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Ryand123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
191
167
The single most annoying thing about Macs is the fact that as far as I can tell, there is no way to adjust the thickness of the text cursor. I'm talking about the blinking line next to any text, not the mouse cursor which can be adjusted.

I am visually impaired and I find this a huge annoyance when I am trying to write in Word or Pages. If I have to go back and edit, it's always a hassle to just find where I am because I can hardly see the cursor.

In Windows, this is an easy fix. It lets you adjust the thickness to your heart's content so that you can't possibly miss it.

It's 2022. The first Mac was released in 1984. Do you mean to tell me Apple has never thought of adding this feature? In 38 years, it's just not crossed their mind? They developed their own in-house 5nm state of the art processors, but they can't fix text cursor adjustability? Talk about getting the hard things right and the easy things wrong.

Please tell me I'm an idiot and there actually is some way to adjust this. Otherwise my next computer is going to have to be a PC instead of an M1 Mac (which can't even load Windows through BootCamp).

And yes I know the shake the mouse trick. That helps only slightly with the problem.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,196
USA
The single most annoying thing about Macs is the fact that as far as I can tell, there is no way to adjust the thickness of the text cursor. I'm talking about the blinking line next to any text, not the mouse cursor which can be adjusted.

I am visually impaired and I find this a huge annoyance when I am trying to write in Word or Pages. If I have to go back and edit, it's always a hassle to just find where I am because I can hardly see the cursor.

In Windows, this is an easy fix. It lets you adjust the thickness to your heart's content so that you can't possibly miss it.

It's 2022. The first Mac was released in 1984. Do you mean to tell me Apple has never thought of adding this feature? In 38 years, it's just not crossed their mind? They developed their own in-house 5nm state of the art processors, but they can't fix text cursor adjustability? Talk about getting the hard things right and the easy things wrong.

Please tell me I'm an idiot and there actually is some way to adjust this. Otherwise my next computer is going to have to be a PC instead of an M1 Mac (which can't even load Windows through BootCamp).

And yes I know the shake the mouse trick. That helps only slightly with the problem.
We're not Apple nor can we convince them to do anything. If you send a detailed and polite email to them explaining that it's a needed accessibility feature for a disability they might be helpful. Apple is very good with accessibility features.

Copied below from the Apple website

To provide feedback about an accessibility feature on an Apple product, email the Accessibility team: accessibility@apple.com.
 
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Ryand123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
191
167
We're not Apple nor can we convince them to do anything. If you send a detailed and polite email to them explaining that it's a needed accessibility feature for a disability they might be helpful. Apple is very good with accessibility features.

Copied below from the Apple website

To provide feedback about an accessibility feature on an Apple product, email the Accessibility team: accessibility@apple.com.
Already did that last week. But I highly doubt I'm the first to send that suggestion in the 38 year history of the Mac. People probably once took the trouble to even send self-addressed stamped envelopes to them about this issue. So not optimistic they will add it. So that leaves plan B: coming here to complain. I mean we all know complaining is the engine that runs the Internet so just doing my part.
 
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russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,196
USA
Already did that last week. But I highly doubt I'm the first to send that suggestion in the 38 year history of the Mac. People probably once took the trouble to even send self-addressed stamped envelopes to them about this issue. So not optimistic they will add it. So that leaves plan B: coming here to complain. I mean we all know complaining is the engine that runs the Internet so just doing my part.
There’s nothing wrong with complaining. The thing is you need to complain to the correct audience. Perhaps you can get some of your fellow visually impaired people to complain with you. I’m not sure why you need a bigger text cursor because doesn’t the larger mouse cursor work? See the problem is I’m not visually impaired so I don’t understand. Get a bunch of visually impaired people that understand and will complain while making sense as to why this is needed. At least that’s what I would do.

Also perhaps if some of these people are programmers and understand how these things work then they might make better arguments as to the how not just the why.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,738
12,850
I noticed that if I used the "accessibility" preference pane to increase the size of the mouse pointer (arrow), it also increases the size of the text-editing cursor (bar) as well.

