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★ Curse Words

★ Curse Words

Cursor is an overloaded time period. There are two discrete components of recent computing that we loosely seek advice from as “cursors”:

  • The icon that strikes round on the display that you simply management together with your mouse or trackpad.
  • The horizontal bar that blinks in a textual content enhancing area to point the place typed characters will seem.

For readability, it’s finest to not seek advice from both of these items as cursors. Instead:

  • Mouse/trackpad pointer.
  • Insertion level.

This terminology has been barely complicated over the past week, since Apple’s shock announcement of pointer help in iPadOS 13.four. In their advertising supplies, Apple is looking pointers “cursors”. E.g, on the webpage for the refreshed iPad Pros:

The click-anywhere trackpad opens up a complete new technique to work in
iPadOS. It permits management of the brand new cursor in iPadOS, which is
good for duties like enhancing a spreadsheet, choosing textual content, or
merely doing every part proper from the trackpad.

From the Apple Newsroom announcement:

iPadOS 13.four brings trackpad help to iPad for the primary time for
a extra pure typing expertise and added precision for duties
akin to writing and choosing textual content, working with spreadsheets and
professional workflows. Designed particularly for the touch-first
expertise on iPad, the cursor seems as a circle that highlights
consumer interface components, textual content fields and apps on the Home display
and Dock, giving a transparent indication of what customers can click on on.

In neither of those circumstances is cursor ambiguous — in context, it’s fully clear they’re referring to the trackpad pointer. But as a normal rule, it’s higher to err on the facet of precision, and pointer and insertion level at all times keep away from ambiguity.

In its technical documentation, Apple is obvious. In the up to date Human Interface Guidelines:

Pointers (iPadOS)

iPadOS 13.four introduces dynamic pointer results and behaviors that
improve the expertise of utilizing a pointing gadget with iPad. As
folks use a pointing gadget, iPadOS routinely adapts the
pointer to the present context, offering wealthy visible suggestions and
simply the fitting stage of precision wanted to boost productiveness
and simplify frequent duties.

The iPadOS pointing system provides folks a further technique to
work together with apps and content material — it doesn’t exchange contact. Some
folks might proceed to make use of contact solely, whereas others might desire to
use the pointer or a mix of each. Let folks select how you can
work together together with your app, and keep away from condensing your interface or
making modifications that require them to make use of the pointer.

From Apple’s wonderful Apple Style Guide (out there freed from cost within the iTunes Book Store1):

cursor
Don’t use in describing the macOS or iOS interface; use insertion
level
or pointer, relying on the context. The time period cursor
is acceptable if you describe the VoiceOver interface and will
be applicable if you describe different interfaces and in developer
supplies.

“Other interfaces” would come with the terminal/command-line, the place the (maybe) blinking insertion level is correctly referred to as the cursor.

When it involves pointers, it’s value noting the Apple Style Guide recommends getting particular:

pointer
OK typically references, however be particular every time applicable:
arrow, crosshair, I-beam.

And, in fact, the Apple Style Guide prescribes OK, by no means okay.


  1. Now that the app previously often known as iBooks is simply plain Books, it looks as if Apple simply calls its e-bookstore “Book Store”, in the identical approach it calls its retailer for apps “App Store”. There are, in fact, many different app shops, however as a result of Apple blazed this path, it by some means feels OK that their app retailer is *the* App Store. But “Book Store”? No one associates simply plain “Book Store” with Apple’s e-bookstore. They nonetheless use the iTunes model title for music, film, and TV present purchases — they need to use it for e-books too. ↩︎

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