I have a cell in a column that is editable by the insertion of text. The user is able to add the text manually once they've doubled clicked the cell. What is the best cursor to display on:hover to let the user know this area is editable?

  • 4
    why not single click? – DA01 Sep 17 '15 at 18:15
  • The functionality is to emulate Excel. One click to start editing text. Two clicks to pop open the cell to edit. – fauverism Sep 17 '15 at 18:54
  • I agree with @DA01 - I get what you're trying to do, but I also think you should be progressive and align the expectation of clicking to web standards. You will likely confuse or aggravate a lot of people if you force them to double click. – binky Sep 17 '15 at 19:11
  • Highlighting the cell, or otherwise giving a clear visual clue, should be more than enough indication. Why must the user be forced to double-click the cell in order to add data? – Mayo Sep 17 '15 at 19:36


To answer your question directly - there isn't any conventional cursor to denote a double click.

Serendipitous gestures

A couple looking at a computer happy and surprised

There are quite a few gestures that has no innate 'affordance': double-click or even a swipe, for example. In these cases, you can:

  • Hope the users come across these by mistake. This may sound daft, but when no action is obvious people start trying random things (psychology has it, user testing can demonstrate it and also computer games).
  • Teach users somehow that the action is possible (and there are many ways to do this).

Celluloid interactions

Perhaps important to say that these sort of 'hidden' gestures mostly fall into what I call 'celluloid interactions' - a single exposure is highly likely to be retain the knowledge; not further learning required. The hamburger menu may come to mind here.

So in your case, you shall be fine only teaching users once (say a dismissible message or a super-quick tour), as opposed to tooltips etc.


The cursor for text looks similar to those found on Noun Project. The css is: cursor:text. See the reference on W3Schools for info. Once the cursor changes to text, it will be obvious that you can (single) click to edit.

There is no cursor that indicates double-click; you will have to explain that with instructions, a label, a tooltip, an icon, or a goofy image like this.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.