HOW  TO  MAKE  THE  MOUSE  POINTER  BIGGER

After giving live computer lessons to pensioners in London, UK over the last few months one of the questions that keeps coming up during teaching is "How do I make the mouse pointer bigger?", to which I give the answer and show them how. So in this section I thought I would share that knowledge with you.



Begin by opening the Control Panel window (START Menu >> CONTROL) and then click on the MOUSE Control Panel link (Fig 1.0) to open the Mouse Properties window (Fig 1.1). From there, click on the POINTERS Tab (Fig 1.1) to display the mouse pointer properties/settings (Fig 1.2).



Fig 1.0  Click on the MOUSE Control Panel link to continue




Fig 1.1  Click on the POINTERS Tab (window) to continue




Fig 1.2  Double click on the NORMAL SELECT listview entry/item to continue

The settings on the POINTERS Tab (window) allow you to change the scheme (appearance) of the entire set of mouse pointers in Windows 7, as well as change the appearance for a particular mouse pointer (cursor) only. So you could change the appearance of the busy pointer, text edit pointer, question mark (help) pointer or cursor (mouse pointer) only or change all of the mouse pointers in one go by changing the mouse pointers scheme.

In this example I am only changing the appearance of the cursor (mouse pointer) itself. This is done by first double clicking on its entry/item in the listview area of the Mouse Properties (pointer settings) window (Fig 1.2 above) whereby a BROWSE file requester will then appear (Fig 1.3 below). This wants you to select (open) a cursor (.cur) file from the Cursors sub-folder - It is a system folder located inside the WINDOWS main folder.

A listview is just a viewable list of items. It is similar to a drop-down menu with the only real difference being that a listview tries to display all of its items in one short viewable list (window/display area) whereas a drop-down menu is trying to save space on the window by hiding its items (menu-items) within a drop-down button.



Fig 1.3  Select a new cursor (.cur) file and then click on the OPEN button to open it

With a cursor (.cur) file selected, in this example the aero_arrow_xl.cur file, click on the OPEN button to open it. The BROWSE file requester will then close and you will be returned to the Mouse Properties (POINTERS Tab) window where you then need to click on the APPLY button for the current cursor (current mouse pointer) to then change appearance.....into the Extra Large mouse pointer in this example.



Fig 1.4  Click on the APPLY button to see the newly changed cursor (mouse pointer) in action

If you now look at the listview entry/item for the NORMAL SELECT mouse pointer you should notice that its old preview image has changed into the new, larger, cursor which denotes it is ready to be applied by clicking on the APPLY button. Once this is done, and you are happy with the new look cursor (mouse pointer), simply click on the OK button or CLOSE (red eXit) button to complete this process.



Fig 1.5  Click on the OK button if you are happy with the Extra Large mouse pointer (cursor)

You can do the above steps (Figures 1.2 to 1.4) for each cursor (mouse pointer) you want to change. Alternatively you can change the whole mouse pointers scheme by clicking on the SCHEME drop-down menu and then selecting a preferred scheme before APPLYing it. In this next example I will change all of the mouse pointers to use a Black colour scheme that also makes each mouse pointer Extra Large.



Fig 1.6  Click on the SCHEME drop-down menu and then select a new mouse pointers scheme




Fig 1.7  Click on the APPLY button to see the new mouse pointers scheme in action

As you can see; once you know how, it is quite easy to change one or more mouse pointers. If you feel a little adventurous, and are quite familiar with the computer now, you may want to create your own .cur files.

CREATE  YOUR  OWN  CURSOR  (MOUSE  POINTER)  FILES

You can edit the existing .cur files inside the Cursors system sub-folder, or create your own .cur files and place them inside the Cursors system sub-folder, by using a free program such as AniFX (exampled below) or the online service at www.cursor.cc.



Fig 2.0  Create your own .cur file with a freeware program called AniFX or similar




Fig 2.1  Save the .cur file into the Cursors system sub-folder




Fig 2.2  BROWSE for your newly created .cur file from within the MOUSE Control Panel




Fig 2.3  APPLY your newly created .cur file from within the MOUSE Control Panel

As said at the beginning of this section; This section is really meant to help senior citizens, pensioners and visually impaired people make their mouse pointer bigger in order to easily find/identify the mouse pointer (cursor) on the desktop screen. A hibernated, blended with the background, mouse pointer is something that many people find irritating/annoying. By changing the mouse pointer and also exploring the settings on the POINTER OPTIONS Tab (not shown here) you can also change the speed of the mouse and display mouse trails for improved visibility.