Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

Summary: If you're a Windows 7 user of a certain age, with cheap reading glasses stashed all over your home and office, this tip's for you. (And if it's not for you, send the link to your parents. They'll thank you for it.)

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If you have the eyesight of a fighter pilot, you can skip over this item.

If, on the other hand, you are no longer a youth... If you have stashed cheap reading glasses all over your home and office... If you have ever asked a waiter for a flashlight so you could read the menu...

Then keep reading.

Big, high-resolution monitors are great. I love my 27-inch Dell UltraSharp and its 2560 x 1440 resolution. But all that desktop space can cause headaches, literally, when it comes to picking out a tiny white mouse pointer with a thin black outline. It's especially tricky when you're working with documents that have white backgrounds.

The solution? Replace the skinny white pointer with a big, bold black model.

Click Start and type pointer in the Windows search box.

Click Change how the mouse pointer looks, which should be near the top of the list, under the Control Panel heading. That opens the Mouse Properties dialog box, with the Pointers tab selected, as shown here.

From the Schemes menu, choose one of the Windows Black options, Large or Extra Large. (If you're not sure, try each one out; it's easy to change.)

Before you click Apply or OK, clear the Allow themes to change mouse pointers checkbox, as I've done here. That will prevent you from accidentally changing back to a small, white, generic pointer.

A lot of my workspace is taken up with white backgrounds. This small change really makes a big difference in daily use.

If there's enough demand, I can share some other, similar techniques for making PC displays easier to read. Tell me in the Talkback section if you're interested.

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Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Windows

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Talkback

34 comments
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  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    Thanks for the tip. It felt as though you had been watching me order and then carefully pepper my home and office with reading glasses to ensure a pair is always within reach.
    necessaryevil
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    Great tip!<br><br>Yes, more would be appreciated.<br><br>5 days into my 74th year, I definitely appreciate my 30" monitor, but it is time to get new prescription glasses for working at my desktop. I can use normal progressive lens elsewhere in the house, car, and outdoors, but with a big screen special reading glasses are a must. <br><br>It would be great if the magnifier worked better on Windows 7. With my screen resolution the magnifier window is very small for the few cases when I decide I need it.
    orcmid
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    Thanks, Ed. I've switched to the Large Black setting for now.

    I will most certainly bring this up at our community's next computer club Q&A meeting (Saturday mornings). At 72, I may well now be above the average age of attendees on a typical day, but I'm not sure (we have one ex-POW from World War II, and he's not the oldest).

    --John
    John Baxter
  • This is outrageous

    I can find nothing here to pick at. Moving on. :/
    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • LOL

      @Dietrich

      This might be the single greatest talkback ever.
      Ed Bott
      • He must be getting old

        As for me, I'd have said, "The problem is, you're holding the mouse wrong."
        ego.sum.stig
    • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate

      You could at least have said how this was done in Linux since the early 1990s and explain how to do it in each version and fork ;-)

      Thanks Ed, while I don't yet wear glasses I must admit that white cursor does disappear at times ;-)
      tonymcs@...
    • Come on Dietrich

      @Dietrich T. Schmitz * Your Linux Advocate <br><br>[b]Black[/b] = dark as night = subliminally evil = Microsoft. How hard was that? :p <br><br>Ed's doing a number on you. POSSIBLY ON ALL OF US!
      klumper
      • (Slaps Forehead) Yes Of course! Brilliant Man!

        @klumper
        Take that Ed! :/
        Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    Simple and effective. Yes, definitely want more.
    pwright2@...
    • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

      @pwright2@... AMAZING !definitely want more tips like that one!
      marlenegregg@...
  • That is not going to fix any eyestrain ....

    Eyestrain is mainly caused by BRIGHT COLORS. In other words, the bad habit of making the background of applications white.

    Sadly, changing the background color to a darker color by itself doesn't fix the problem .... because the data being presented was "designed" for a white background. Most websites will force the display of text in black (which is barely visible, if any, on dark background colors) and many images are specifically "designed" to look right on white.

    The best people can do is use a utility like F.lux (http://stereopsis.com/flux/) which automatically dims the brightness of the display based on time of day. That way, at least you get less eyestrain when using a computer/laptop at night.
    wackoae
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    That is the classic Black Mouse Cursor since Windows 95 / 98, with jagged edges.

    I wish there's a black version of the Aero Mouse Pointer.
    thenonhacker
    • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

      @thenonhacker
      Here you go: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/491036-cursors-windows-aero-vista-rtm/
      h82loze
    • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

      @thenonhacker there is just look onthe list for larger aero mouse pointer and bigest aero mouse pointer, bouth are on the pointer list near the top i think, It is what i am using. And thanks for the info.
      Drowelf
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    The curse of the white cursor was part of Mr. Gates' disengenuous attempt to avoid Apple's legal department after having absconded with the Mac GUI.
    dheady@...
    • Apple sued Microsoft over this alleged IP theft

      @dheady@...
      Apple lost in a court of law. Therefore, the alleged theft never happened.

      MS did not steal Apple's GUI. A court of law stated this to be true.
      toddybottom_z
    • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

      @dheady@...

      which was absconded before that from xerox...
      paceman007
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    One of the problems I have is that many websites now use a pastel font color rather than black. This make everything harder to read.

    And yes, more tips like this one.
    walterwood44
  • RE: Ease Windows 7 eyestrain with a bigger, blacker mouse pointer

    I use beige as the background for the company intranet site which our internal users found restful on the eyes and black still shows up well. However the company web site must be white/silver!
    micksr