I'm seeing more and more website adding a global CSS body {cursor: default} for the cursor to be default when hovering non editable text.

I'm guessing the goal is to make a difference between selectable and editable text (given the fact that all text should be selectable), even if field should already have visual affordance to mean editable.

But the idea of having the text cursor means editable text instead of selectable text actualy sounds like relevant to me.

In OSes for example, most of the time, text in interface is selectable (kinda), but the cursor does not change. And everywhere else (but on a website / in a browser), I don't see a text cursor meaning selectable.

Pros and cons?

1 Answer 1


Using the default arrow cursor over text will suggest to many users that the text isn't even selectable, let alone editable!

Text should generally be selectable, and the I-bar is the right cursor to use. Many parts of a web interface are interactive in some way other than editing, so it's understandable that the default arrow cursor is seen a lot, but editable and non-editable text should both have the same I-bar cursor.

As to whether editable and non-editable text should have different cursors - then no, the editable nature of the text should come from other familiar cues.

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