A cursor [ kɜ ɹsəɹ ː ] (english cursor, cursor from the Latin, "runner" ) ( as the insertion point, input labeling, input pointer or cursor) are marked in a computer program the current edit position on the screen. In a word processor or editor, it shows the location on the screen may be inserted on the keystrokes. This cursor is usually depicted as a vertical or horizontal line or as a rectangular block.
Cursor exist in two different forms: either they mark a position between two dates (often by a narrow vertical or horizontal line symbolizes ) or the position of a datum itself (hence the block diagram ).
The term cursor is, however, not only used in computer science for text processing, but generally refers to the edit or insert position within a list of data. Thus, the term exists, for example in connection with a relational database, where it is the data structure that identifies the current position at a processing of records.
Also the mouse pointer on the desktop, which moves and used with a pointing device, is sometimes called " cursor " in the Windows documentation english mouse cursor, but otherwise predominantly mouse pointer. With touch screens, the cursor often not visible. The pressure point of the finger or stylus is inconsistent example designated as touch or focal point.
On the command line of Microsoft's operating system MS- DOS gave a flashing underscore cursor dar. In the German -speaking world this place was called " Command Prompt" on the screen. Also Windows could find for a long time under Start → Programs → Accessories a link to the "Command Prompt", then opened a window with a black background and blinking underscore.
Caret as the name of the cursor
In some programs (eg Xfig ) or within some window managers, such as the proprietary Common Desktop Environment, a circumflex (English caret ) is used as a cursor. The advantage is that the cursor does not cover the actual text and therefore not be very narrow or must be " nervous " flash.
Even if the circumflex only rarely is used, some users see the keyboard cursor still generally as " caret " to allow a better distinction to the cursor of the mouse. Others use the same reason the terms " pointer " and " text cursor " or " keyboard cursor ".