Adjusting the Mouse and Keyboard

Chapter 3 covers mouse and keyboard configuration in general, but GNOME provides tools that override many details of how these critical devices function. Because these GNOME tools change the default X settings, you probably want to be familiar with the GNOME-specific tools if you use GNOME.

To adjust the mouse's movement, button mappings, and so on, pick Applications O Desktop Preferences 0 Mouse. This action produces the Mouse Preferences dialog box shown in Figure 6.11. The options you're most likely to want to change are on the Motion tab. The Acceleration slider changes how rapidly the mouse accelerates when you begin moving it quickly, and the Sensitivity slider changes how far you must move the pointer before acceleration begins. You can change the mouse for left-handed use or alter the timing required for double-clicks from the Buttons tab, and you can modify the appearance of the default mouse pointer from the Cursors tab.

Figure 6.11: The Mouse Preferences dialog box provides tools for adjusting mouse behavior.

To adjust details of keyboard activity, pick Applications 0 Desktop Preferences O Keyboard, which brings up the Keyboard Preferences dialog box shown in Figure 6.12. If you want keys to produce repeated characters when held down, be sure the Keyboard Repeats When Key Is Held Down check box is selected. You can then adjust the Delay and Speed sliders to influence how long it takes before a key begins repeating and to regulate the speed of the repeats, respectively. The same dialog box enables you to set the cursor blinking speed for GNOME text-entry fields and whether or not applications that try to create a keyboard "bell" produce a beep (from the Sound tab). Clicking the Accessibility button brings up a new dialog box for setting more esoteric keyboard features, such as filters to help eliminate keybounce (a problem on some worn-out keyboards or for people with shaky fingers), tools to let the keyboard's numeric keypad substitute for the mouse, and so on.

Figure 6.12: The Keyboard Preferences dialog box controls the keyboard repeat rate and other keyboard and text-entry options.
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