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Entry cursor visibility
08-19-2016, 11:52 AM
Post: #1
Entry cursor visibility
Am I overlooking a way to make the flashing entry caret a bit larger/more visible? I have poor vision and often have difficultly locating it.

Although it's usually not a big problem because I normally know where it is while editing, there are cases such as checking for syntax errors in the program editor where it's very frustrating trying to spot a single-pixel-thick caret on a screen full of code to see where my error is. (Even worse if it happens to have been placed on the very leftmost pixel column, where it can be nearly invisible.)

If not, perhaps a suggestion to the Prime developers? A thicker caret, or perhaps have the program check feature briefly highlight or flash the region where the cursor has been moved?
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08-19-2016, 04:18 PM
Post: #2
RE: Entry cursor visibility
I assume you are using the large font? If not, does that improve things at all?

Side question - do you have similar issues on a desktop computer? If not, can you explain why that might be? (positioning, touch typing, used to it, etc) Every desktop OS I've used seems to have the single pixel line by default as well. Are there options to enlarge the blinking line? Note that I'm not criticizing or trivializing, just trying to understand better the reasons why it might be an issue.

I'll add the thicker cursor into the bucket of "things to look at in the editor". Thanks for the suggestion.

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and opinions I post here are my own.
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08-20-2016, 12:51 PM
Post: #3
RE: Entry cursor visibility
Thanks, Tim.

I actually happened to be using either the medium or small fonts, as it seems that I have no problem reading the fonts themselves (and prefer being able to fit a bit more on screen). The large font might slightly improve things, though it may still take me a moment to find the cursor.

Interestingly, I hadn't thought of the desktop computer issue. The cursor in GTK programs indeed also seems one pixel thick, though I've seen at least one GUI toolkit use a thicker one. However, sometimes, on a large, busy screen, I do indeed have trouble finding it if I don't initially know where it is. A lot of my work is in either a text terminal or a text editor set up for a full character-cell-sized block cursor, though, and the problem seems better there. (Though even in that case, there have been times where even a blinking cursor has been difficult for me to find. So maybe it's just me to some extent. Hmm.)

However, on the computer, there is also often the option of using Shift+arrows to easily see where the cursor is (by extending a selection starting from the cursor). It's possible I unconsciously do this to locate it. On the Prime, I have not been able to find a particularly quick way for starting a selection at the cursor (as on the TI-89).

I don't recall experiencing much of a problem on monochrome calculators (TI-89, HP 50g). I'm guessing this could be due to either a larger cursor (on the TI-89, it is two pixels wide, plus it inverts the pixels underneath; on the 50g it's a full character) and/or the much lower DPI display.

Another problem I noticed on the Prime: When the cursor is inside a selected block of text (with Begin and End on the Copy menu) it's practically invisible because it's rendered black on black. Using a different selection background color or having the cursor pixels inverted might help. (Although many computer toolkits don't seem to invert it, either, it's also uncommon to have a persistent selection as on the Prime and 50g series; also the selection background is usually a color other than the cursor itself.)

On a final note, I've now noticed that the Check option, if the error isn't already on screen, usually seems to place the cursor either on the top or bottom line of the screen depending on scroll direction. I don't know yet if this is 100% consistent, but if it is, remembering that will help a lot simply by significantly reducing the possible regions to search for it. Smile

Hope that helps in some way!
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