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Bold or Italic Cursor

  [vote for,

There are many pieces of software that take text input and, in many of those, you can switch between regular, bold, italic and underscored text. In most of these packages, the cursor appears as a vertical bar (like here, where I'm entering text under Chrome) or something a little more elaborate (like in Word).

I'll often click into a piece of text that has some parts in bold or italic. Often, a heading will be in bold, and I click to enter text under it. Depending on where the "end-of-bold" marker is, what I type may come out either bold, like the heading, or plain, like the following text.

So (and it seems to have taken a long time to get here, despite this being a simple idea), I would like the I-bar cursor to appear as bold, italic or regular, to reflect the style of text I'm about to enter. This would save me from typing something underneath a heading, only to notice that it's coming out in bold, and then having to either select and unbold it or delete a few characters, unbold, and then type on.

MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 19 2019

Non-vertical_20curs...20italicised_20text [hippo, Jul 21 2019]


       I like it but don't the specs change in the attached text editing bar as the cursor moves between blocks? The different styles of cursor will have to be deferentially bold.
wjt, Jul 20 2019

       I believe Word (and I expect its competitors) has (have) this with both the pointing cursor and the typing cursor, but only for italic, not for bold or underline, which seems like an oversight.   

       // The different styles of cursor will have to be deferentially bold. //   

       What will their boldness have to defer to?
notexactly, Jul 20 2019

       //Word... but only for italic// By golly you're right, and I hadn't even noticed. Well, if I hadn't noticed maybe it's not such an important thing after all.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 20 2019

       <Peers at taskbar looking for "Italianate" option/>   

       Would it change just the wallpaper, or the whole decor ?
8th of 7, Jul 20 2019

       I'm a very bold curser.
xenzag, Jul 21 2019

       Yes! And not just the "blinky" typing cursor, but the mouse- pointer too, ie. the mouse-pointer changes to indicate what the formatting under it is as you hover. Even just a small "tool-tip" note/icon at the bottom-right of the pointer (since top-left is the "pointing" part of the mouse-pointer).
neutrinos_shadow, Jul 21 2019

       Yes—as I said, Word does that already, but only for italicism, not boldness. Also, what would be the point of a tooltip saying "the text you're pointing at is italic/bold"? I can see that. The change of the cursor is just to visually coordinate with the text, except in cases where there isn't any text to show that there is latent formatting there, where I guess the tooltip might be helpful, but tooltips are too slow for that usage to be practical.   

       PS: Surprisingly, Wiktionary defines "italicism" to mean exactly what I used it for.
notexactly, Jul 22 2019

       //what would be the point...I can see that// Not quite. Imagine a document which has a bold heading, an empty line, and plain body text starting on the next line after that. You want to insert some text where that empty line is.   

       Depending on where the previous user switched from bold to regular, your text will appear either in bold or in regular.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 22 2019

       Which is exactly the kind of situation I was talking about where it could be useful, but tooltips are too slow for anyone to notice. To elaborate: Nobody who doesn't already know that the tooltip about the formatting exists will hover over that empty line to see whether it's bold or not. They'll click as soon as they've pointed at it, and that prevents the appearance of the tooltip. With the cursors, they'll see the pointing cursor change as soon as they point, before clicking, or they'll see it after clicking, because clicking doesn't affect it, or they'll see the typing cursor's appearance indicating the formatting state after they've clicked to place it there. But in other cases, where there is text there already that shows what the formatting in that location is, the visual change of the cursor is just to look nicer with the text, and to get users used to it changing to indicate formatting, so that they know what it means when they point at a place with latent formatting.   

       I'm not sure why the sentence "I can see that." is in the middle of my previous annotation. I just had an idea as to what I might have meant to mean by it, but I forgot it before I could type it here.
notexactly, Jul 22 2019


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