Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Windows 7: Mouse Pointer Spotlight

I was using Windows 7.  I noticed that, in some online demo videos, people were able to have their mouse cursor highlighted, as if it were a flashlight.  I wanted to be able to do that.  I ran a search to find a freeware option.  I had to filter this search to find sites that seemed to be helpful.  I found there were some shareware options, including PointerFocus, MouseLight, and SpotOnTheMouse.  There were also some freeware options that looked interesting but didn't give me quite what I wanted, including the freeware MouseShade and Sonar.

At some point, I became aware of the obvious, which was that I could probably just tinker with the mouse cursor or maybe install a different kind of cursor, making it visible in the same way that a spotlight effect would.  Built-in options in Windows 7 (Control Panel > Mouse, Pointers tab and Pointer Options tab) included choosing a larger cursor and adding tails.  To expand on that, I ran a search, glanced at a webpage offering a free download of 7500 various kinds of mouse pointers, and then went to a Microsoft webpage explaining how to change the mouse pointer's appearance.  The basic idea here was that, in that same Control Panel > Mouse > Pointers tab, I could click Browse and see a boatload of cursor (.cur) and animation (?) (.ani) files that existed in C:\Windows\Cursors.

My guess was that I could probably do a search for additional .cur files and download them to that folder, and then they would hopefully be visible in that Pointers tab.  The Open Cursor Library looked like it might have a lot of cursor options.  I also looked cursorily at webpages on creating your own cursor, creating a cursor from an image, previewing a cursor, and using a custom cursor file.  But then I realized that -- damn, being a curser and all -- I had to get back to work.

5 comments:

Deb

Hi Ray,

Thanks for the cursor article. Don't know if you have have already found Cursor attention. It looks great and is for free.

cheers,
Deb

raywood

I can't seem to find a related program named "Cursor" or "Cursor Attention." I must be looking in the wrong place.

Deb

Hi Ray,
My first post was somewhat inaccurate. Sorry about that. If you search for cursor attention one does find the link but it is called pen attention. Once you click on the link you would find cursor attention as well. Cursor attention is the version for non-tablets and for tablets the program is called pen attention. The link I sent you would take you to a site with both of these versions. Once installed you could change the settings (colour, size, transparency and short-cut key) of the highlight from the icon that is placed in the system tray (right bottom corner of task bar). They also have a video about the features and settings.
cheers,
Deb

raywood

I found it. Looks interesting. Thanks!

Justin Ferguson

Hello Ray,

Good write up,

You seem like a real playwright, and indeed you are right! I too found myself searching for a flashlight cursor to help focus the participants attentions during my webinar presentations on Quickbooks.

I see alot of video presentations with a flash light mouse and am looking for the same set up.

Justin