Windows XP cursors (aka pointers—yes, the words ARE interchangeable now though it has not always been so) are about as exciting as talcum powder, I’ve been looking at the same white arrow since my relationship with PC’s began (I did have a short flirtation with a blinking square). Don’t know if any of you recall from one or two of my earlier articles, but one of my biggest issues with Windows is it’s not as customizable as I believe it should be “out of the box” so to speak. The themes, colors, cursors and icons are so boring that the white arrow pointer actually looks cool in comparison. I just don’t get it. Why is this aspect of Windows so limited? Why is it so hard to find and change these aesthetic attributes of the Operating System?
So if your as interested as I am in customizing Windows, making it seem a little more unique, a little more of a reflection of you or your interests? If so, this week and next I’m going to showcase two programs that can really make Windows more personal. These articles, coupled with a few I have written previously, will give you the tools to change almost any aspect of the way Windows looks.
OK, enough talk. I’m going to start you off with a program that is so cool that after using it I may just turn into your favorite online personality. CursorXP Free is a lightweight program that gives you the ability to add customized animated cursors to your Windows XP/2000. Cursors, in case you have tried changing before, are a strange little animal and there is not simply one static icon that makes up a cursor. Actually there are quite a number of icons that make up the cursor. The different icons represent different states of your system, such as enlarging a window or waiting for a page to load, etc. This makes the cursor harder to change than, let’s say, a folder icon, where you simply point the system to a new path for the icon with the Browse feature. That is, of course, unless you have CursorXP Free, then it becomes easy. The program itself has copious amounts of pre-packaged icon sets that you can choose from and well over 1,000 you can download for free.
The cursors that come with CursorXP Free are a breath of fresh air in their own right, but that’s not it, you can go out to wincustomize.com and choose from over 1100 different cursors, painstakingly created and offered freely to anyone interested. I warn you, however, to go out to the site when you have a little time to spare—it’s what I like to call a “Time Sucker” site. What I mean by this is that the selection is so vast and overwhelming that you find it hard to leave and before you know it you’ve been on the site for an hour and a half.
The program couldn’t be easier to use to install, or use for that matter. I’ll give you a quick rundown, and if you need any help you can take a look at the Guide out at their site file.
1) Download and unzip CursorXP to a folder on your desktop or any convenient location
*You may want to create a folder that is dedicated to your cursor so you can keep any downloaded cursors in there for ease of use
2) Double click on the CursorXP.exe icon from the extracted files. This will install the program.
3) There is no desktop icon for CursorXP Free so you have to launch it from
Start>All Programs>Startdock CursorXP>Configure CursorXP
The Interface looks exactly like the Windows interface for changing the cursor, but you should notice right off the bat that the icon selections are not only way more numerous, but better.
4) If you downloaded a few custom cursor, then all you need to do is unzip the file (if necessary) and double-click the file, this will load the cursor data into the program and will be included in the list of available icons.
That’s it. All you have to do now is decide what cursor you like best.
Download it here…
*P.S: If you really want to customize your Windows environment then you may want to try these downloads out as well:
A cool alternative to your toolbar: Object Dock
Find thousands of customized icons: Leo’s IconArchive
Some cool desktop themes: Belchfire
** WorldStart is not the developer of this software. For tech support, go to…