Double Click vs. Single Click

One of the most perplexing things about Microsoft Windows (any version) is that sometimes you need to click once, and sometimes you need to click twice (aka double-clicking). By this point in my life, the difference between the two is hard-wired into my DNA, and I don’t have to think about it. However when training new computer users how to use Windows, I’m at a loss as to how to explain what the difference is. How does once describe situations in which a double-click is required vs. situations where a single-click is required (esp. without using the work invoke)?
Perhaps the only honest advice I could find online to this question is on this University of Michigan website: If a single click does not work, try a double-click.

There’s an attempt at a fuller explanation on the website. It’s about 1,200 words long.


Guenther Duvall's picture
Guenther Duvall on November 12, 2009 - 20:07 Permalink

Once single-clicking becomes a habit, you’ll see that not only there’ll be less clicking noise, but also, less mouse-work.
Single-clicking is easier on the hand, and less tiring, especially if you work long hours at the computer.
When browsing online, single clicks are the standard.
Try double-clicking on the send / submit button twice…
So why not adopt single-clicking when working offline as well?
Double clickers work almost twice as much with their mouse compared to single-clickers.
Double clickers waste their time clicking.
Have you noticed that double clickers are often impatient?
It’s up to you, ultimately.
Brought to you by a determined single-clicker.