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Is there a way to access (or even set) the cursor position in a Notebook?

(By Cursor I refer to the keyboard input postion, or "Insertion Point". For the Mouse we have CurrentValue["MousePosition"] or just MousePosition[])

Note that calling external tools is only the seconds best option for me. See Programmatically move the cursor to a desired location on the screen (which is also about the mouse)

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  • $\begingroup$ One thing that makes this question difficult to answer is lack of specification of the expected position datum -- should it be X number of Cells into the Notebook, or a certain number of characters into the expression returned by NotebookGet, or...? $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Oct 18, 2012 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ You are right. I'm sure MMA has such a specification internally, but maybe it cannot be accessed!? So I was refering to that -unknown- internal spec. $\endgroup$
    – NoEscape
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. Let me ask the question in a different way: what would you do with this internal spec if you had it? There is apparently no way to feed it to SelectionMove. What kind of interaction are you envisioning? $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ The simplest application is just saving the insertion point and setting it back later! $\endgroup$
    – NoEscape
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ That's just the problem though; I don't know if any way to say "move cursor to point X" but only "move cursor X units of type Y in direction Z." Perhaps you could use some marker and then do a text search for that. I don't think there are many tools provided for this kind of thing; it's typically much easier to work with the Notebook expression than with the GUI Notebook itself. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:17

1 Answer 1

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Setting the position may be easier than retrieving it as there exists SelectionMove.

No record of the insertion point appears in the output of NotebookGet. At the moment the best I can think of is to use NotebookWrite to insert a unique token and then search the expression returned by NotebookGet for this token, but this changes the target Notebook.

Perhaps if you described your application I would be able to provide other suggestions.

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  • $\begingroup$ unique token... VERY good point! $\endgroup$
    – NoEscape
    Oct 18, 2012 at 9:51
  • $\begingroup$ Aha, from experimenting with SelectionMove I come to the conclusion that a "Selection" can also be empty and then just represents the Insertion point. This is not at all evident from the naming of that function! (this happens e.g. on SelectionMove[nb, Next, Character] $\endgroup$
    – NoEscape
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:11
  • $\begingroup$ @NoEscape, sorry, I guess should have said that in my answer. $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Wizard
    Oct 18, 2012 at 10:12
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    $\begingroup$ With Developer`CellInformation you get the cursor position within the selected cell, and the selected cell serial number whatever that means $\endgroup$
    – Rojo
    Oct 18, 2012 at 23:35

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