Friday, January 6, 2006

The worst cursor I can think of

Crop cursor

That. That's the worst cursor I can think of, excepting those stupid cursor replacement packs where you get animated dinosaurs or pulsating blue crystals or other nonsense. It's the Photoshop crop cursor, and it's evil. Whoever designed it has some serious problems. You know where the hotspot of that cursor is? Right in the middle.

The hotspot of a cursor is the single point where the mouse cursor actually "is." For the standard arrow cursor, it's at the tip in the upper-left. That's the part you click with, not the middle of the arrow. For a crosshair cursor, it's at the intersection. For the text I-beam cursor, it's at the base of the beam. But for that cursor, it's right in the middle.

Never mind the fact that there's nothing in the middle to indicate where your cursor might be. There's no intersection, colored dot, or anything. Never mind that there's so much junk around the middle that you can't see the ten pixels surrounding your cursor.

Here's an example. With your imaginary mouse, using that cursor, try to crop out the dialog box from this screenshot:


Hmmm. With a single-pixel crosshair you could probably do it right now. Let's zoom in.

Screenshot, zoomed in

You still don't know where to put your cursor. Were you to click there and start dragging, you'd notice that you got a couple extra pixels around the border that you didn't want. So, you press escape and try again. Maybe you get it that time, maybe you don't.

If I posted about every thing about Photoshop that's unjustifiably stupid, I'd never have to post about anything else again. But this example is one that drives me particularly nuts, because I use the crop tool so much. I should really just select an area and then crop to my selection; the selection tools aren't nearly as bad.


Matt J said...

I wonder if you could use reshacker to change the cursor. That would be a lot of work, but could pay off if you are really annoyed by it.

Andy Misle said...

YES! That's why I always have to re-adjust my crop selections in Photoshop. I just never thought about it, but it's very clear... Good analysis.

Luke said...

I don't think I've ever used the crop tool-proper. I just select, and then Image->Crop. Probably in part for this very reason.

Kerjo said...

I do the same as Luke. I hate that cursor.

Travis said...

The crop tool is great for situations where I don't need things to be pixel-perfect, like photos. I can use the size handles to adjust the crop area much easier than I could with a simple mask, and a double-click will immediately apply the crop. Since I find myself doing a lot of photo work, and crop works well for photos, I gravitate toward crop. But, I should train myself to just select and then use the crop command like Luke and I mentioned. Of course, I shouldn't have to.

Jon Dokulil said...

I'm not defending that cursor because it does suck out loud, but just turn on Caps-Locks and you'll get a much better cross-hairs cursor. Or you could always set the cursor preferences to always use the "precise" cursor.

Travis said...

Whoa. Never would have thought of turning on Caps Lock to fix the cursor. What's wrong with me?