Left click is accomplished by pressing the left mouse button or the left portion of the mouse and letting go very quickly; right click is the same, but with the right mouse button or right portion of the mouse. On Mac computers, right mouse click is typically disabled on the mouse and is accomplished by holding down the Control-key while left clicking. However, the true right mouse click can be enabled under the Mouse settings under System Preferences. Double click is a variation of the left click and requires pressing the left click twice within a very short time. This time interval can be adjusted with the Mouse System Preferences on Macs or the Mouse Control Panel on Windows.
Typically, before performing a mouse click one moves the cursor over the item upon which you wish to perform a mouse action. This is often an icon such as a folder, file, or application.
Left click performs functions such as opening a drop-down-menu, invoking a function in a drop-down-menu, selecting an icon, placing the cursor within a body of text, or clicking a button.
Double click performs functions such as starting an application, opening a folder, or selecting a word within a document. You can see that the difference between left click and double click is that left click selects an item, but double click invokes that item.
Right click displays a pop-up menu that provides a list of functions that can either be invoked upon that item or performed at that location. The choice of function is then selected with a left click on the desired function.
While the left click is the most often-used mouse button, right click is actually the most powerful. This is because if you are not sure what function can be performed on a specific item or location, you can right click to get a list of options before actually performing the function. It is as if you asked the item “What are you capable of doing?” and then deciding which of the options if any you actually wish to perform.
If you have not used right click before, then give it a try. You will discover that it will quickly become an indispensible part of your “input repertoire”.