While editing on a Mathematica notebook, I often find myself needing to do something else outside of Mathematica for a few hours. After finishing such outside tasks, I resume to work on the notebook.

However, it is often difficult to find where the cursor/caret (text insertion point) is because blinking vertical bar is not visually prominent enough.

Of course, I can set the cursor at an arbitrary location in the notebook by using mouse and clicking somewhere. The downside of this approach is that I lose context of my previous edits. After several hours, I still remember what I was editing generically, but I can't recall specific edits that I was making. Finding the cursor at the last position helps me to recall details of such specific edits.

I want to make the cursor easier to find by making it visually more prominent such as blinking box or using different color. Is there such option? If the answer is yes, how can I set the option globally? Alternatively, can I highlight the current (physical) line? This would also make a point of last edit easy to locate.

  • $\begingroup$ What about: [Pos1], then [Shift]+[End]? This should select the current line, which should be a quite visible effect (it does move the cursor, however). $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 16:04
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    $\begingroup$ In the Option Inspector there is a setting under Editing Options called "MousePointerAppearance". However, I have been able to find any documentation about it. (There is documentation for the command MouseAppearance, however.) $\endgroup$
    – DavidC
    Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 16:27
  • $\begingroup$ @celtschk thank you. I'm still not sure what you meant by [pos1], but I think I got the idea. Your suggestion is to use "Select Line End" to highlight a part of current line. Correct? Although it would be better that finding cursor position doesn't need manually typing a command, your method works. Until I find a way to actually change the cursor shape, I'll use your method. Thanks, again. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 20:09
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    $\begingroup$ How about just hitting ctrl-1 to insert a new graphic at the insertion point. Should be attention-grabbing enough. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 24, 2012 at 20:37
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    $\begingroup$ Or press ctrl-. a few times to select the expression surrounding the current position of the cursors $\endgroup$
    – acl
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


Alas, MMA doesn't obey the system-wide insertion point cursor size setting in Windows 7's "Ease of access center".

Instead, to find the position of your latest edit you could use the Cell > Notebook history menu which will get you a graphical overview of your edits:

Mathematica graphics

Clicking on a point in the edits display brings you to the specific cell. Floating your cursor above a point gets you a tooltip with the specific cell content.Just look for the right-most point; that should be your latest edit.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. I was wondering what use CellChangeTimes has. From your answer, I finally learned its purpose. Unfortunately, when I started to use git to manage notebooks, I disabled CellChangeTimes and a few other options... $\endgroup$ Commented May 30, 2012 at 21:05

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