Featured image of post Jiggling Cursors

Jiggling Cursors

Replicating something rare on my Linux machines - a thing I like about macOS

Jiggling cursors

I have to use macOS at work, whereas I prefer using Linux systems at home.

There are not many things I fancy about macOS, but one such thing is a feature that I have found to be very helpful at times. When you violently shake your cursor, or in other words, jiggle it, it grows in size, thereby making it a lot easier to locate.

This is documented in Apple’s official documentation.

Making a case for its usefulness

It would surprise me if you had never come into a situation, where you didn’t know upon first glance where the cursor was on your screen. Even more so with displays getting bigger and screen resolutions getting higher.

I for one have lost my cursor on my ultrawide display plenty of times and even though I mainly navigate my operating system using the keyboard, I have not yet taken the plunge and switched to a web browser like qutebrowser, which you can truly fully navigate using a keyboard.

I’ve tried the browser extension Surfingkeys on Firefox before, but couldn’t really get the hang of it. Perhaps it is something you would like to try?

Options on Linux

At the time of writing this, I’m mostly using KDE Plasma as a desktop environment on my Linux machines. On my main desktop computer, I’ve been using Hyprland since switching to Wayland, but am still considering trying out Sway or River at one point.

For that reason I would like to find a solution that works for window managers as well, but as of now, these are the options I’ve found:

  • For KDE Plasma, KWin already comes with functionality to highlight the cursor. I’ve found this answer on StackExchange to be a good explanation with helpful screenshots. Default configuration for activating the functionality seems to be pressing <Ctrl>+<Meta> and moving the mouse.

I’m aware that this is not exactly the same as the feature on macOS, but it is similarly helpful. In this thread on Reddit someone else was interested in replicating the macOS feature on KDE and another user suggested forking KWin and adding an alternative effect (e.g. growing cursor) to the existing cursor effect. Maybe you would be interested in contributing exactly that?

  • If you’re running GNOME, you might want to give this extension a try.

I’ll try and update this as soon as I find a solution for other desktop environments and window managers as well.


Title image by Caspar Camille Rubin on Unsplash

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