It may not happen often, which is why, when it does it is a moment of complete panic and despair. Your Windows mouse is dead and you are in the middle of heaps of work with several windows open and feel like your hands have been cut off.
Despair no more, Mr Gates foresaw this eventuality along with the Information Super highway. It is actually there for people who may have difficulty using a mouse but it is also an excellent emergency tool. In order to be able to use the keyboard to control the mouse pointer the keyboard shortcut option for mouse keys has to be previously set.
Generally it is set, by default. However, if you want to have this facility available you need to check it beforehand because once the rodent dies you probably won't be able to! Under "Accessibility Options" in the control panel select the "Mouse Tab" and check the "Use Mousekeys" box.
Now you can press LEFT SHIFT + LEFT ALT + NUM LOCK. This key combination activates the emergency keystrokes for mouse function. Once Mousekeys is active you can use the following keys to duplicate the mouse functions.
On the numeric keypad, press any of the numeric keys immediately surrounding the  key to move the pointer in the direction indicated by the arrows on the keys.
Press the  key for a single mouse click and the plus sign key [+] for a double-click.
To drag an object, place the pointer on the object and press the [Insert] key to begin dragging. Press [Delete] to release the object.
To select the left, right, or both mouse buttons for clicking, press the slash key [/], the minus key [-], or the asterisk key [*], respectively.
To cause the pointer to jump across large sections of the screen, hold down the [Ctrl] key while you press the movement keys.
To move the pointer a single pixel at a time for greater accuracy, hold down the [Shift] key while you press the movement keys.
There you have it. Never be caught short by a dead mouse on your desktop again. When you once again have a live mouse and want to regain the use of the numeric pad, press LEFT SHIFT + LEFT ALT + NUM LOCK to restore your keyboard to normal.
To be ready for when your Windows mouse takes a break, check in "Accessiblity Options", "Mouse Tab" in Control Panel that the 'Use Mousekeys' box is ticked. Then when your mouse calls in sick use the LEFT SHIFT + LEFT ALT + NUM LOCK key combination to turn the numeric pad into a mouse controller.
Stan Craigie has been a computer professional for almost 30 years. Visit [the website pc.freeinfo-site.com cannot be found] for more free PC and Computer tips.