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8 Most Important Pointing Devices

A pointer represents a small symbol on the screen. It usually appears on the screen in Graphical User Interface (GUI) environment. A pointing device is an input device. It is used to control the movement of the pointer or cursor on the screen. It can also be used for:
  • Sending command signals to the computer.
  • Selecting items on the screen.
  • Selecting commands from commands menu.
  • Drawing graphs etc.
Most Important Pointing Devices
The most important pointing devices are as follows:
  1. Mouse
  2. Trackball
  3. Pointing Stick
  4. Joystick
  5. Touch Pad
  6. Touch Screen
  7. Light Pen
  8. Digitizer/Graphic Tablet
1- Mouse
    Mouse is the most commonly used pointing input devise. It is used to control the cursor or pointer on the screen and to give commands to the computer. It is very easy to use. The mouse is attached with the computer by a cable or wireless connection.

The top of mouse contains one wheel and 2 or 3 buttons. These buttons can be clicked or double clicked to perform different tasks.
Example: For example, an object (icon) on the screen is selected by clicking the left button of mouse. Similarly, a program or folder is opened by double clicking the left button of mouse.

Two Types of Mouse
The most popular types of mouse are as follows:

(i) Mechanical Mouse: It has a small ball at the bottom. The ball rotates as the mouse is rolled over a flat surface. Usually, a rectangular rubber pad (known as mouse pad) is used as flat surface. As the mouse is rolled over the flat surface, the pointer moves in the same direction on the screen.

(ii) Optical Mouse: It has no ball at the bottom. It uses the laser technology to detect the mouse movement. Nowadays, it is commonly used in personal computers (PCs).

2-Trackball
    A trackball is a pointing input device. It performs functions like a mouse but it is a stationary device. It has move-able ball on its top. The ball is rotated or rolled with fingers (or palm of the hand) to move the pointer on the screen. Like mouse, a trackball also has buttons used to send the commands to computer.

The trackball is usually available laptop compute. It is fixed on its keyboard. It is also available as separate input device.

3- Touch Pad
    Touch Pad is a pressure-sensitive pointing device. Touch pad is also known as track pad. It is also stationary device like trackball but it has no moving arts. It is a small, flat surface (or sensitive pad) over which a user slides fingertip to move the pointer on the screen.

Touch Pad also has one or two buttons. These buttons are located near the pad. These buttons work like mouse buttons. Touch Pad is normally used with laptops. Nowadays, it is also available as separate inpute device. It is fixed on separate keyboard.

4- Pointing Stick
    A pointing stick is a pressure-sensitive pointing device. It looks like a pencil eraser. It exists between keys of keyboard. It is used to control the movement of a pointer on the screen. The pointer in th screen moves in the direction in which the pointing stick is pushed. Pointing stick input device is normally used with laptop computers.

5- Joystick
    Joystick is a pointing device. It consists of a vertical handle or hand-held stick. The stick is mounted on a base. The hand-held stick is used to control the movement of pointer on the screen. Joystick also contains one or two buttons. The button of the joystick is pressed to activate certain event or action. Joystick is basically used to play video games. It is also used in some computer-aided design (CAD) system.

6- Touch Screen
    A touch screen is a special video display screen. Input is given to the computer directly by touching the screen with user fingertip. Most touch screen computers use sensors in the computer's screen to detect the touch of a finger. Usually touch screen used to make selection from a menu of choices displayed on the screen. Touch screen is often used in ATM. Touch screen systems are also used in restaurants, supermarkets, departmental stores etc.

In some computer systems, pen-based or light pen input devices are used. The user touches the screen with a pen. However, the term touch screen implies a system that accepts input data by touching the screen with the user's fingertip.

7- Light Pen
    The light pen is a hand-held pointing input device. It looks like a pen. It is a light-sensitive input device. It is connected with the computer by a wire. The tip of pen contains a light-sensitive element. This device also contains a button.

Input is given to the computer directly by touching the screen with pen. When the pen is touched with the screen, it detects or senses a position on display screen. The user points the object to be selected on the display screen and then presses a button on the light pen.

Light Pen device is usually used by engineers and graphic designers. This input device requires special monitor. Light pen is used in Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and other types of hand-held computers.

8- Digitizer or Graphics Tablet
    Digitizer is used for drawing new images or tracing old images. Usually, it is used for making maps and engineering drawings. A digitizer is also known as graphics tablet. It consists of a flat, rectangular board (or pad) and an input device stylus or puck. Each location on the rectangular board points to corresponding position on the computer screen. The stylus or puck is connected to the board / pad by a wire.

Stylus looks like a pen. It is used for drawing images on a specially designed graphics screen or digitizer. Puck looks like a mouse. Puck is also called cursor. Usually, it is generally used for tracing old images.

40 Responses to “8 Most Important Pointing Devices”

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11 March 2014 at 10:22

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Anonymous said...
5 August 2014 at 20:35

any one want to comment on which pointing device is the experience one?


Anonymous said...
5 August 2014 at 20:36

the best experienced one, I mean


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Fan Milly said...
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Today when you come to a computer shop to buy a mouse you can be confused. It's not that easy now to find what you are looking for because computer stuff has changed a lot. You can't even explain why we call a wireless gadget a mouse. It has lost its tail and changed its appearance. Wireless mice are connected to your computer with a radio signal.

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Why mouse is known as a pointing device ??


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Those 8 things are really meant for any best ergonomic mouse. It also depend how it build and shape.


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Leroy King said...
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Because it is used to identify anything on the computer


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