Not "thicker", but "larger".
There's also the option to make it larger if you "shake the mouse"...
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,700
2,451
Baltimore, Maryland
I noticed that if I used the "accessibility" preference pane to increase the size of the mouse pointer (arrow), it also increases the size of the text-editing cursor (bar) as well.

Not "thicker", but "larger".
There's also the option to make it larger if you "shake the mouse"...
I'm thinking that has nothing to do with the blinking cursor.

I think, back in the pre-OS X days, you could change the cursor using third-party methods and it may have been possible with OS X.

OP: do you have System Preferences>Accessibility>Zoom set up to zoom in on the area of your mouse? I have it set up to do this when I hold down control & option:




I don't use it much but it's there if I need it. The amount of zoom, the size of the box and some behavior settings are possible.
 

Ryand123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
191
167
There’s nothing wrong with complaining. The thing is you need to complain to the correct audience. Perhaps you can get some of your fellow visually impaired people to complain with you. I’m not sure why you need a bigger text cursor because doesn’t the larger mouse cursor work? See the problem is I’m not visually impaired so I don’t understand. Get a bunch of visually impaired people that understand and will complain while making sense as to why this is needed. At least that’s what I would do.

Also perhaps if some of these people are programmers and understand how these things work then they might make better arguments as to the how not just the why.
I love how you say "get some of your fellow visually impaired people to complain with you". Sure, I'll just pass the word around the group home! I actually barely know any other visually impaired people.

Yes, you can point the mouse anywhere you want, but your mouse pointer and your text cursor aren't necessarily going to be in the same place on the screen. So you really need to easily see both.

Also I'm not really sure if I'm understanding your argument. This is a forum to discuss MacOS. I'm discussing MacOS amongst other Mac users. But you're basically saying, "You're in the wrong place, son". So what are we allowed to discuss here? Only awesome features the Mac has, not missing features we wish it had? Because if you can't discuss things people wish Macs had, an awful lot of posts don't belong on this forum. Could have sworn this forum has been flooded with complaints that the Studio Display doesn't have 120hz, doesn't have Mini-LED, doesn't have HDR...... And that's just one isolated example.
 
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Ryand123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
191
167
I noticed that if I used the "accessibility" preference pane to increase the size of the mouse pointer (arrow), it also increases the size of the text-editing cursor (bar) as well.

Not "thicker", but "larger".
There's also the option to make it larger if you "shake the mouse"...
Yes but it needs to be thicker, not larger. Especially if you use a non-white background like I do, it's still very, very thin.
 

Ryand123

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 12, 2013
191
167
I'm thinking that has nothing to do with the blinking cursor.

I think, back in the pre-OS X days, you could change the cursor using third-party methods and it may have been possible with OS X.

OP: do you have System Preferences>Accessibility>Zoom set up to zoom in on the area of your mouse? I have it set up to do this when I hold down control & option:


View attachment 1981202

I don't use it much but it's there if I need it. The amount of zoom, the size of the box and some behavior settings are possible.
Okay, thanks. I use zoom all the time but didn't have that toggle feature enabled. I'll give it a try. Still doesn't look as convenient as simply being able to make the cursor thicker, but might help somewhat.
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
10,830
8,592
A sea of green
Do you use a keyboard with arrow keys? If so, here's a few things I do.

If you hold down the SHIFT key and press the up or down arrows, then a range of text will be selected. I use a highlight color (green) that contrasts highly with my usual background color (white), so the selected range of text will become quite visible. This shows me visually where the text cursor is.

Next, press either the left or right arrow, and the selected range will deselect, and the insertion-point cursor will move to either the start (left) or end (right) of the previously selected range.

If you pressed SHIFT+down to select the range, and then press left-arrow, the cursor will return to its original location. Likewise, SHIFT+up folllowed by right-arrow will also return the cursor to its starting point.

