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Now I know that many of you would strongly advise against using no-link menu items and I have read up on the reasons. However the demo site we've been hosting has gotten a lot of feedback from users saying they didn't realize the top menu item was actually a link and not just a container. This of course means that they missed a huge chunk of the site reflecting poorly on us. So I've slightly re-structured my menu to ensure that only sub-menu items actually link to content. I then came to the predicament of deciding what the cursor should do when hovering over these no-link menu items.

Normally it defaults to the text select cursor which looks odd in comparison to menu items which are links but the hand pointer seems to suggests that the item is actually 'interact-able' which of course, it's not. At the moment I falling back to a pointer, simply because it's consistent with the rest of the menu. Is there a 'standard practice' for cursor display when hovering over a hot spot that isn't actually itself important?

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There's no need for a standard or best practice for this scenario. Reason being, there is no action; therefore, no specific cursor is needed.

You have already correctly realized that it simply needs to be the default or pointer cursor due to the fact that it is consistent with the rest of the menu.

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