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I'm working on a Xamarin effect to enable cross-platform custom cursors, and ran into a cursor I have never seen used before on Windows:

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In the Windows Runtime API, it's referred to as UpArrow, and simply described as "The up arrow Windows cursor" (source), although in the old control panel it is described as "Alternate Select".

What on earth does it mean/what purpose does it serve? And considering it's hardly ever used, would it make sense to use it in any situation?

3 Answers 3

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This cursor has been used in the built-in card game software of Windows in the past. It was used in for example Solitaire to show an alternative cursor for when you move a card to one of the four stacks at the top. Possibly also used in Free Cell. I have not seen this cursor used anywhere else, and it appears to be a forgotten cursor.

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  • I came to this question hoping to see if people knew examples, but no one seems to know any other case where it is used. I guess it really is a forgotten one.
    – Liggliluff
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 22:39
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I cannot remember where I've seen it used before, but my experience with it was for highlighting a column from clicking on a "footer" of a table. This isn't a common element of a table, so that's likely why the cursor isn't familiar.

It is similar in function, but much less common than it's horizontal relative:

Similar cursor, but pointing right, highlighting a row in a spreadsheet

Image from OmniSecu.com

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  • For the special cursors in Excel and Word, those are built in and don't use the Windows cursors (aside from the regular mouse pointer, and maybe some other one). What makes it so bizarre is how they use Windows 3.1 and MacOS inspired cursors instead of basing them on the modern Windows 8/10 design.
    – Liggliluff
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 22:51
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I would assume it was just an option to change the cursor to something bigger as windows allowed for custom cursors. All that I could find is this article from the School for blind regarding accesibillity for visually impaired users.

https://www.perkinselearning.org/technology/blog/large-mouse-pointer-low-vision

https://images-wixmp-ed30a86b8c4ca887773594c2.wixmp.com/i/9945d9f0-16ea-4230-b85a-526e6b4e940c/d5938de-e6965159-7392-4fb4-b591-1a66a32ad6d3.jpg

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  • It's the same size as the smallest of arrow cursors though? Commented May 8, 2020 at 16:40

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