My issue today is multi-fold. I found a useful Mac app that has the wrong name. And the term cursor (which actually dates back to the insertion point on old fashioned text displays in the early years of computers) seems wrong in the era of touchscreen, trackpads, and non-mouse pointing devices. Regardless, if you use a Mac for onscreen presentations, then here’s a free utility that will make the show a little better for the audience.
Where’s My Cursor?
Nearly every presentation I’ve seen on a Mac had the exact same problem. The onscreen pointer, the mouse cursor, the cursor, the pointer was difficult to see. OS X El Capitan makes it a bit easier by enlarging the cursor for a few seconds, but it’s still too small to see sometimes.
OS X has a setting somewhat buried in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display which can change the size of the cursor but I seldom see it in use during a presentation unless I mention it to whoever is running the Mac.
Enter Highlighter, a free Mac mouse, cursor, pointer utility with the wrong name. It’s a descriptive name, yes. But it’s wrong. When someone says ‘highlighter’ what do you think of? Those colored marking pens which highlight text in a book or magazine, right?
All Highlighter does is, well, highlight the mouse, cursor, pointer on the Mac’s screen with a big red circle.
Highlighter comes with a small control panel and has keyboard shortcuts to turn it on or off. It’s only reason for existence is to put a big red ring around the mouse, cursor, pointer while it’s onscreen.
Click on the mouse (or, trackpad) and the circle flashes to a blue color, and the inside of the circle become magnified briefly so you can see what is being clicked. It’s very handy for onscreen presentations and it’s free.
But the name is wrong. It’s not a highlighter. How about naming it Pointer Circle, or Pointer Finder, or Mouse Pop? The latter bothers me because most Mac users do not have a mouse. We have trackpads on our notebooks, hence no mouse cursor. So, I’m trying to educate the rest of the world by calling it the onscreen pointer. That works, right?