Adjusting the Mouse and Keyboard

It's not uncommon to find that the mouse and keyboard don't behave quite as you'd like. The mouse may drag along so slowly that you can't track from one side of the screen to another without running the mouse off of your desk, or it may zip along so quickly that you can't accurately position the pointer. Likewise, you may discover that keys repeat so quickly that you can't type anything without seeing a string of repeated letters, or they may repeat so slowly that keyboard repeat is useless. KDE provides controls to modify the mouse tracking speed, but the keyboard repeat rate is less flexible. Fortunately, there are alternatives to using KDE's own tools to adjust the keyboard repeat rate.

To adjust the mouse tracking speed, open the KDE Control Center by selecting K Menu O Control Center, K Menu O Configuration O Control Center, or a similar menu item. You should then pick the Peripherals O Mouse item, which produces a tool in which you can adjust how KDE treats the mouse. You can switch between right-handed and left-handed operation, choose to require double-clicks or use single-clicks to open files in Konqueror, and so on. The Advanced tab (shown in Figure 6.6) includes a couple of sliders that affect mouse tracking speed. The Pointer Acceleration slider affects how fast the mouse accelerates when you move it quickly, and the Pointer Threshold slider affects how soon this acceleration begins after you start moving the mouse. This tab has other mouse options, as well, such as the timing of double-clicks and the distance you must drag an icon before KDE accepts the action as a drag.

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Figure 6.6: KDE provides configuration tools to adjust your mouse's responsiveness.

The Peripherals 0 Keyboard area in the KDE Control Center provides tools for adjusting the keyboard, including one to enable or disable keyboard repeat. This tool, however, doesn't provide an option to adjust the keyboard repeat rate, beyond turning the feature on or off. For that, you must edit your XF86Config file, as described in Chapter 3, "Using External Peripherals." Alternatively, you can type xset r rate delay repeat-rate in an xterm, where delay is the delay in milliseconds before a key begins repeating and repeat-rate is the repeat rate in repeats per second.

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