left or right arrow keys until the 'General' tab is brought to the front.

Fig 2'Mouse Preferences' window

Step 2: Set the mouse for left-handed use

Under the 'Mouse Orientation' header, click the radio button next to 'Left-handed', or press Alt + L to make the mouse left-handed.

(If you want to to change the mouse back to right-handed, click the radio button next to 'Right-handed', or press Alt + R.)

Click 'Close' or press Alt + C to finish and return to the Gnome desktop.

Note: If this does not work it could be because your computer settings cannot be changed due to local IT policies - contact your local IT support for further help.

Back to How to guides - I find a keyboard or mouse hard to use

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