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Motif and CDE 2.1 Style Guide Reference
The pointer is a graphical cue, usually in the shape of an arrow, that a
user can move with a pointing device. Users place the pointer over an element
they want to work with. A position on the pointer, called the hot spot, tracks
the movement of the input device and is the location where input device
Figure 48. Pointer Hot Spot.
When to Use
RequiredDisplay a pointer whenever the operating environment allows the user to
RecommendedUse different pointer shapes to provide a visual indication of the kind of
interaction allowed. For example, use a spray can pointer to indicate that the
user can "paint" in a drawing area.
RequiredUse the hot spot to target (point to) the window, object, element, or
selection under the pointer. If multiple elements are under the pointer, the
topmost element is generally considered the element pointed to by the pointer.
RequiredWhen no other element-specific or task-specific pointer is displayed,
display the arrow pointer.
RequiredDo not create new pointer shapes for operations that already have pointer
shapes associated with them.
RequiredIf the pointer can be warped (that is, moved by the application without
reference to any user control of the pointing device), allow the operating
environment to disable this feature and prevent the pointer from being warped.
RequiredDefine a hot spot for each pointer shape.
RecommendedPlace the hot spot at a visually distinguishable position of the pointer
RecommendedIf the pointer graphic has no visually distinguishable feature, place the
hot spot at its center, if it is a symmetrical graphic.
RequiredFor users unable to use a standard pointing device, support a mode whose
only effect is to enable the directional keys, possibly modified with Ctrl, to
act as a pointing device.
RequiredSupport access for users unable to press a pointer button or move the
pointer simultaneously or for users who need to perform more precise placement
than possible with a standard pointing device.
RequiredIf your interface enters a mode on a pointer button press and supports
behavior on pointer motion in that mode, and there is no other efficient
alternative means of providing the same effect, then do the following:
Provide a means of entering that mode via the keyboard, clicking a pointer
button (possibly augmented by modifier keys), or both.
Support both the pointing device and the directional keys as a means of
moving the pointer in that mode, with an unmodified directional key moving the
pointer by one pixel in the direction indicated, and a directional key
modified by Ctrl moving the pointer by a larger increment.
Do not change the effect of other keyboard actions. In particular, support
Enter to complete the operation and to exit from the mode, Cancel to cancel
the operation and to exit from the mode, and Help to obtain help.
RecommendedWhen both the pointer and focus are on a control that is using a text or
graphics cursor, hide the pointer until the mouse is moved after either of the
The user types a text character that is inserted.
The user uses keyboard navigation to move the cursor.
RecommendedIf you provide a warning signal associated with a pointer shape, provide
the warning signal only when the pointer changes to that shape. For instance,
a drag pointer could change to a "dropping image" and generate a
warning signal when it moves over the trash can icon. Do not, however, keep
generating the warning signal while the pointer is held over the trash can.
RequiredUse the hot spot position of the pointer to track the movement of the
input device and the location where input device actions occur.
RequiredAs the pointer changes shape, indicating a change in the function of the
current area, do not change the location of the hot spot on the screen.
RecommendedDo not warp the pointer when the user operates a pointing device.
Essential Related Topics
For more information, see the Pointer (Predefined) reference page.
Supplemental Related Topics
For more information, see the Direct Manipulation, Keyboard (Device),
and Mouse (Device) reference pages.
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