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Chapter 20. Cursors > System Cursors

20.1. System Cursors

Operating systems that use cursors provide a selection of standard ones, called system cursors, which are intended to represent various states of the user interface. There are several good reasons for using system cursors.

  • Applications that display system cursors when they are in a corresponding state provide useful information to the user, allowing them to apply their knowledge of the operating system to the specific application.

  • If newer versions of the operating system provide cursors with a different shape, the application will display the new cursor, preventing it from looking dated. A similar problem arises when a new operating system “skin” that contains custom cursors is used.

  • The system cursors provided by some platforms are more interesting than the ones that applications can create. For example, they may be animated.

  • Applications that create their own cursors must either restrict the shapes they use to be ones that can be displayed on all platforms or write platform-specific code.


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