cursor

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cursor

1. the sliding part of a measuring instrument, esp a transparent sliding square on a slide rule
2. Computing any of various means, typically a flashing bar or underline, of identifying a particular position on a computer screen, such as the insertion point for text

cursor

[′kər·sər]
(computer science)
A movable spot of light that appears on the screen of a visual display terminal and can be positioned horizontally and vertically through keyboard controls to instruct the computer at what point a change is to be made.
(design engineering)
A clear or amber-colored filter that can be placed over a radar screen and rotated until an etched diameter line on the filter passes through a target echo; the bearing from radar to target can then be read accurately on a stationary 360° scale surrounding the filter.

cursor

(hardware)
A visually distinct mark on a display indicating where newly typed text will be inserted. The cursor moves as text is typed and, in most modern editors, can be moved around within a document by the user to change the insertion point.

cursor

(database)
In SQL, a named control structure used by an application program to point to a row of data. The position of the row is within a table or view, and the cursor is used interactively so select rows from columns.

cursor

(1) The symbol used to point to some element on screen. On Windows, Mac and other graphics-based screens, it is also called a "pointer," and it changes shape as it is moved with the mouse into different areas of the application. For example, it may turn into an I-beam for editing text, an arrow for selecting menus or a pen for drawing.

On DOS and Unix command lines as well as other character-based screens, the cursor may be a rectangle, an underline or a vertical line, and it is typically blinking. See database cursor.

(2) A pen-like or puck-like device used with a digitizer tablet. Officially called the "tablet cursor," as it is moved across the tablet, the screen cursor moves correspondingly. See digitizer tablet.