Computer hardware: Accelerate your mouse

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

Q. What's the most common computer mistake you see CPAs make?

A. It's not a very glamorous or serious problem, but when I teach hands-on CPE courses, I frequently walk around the room to help CPAs one-on-one, and I've noticed that many CPAs never take time to accelerate their mouse. By default, Windows sets the initial speed of your mouse pointer to a fairly slow setting. As you gain greater mouse dexterity, you can usually increase your productivity by speeding up your mouse pointer. To accelerate your mouse pointer, from Control Panel select Mouse to launch the Mouse Properties dialog box, on the Pointer Options tab, slide the Select a pointer speed chevron to a faster position, and then click OK (as suggested in the screenshot below).


I recommend that users increase the speed of their mouse until one smooth mouse motion across the mouse pad (or finger motion across the touchpad) causes the mouse pointer to travel from the left side of your left-most monitor to the right side of your right-most monitor. This adjustment will enable users to access any position on their monitor(s) without having to pick up and move their mouse (or finger) multiple times across the mouse pad (or touchpad) to navigate the workspace. I find that this small, simple adjustment can yield significant productivity gains. 

About the author

J. Carlton Collins ( is a technology consultant, a CPE instructor, and a JofA contributing editor.

Note: Instructions for Microsoft Office in “Technology Q&A” refer to the 2007 through 2016 versions, unless otherwise specified.

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