#125 Pen cursor nigh invisible


The pen and ruler pen cursor is a small color swatch without a border, and is almost invisible with light colors on my display. This is a big usability problem when using Xournal with a mouse.

Suggestion: use the same cursor as for the highlighter, or a variant thereof (larger, with a border)


  • Denis Auroux

    Denis Auroux - 2011-08-03

    Unfortunately, for pen users a large cursor is also a big usability problem. One should probably offer both options.
    In the meantime, you can recompile a custom version, with the following changes to src/xo-paint.c, in the function update_cursor() (near the beginning).

    (I'm giving this as instructions for humans rather than as a patch because this part of the code is different between 0.4.5 and current CVS...).

    1. remove the block of lines

    else if (ui.toolno[ui.cur_mapping] == TOOL_PEN) {
    fg.red = (ui.cur_brush->color_rgba >> 16) & 0xff00;
    fg.green = (ui.cur_brush->color_rgba >> 8) & 0xff00;
    fg.blue = (ui.cur_brush->color_rgba >> 0) & 0xff00;
    source = gdk_bitmap_create_from_data(NULL, cursor_pen_bits, 16, 16);
    ui.cursor = gdk_cursor_new_from_pixmap(source, source, &fg, &bg, 7, 7);

    2. 8 lines below, change the line

    else if (ui.toolno[ui.cur_mapping] == TOOL_HIGHLIGHTER) {


    else if (ui.toolno[ui.cur_mapping] == TOOL_HIGHLIGHTER || ui.toolno[ui.cur_mapping] == TOOL_PEN) {

    Hope this helps,

  • Felix

    Felix - 2011-12-16

    This is really only a problem on (cheap-ish?) LCD monitors. On my netbook, the cursor completely disappears when it's moving if it's blue, but black and some other colours work fine. On the much more expensive giant LCD panel display in the university lab, all colours are easily visible, and they're all easily visible on my old CRT at home, too.

    So, a possible solution that avoids the usability problem of a large cursor would be to make the pen cursor always black, or provide an option for that for LCD users.


  • Rene van Paassen

    I would also like an alternative for the small dot cursor. It is really a problem to find the small cursor on a large screen sometimes; I work with a Wacom tablet, so the cursor is obviously not below my pen. I sometimes need to make a stroke, and delete that again to find the cursor.

    It would really help if there is also a larger cursor, e.g. in the shape of a small pen, with a dot marking the drawing area.

  • HoWil

    HoWil - 2012-11-24

    For me it is a problem too. I am working with two screens and cant find the cursor when I switch form one to the other.
    Please add a setting for this. Patching the software is not an alternative.

    Nevertheless I love this peace of software and would like to see some porting for instance onto linux on tablets.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Denis Auroux

    Denis Auroux - 2012-11-25

    A patch to have a pencil-shaped cursor has been incorporated into the CVS and GIT repositories.
    (written by Luciano Siqueira).

    Just download the CVS or GIT repository (instructions on the main website) and compile from it.

    git clone git://xournal.git.sourceforge.net/gitroot/xournal/xournal
    cd xournal
    sudo make install



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