Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Cursor size is not determined by the kind of computer that you buy; it is set by your monitor and the software in your computer. It can easily be adjusted.

I'm about to buy a new Dell desktop computer. On my old one, using MS Word, I had trouble locating the cursor; the blinking vertical line. Can you recommend a Dell desktop for writers that has a bigger, bolder cursors or something?

In this excerpt from Answercast #7, I discuss how the cursor size is set and show how and where to set it larger so you can see it.

Cursor size

No, I can't because it's not the machine that's setting the cursor. They put the same cursor on whatever machine you're running. The cursor is controlled by software.

So, in a case like this, the actual shape of the cursor, the size of the cursor, the color of the cursor are all things that are controlled by Windows. They are not set by Word; they are all controlled by Windows.

Get a good monitor

There are two approaches you can take to making things more readable. One is to get a better monitor.

Not the computer, just the monitor.

Invest in perhaps a larger monitor or a higher quality monitor to help you to be able to see what's on the screen.

Adjust monitor settings

The other approach is to use (at least in Windows 7) utilities that allow you to increase the size of fonts. You can increase the size of what's on the screen, and there are alternate cursor sets that you can choose from - many of which are large and much more visible.

Again, though, they apply to all programs that you run in Windows, not just Word.

The place to look is in the Control Panel under what's called "Ease of Access." Ease of Access settings do a number of different things to improve how your computer functions. Many of them are targeted at individuals who have some form of impairment. But even for those of us with aging eyeballs (like myself), sometimes it's very nice to go in and use a magnifier tool, or set a bolder cursor, or increase the size of things on the screen in a way that makes them more readable.

So that's where I'd point you: to the Control Panel > Ease of Access setting and spend a few minutes investigating what goes on inside there. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Back to - Answercast #7

Article C5186 - April 9, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

April 10, 2012 10:21 PM

Hi Leo,

Yes, I do have this problem some times. I feel it acute in video tutorials. The arrow is too small and too fast even in Microsoft tutorials/clips. I quit just for this reason. Even, the images are dull and without contrast.

I very much wish, I could get a larger, slower moving and highlighted arrow/click, especially in tutorials/demos.

April 11, 2012 9:21 AM

Hi Leo,
Ease-of-Access is great. I use the flash-desktop option, as I usually keep my volume low. I think, however, that the 'mouse' options, accessed through the desktop, or control panel, is the better way to set a mouse pointer/cursor theme.

I'm really liking the way you're forming up with your answercasts. Thanx for being there.

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