Mouse cursor highlight solution
October 12, 2020 3:35 PM   Subscribe

How can I make my cursor more visible to my students when I screenshare in a Zoom, besides increasing its size?

I have an elderly MacBook Air running Sierra 10.12.6. Is there a way to highlight my mouse in some way besides increasing its size in Accessibility settings? I would love to have a yellow circle around it or a splash of...something to help my kids follow what I am doing better in my browser on screens that are mostly black and white. If it matters, I use Chrome since that's the platform our learning management system performs best in.

Difficulty level: laptop is locked down by the district pretty hard and it will be difficult to talk IT into letting me install anything that isn't pretty standard (but if it's great/perfect I will try).
posted by charmedimsure to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
If you turn on annotations for your meeting, you can make your mouse cursor into a laser pointer. I'm not sure you can customize the pointer appearance, though.
posted by bluefly at 4:02 PM on October 12, 2020

When I did a lot of technical presentations, I used a tool like this. (This is the one I actually used. It does not work for the latest versions of OS X, but it may work for yours.) I saw a student using it, and I was like, "What's that? That would be perfect for me!" Installed it and never looked back.

Here's the problem it solves:

It is common for the audience to be unable to "locate" the mouse (i.e. find where the mouse pointer is on the screen), but be able to "track" the mouse once they have located it.

The "momentary" effect is perfect for fixing the "locate" problem. With this effect, if your cursor stays still for a second or two, the next time you move it a dramatic and obvious graphic will surround it for a moment or two, immediately drawing the eye's attention.

Not only does it work perfectly, but after a day or so of using it you stop noticing that it is even there. I would forget that I even had it installed until a new student or a colleague would ask me a question about it.
posted by billjings at 4:32 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

You can wiggle the cursor back and forth to bump the size temporarily, which you might have seen in the accessibility settings. (Under Display, not Mouse.)

You can use a Chrome extension to add a highlight. I glanced over the code and it looks legit, but who knows if the version submitted to the Chrome store has anything... extra. You also might not be able to install this....

Zoom annotations might be the best option.
posted by Anonymous Function at 4:33 PM on October 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

Mouse Trails. There should be something out there that makes your mouse leave a trail that fades away. That would let people track your mouse motion. mouse trails osx - Google Search.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:56 PM on October 12, 2020

GitHub - mdonoughe/neko-mac: Oneko in Cocoa (Neko for Mac OS X).

Neko (software).

Having a cat that chases your cursor around the screen like... well duh, a cat chasing a mouse.

Mouse Trails and Neko have an ancient history of being goofy things that sometimes actually serve a purpose and are also like a basic first project for programmers learning a particular window system. You should maybe also find a XRoach for osx so whenever you close a window the roaches under it scramble and find a new window to crawl under.
posted by zengargoyle at 6:07 PM on October 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

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