Microsoft Word/Word Cursor


QUESTION: I have difficulty seeing the cursor in Word. I use XP. The instructions I found to change the cursor color or size say to go to Control Panel and click on Display and Themes; however, my control panel has no such critter.

ANSWER: You can change the appearance of the mouse pointer(s) in the Control Panel (where will depend on your version of Windows), but it you're actually talking about the blinking cursor, then there are two possible approaches:

1. If the cursor is just very small (short), then you've encountered a bug of unknown origin that can be cleared by switching to 500% Zoom and back. This is not a permanent cure, but it always works.

2. If the cursor is not wide enough to suit you, or you would like to change the blink rate, you can change this in the Ease of Access Center (Windows 7) or Accessibility Options (Windows XP). In Windows 7 the path is Control Panel | All Control Panel Items | Ease of Access Center | Make the computer easier to see. There's a place to change the width of the cursor as well as other, related settings. You can change the cursor blink rate on the Speed Tab of Control Panel | Keyboard.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for your good reply. Sorry about my belated reply. I won't bore you with personal details that are my excuse.
My problem is not with the blinking cursor; it's with the "I" shaped mouse cursor that I seem to lose sight of in Word. I've been left clicking and moving the mouse to highlight as a way to find it. Seems dumb on my part, so I thought I'd see if there's a way to change the color or otherwise be able to locate the "I" more easily.

I studied Latin in prep school but was too young--you know what Mark Twain said about education being wasted on the youth--but even so it was a blessing. I'm a working editor and writer and lover of the word, especially etymology, so you know what I mean. One does not know his own language until he studies another, and nothing helps people understand the structure of English better than Latin., eh?

Okay, so it's the mouse pointer you need to make more noticeable. I share your problem--I often find myself waving the mouse around hoping to spot the arrow or I-beam. But there are two lines of attack:

1. Go to Control Panel | Mouse and choose the Pointers tab. In Windows 7, in addition to whatever scheme is currently selected, you'll see that there are others, some of which are labeled Large or Extra Large. In Windows XP, ISTR that there were "themes" that had fancier pointers.

2. In the same Mouse Properties dialog, select the Pointer Options tab. There are some Visibility options that may help: "Display pointer trails" and "Show location of pointer when I press the CTRL key."
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This topic answers questions related to Microsoft Word stand-alone or Microsoft Office Word including Word 2003, Word 2007, Office 2000, and Office XP. You can get Word help on formatting text, tables, tabs, fonts, styles, general Word layouts, bullets, headings, and outlines, using templates, toolbar modifications, and using Track Changes. You may also find tips on linking Word and Excel embedded objects including charts. This site does not provide a general Word tutorial nor the basics of using a word processor. It provides specific answers to using Microsoft Word only. If you do not see your Word question answered in this area then please ask a Word question here

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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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