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Brainstorming
Brainstorming
Brainstorming session

What should the cursor do than just point?

What should the cursor do than just point?

Image credit: Photo by Liam Briese on Unsplash

By Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

Creative contributions

Prompt more information regarding the image it is hovering over

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

Flash red light when you are doing something wrong

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

Prompt the number of words after a selection

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

Temporarily hide content

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

Temporarily block certain areas of the screen to prevent the cursor from entering or clicking

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 21, 2020

An improved zoom in and out function

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Oct 23, 2020

Display all the additional functions mentioned in this session

by Shubhankar Kulkarni on Nov 04, 2020

Juran K. 19 days ago
Wouldn't all these additional functions make the job of zooming, word counting, prompting info or flashing (etc.) more complicated than it already is?

Zooming is available on +/- commands or just a scroll of a mouse middle-button. Word counting would be terribly annoying if appearing constantly, and it is available in the left lower corner of Word just by selecting a ceratin text piece. Additionally, sometimes you want to copy/paste/highlight stuff, so it could annoy you to have double functions (keyboard shortcuts, mouse "shortcuts"). Same with info prompting or flashing functions.

I agree the mouse could have more cool features, but the cursor is beautiful because it is simple. It is just a navigating tool.

Maybe some advancement in the navigating, like cursor movement by eye movement tracking.
Shubhankar Kulkarni 18 days ago
Juran K. The functions would not be visible and tag along with the cursor continuously. Only when you press some hotkey, a toolbar will appear that will have options (of features) that you want to enable temporarily. For example, even if you have all these cursor functions, your screen will look the way it looks now. You get the word count in Microsoft Word and other text apps. However, imagine you are surfing the internet. You found a piece of information that you may want to quote and reproduce. You want to know the number of words it has. At that point, you press the hotkey for the advanced cursor functions and then the toolbar appears on your screen. You can move the bar and place it on your taskbar or any other non-distracting place. Then you select the word count function. You then select the text you want to quote and then know the word count. You do this for 10 other sites. When you are done, you press the hotkey again, and the function as well as the toolbar disappear, and give you the feel of your original desktop and cursor. Even the toolbar is not big enough to distract you (while it is ON); I imagine it would look something like the small "formatting" bar that appears in your Word document when you select some text (https://www.google.com/search?q=formatting+bar+in+ms+word&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi6iZ6-0-rsAhWGb30KHSZuAkcQ_AUoAXoECCkQAw&biw=1517&bih=730#imgrc=L6fwMirN1BcgTM).

The mouse scroll is usually used to scroll up and down webpages and documents. The zoom in and out function exists only in the graphic design apps. I thought of applying the zoom function in other apps out of need. I was working on an Excel sheet (40% zoom) and color certain cells. There were other cells I wanted to mark (15 columns apart) based on the color. I had to zoom in on one cell (6 clicks to 100% zoom), check the cell contents, and then assign a color, zoom out (6 clicks to 40% zoom), identify the corresponding cell (15 columns apart), and change color there. The color was the easiest way to identify cells that I needed to work on in the second phase of my research. The 40% zoom enabled me to scan a larger area for yellow cells with the corresponding red cell in the same row some column apart. This is when I thought of having the zoom function on the scroll. I use CorelDraw and the zoom function there (on the scroll) is user-friendly.

If you don't want these functions, you can simply shut them off. There will only appear after you press a hotkey.

P.S.: 1. I could have written a VBA code but the data came from different researchers in my group and the data type was "string".
2. Could you add the cursor movement by eye movement tracking as another suggestion for this session? It seems cool.
Juran K. 18 days ago
Shubhankar Kulkarni Ok, a word count function like you described would be useful, indeed.
Furthermore, in Excel, if you press CTRL+scroll UP or DOWN, you can easily zoom in or zoom out. I think that could maybe solve your multiple-clicking trouble.
But I get it why it could be useful. Plus, the toolbar which you can move could be a cool feature (or it can appear when you move the cursor to the lower right corner of the screen or something like that).

Movement of the cursor by the eye-movement tracking

by Juran K. on Nov 05, 2020

Shubhankar Kulkarni 18 days ago
Like the idea! How about blinking for the mouse clicks? Left eye blink = left click, right blink = right click. A blink and hold for double click. It will be useful when you need only a few clicks per time. If you have more clicks to do, it may hurt your eyes. Voice control seems to be the ultimate option. You won't need to go through the entire path to open a particular folder/ file. Just say the name of the file and "open". For scrolling you could look at the scroll bar and drag it. Or click (blink) the scroll bar up and down buttons. Any better option is appreciated.

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