UX Pickle

Why is the mouse cursor slightly tilted?

Reading Time - 2 min

Ever wondered why the mouse cursor on your screen is tilted and not straight? The angle makes the pointer easier to pick out against the pixelated background.

The mouse has been around since the ’70s. In the early days, it was used to draw lines and rectangles on the screen and it was all based on the idea of a straight line. If you were to draw a line straight from the mouse down to the screen, you’d find that some parts on the screen were just off the screen by a certain angle.

The angle of your line would then be adjusted to fit a certain screen area. The common angle used is about 45 degrees.

The first computer mouse was developed in the 1960s by Douglas Engelbart and was called the Mouse. The mouse was a very large and heavy device that was not practical for a home user. It was also not as accessible as the mouse devices we have these days.

Computer Mouse - Complete History of The Computer Mouse - History Computer

According to Fast Company, Steve Jobs borrowed the left-leaning pointer software from Englebart, and then Bill Gates snagged it.

One of the guesses some people make about the direction of tilt is that most people are right-handed, so the cursor is kind of like your right index finger. If you were to tap on a point on the screen with your finger, you’d be intending to touch something under your finger. However, you also need to be able to see what you’re clicking, so we don’t actually want the middle of the cursor to be important – we want some point on the edge to be important.

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