If the insertion-point cursor is outside the current window's view, then the window will also scroll to where the cursor is. Well, it usually will, because some apps don't behave well when this is done.

I also use the Accessibility Zoom feature at times, but my usual habit is SHIFT plus an arrow key, because my hands are already on the keyboard when I want to relocate the insertion point.
 
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bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
5,814
2,819
On macOS, the insertion point is customizable by apps
https://developer.apple.com/documentation/appkit/nstextview
https://developer.apple.com/documentation/appkit/nstextview/1449309-insertionpointcolor

Might be helpful - Hover Text & Text-entry location” https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/use-hover-text-mchlb203bc78/mac
“If you chose to show the text entry window, a window appears at the location you specified, such as the top-left corner of the screen, whenever you’re in a text entry field or area. As you type, a larger version of what you’re typing is displayed in the window.”
 

russell_314

macrumors 603
Feb 10, 2019
6,148
9,196
USA
But you're basically saying,
No no I'm not basically saying anything other than what I typed.

It sounds like you have a great imagination and that's awesome but in this case you're writing a novel based on a few words I said and taking it in a totally different direction. Maybe you're a writer with great talent and I think that's awesome!

Because if you can't discuss things people wish Macs had, an awful lot of posts don't belong on this forum.
I didn't say anything about you can't make a post or discuss anything you want. People make posts all day here about things they wish would happen or features they want. I made a few suggestions of additional things that might be more helpful than just the post alone. I didn't say these things should replace the post you already made.
 

auxbuss

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2014
446
326
UK
You're right, it's an odd omission. Developers can set it per app, but that doesn't help the general case. Here's how Scrivener does it:

Screenshot 2022-03-27 at 14.51.23.png


It's also configurable in Sublime Text:

Screenshot 2022-03-27 at 14.55.02.png


That said, it's clearly configurable, so there might be a way of doing it for macOS itself. Just need someone with macOS developer chops to chime in.
 

pwm86

macrumors member
Oct 23, 2016
60
76
Austria
Do you use a keyboard with arrow keys? If so, here's a few things I do.

If you hold down the SHIFT key and press the up or down arrows, then a range of text will be selected. I use a highlight color (green) that contrasts highly with my usual background color (white), so the selected range of text will become quite visible. This shows me visually where the text cursor is.

Next, press either the left or right arrow, and the selected range will deselect, and the insertion-point cursor will move to either the start (left) or end (right) of the previously selected range.

If you pressed SHIFT+down to select the range, and then press left-arrow, the cursor will return to its original location. Likewise, SHIFT+up folllowed by right-arrow will also return the cursor to its starting point.

If the insertion-point cursor is outside the current window's view, then the window will also scroll to where the cursor is. Well, it usually will, because some apps don't behave well when this is done.

I also use the Accessibility Zoom feature at times, but my usual habit is SHIFT plus an arrow key, because my hands are already on the keyboard when I want to relocate the insertion point.
This is helpful. I did not know this, and I will use it. Many thanks.
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors G3
Feb 13, 2011
9,700
2,451
Baltimore, Maryland
They're all workarounds for something that ought to be an option. I sent an email to the address above in post #2.

I had a vision issue that got "corrected" 16 months ago…I got new lenses in my eyes. I was seeing "double" out of one eye and the problem was at its worst when reading text.
 

blardo

macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2023
1
0
Has anyone figured out a way around this? It's not just an issue for visually impaired people, btw. I use keyboard shortcuts to jump between sentences in word/pages, and not being able to immediately and easily track the insertion point leaves me confused about where exactly I am in the document :(
 

hjorte

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2023
24
5
Has anyone figured out a way around this?

No, but I do know that enabling "Dark appearance" + "Increase contrast" will make this issue the worst.
Running with "Light appearance" and disabling "Increase contrast" makes the issue least annoying.

I sure wish the width of the caret was adjustable.
 
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