Sometimes my text cursor in Firefox changes shape. Normally it is a straight vertical line, but sometimes there is additional short horizontal line near the top:

enter image description here

It does not happen for all text boxes. It also does not happen in other applications.

What happened? In what situation such cursor would be used?

I think this started after I was trying out different display languages in Windows. But when I returned to original language the original cursor didn't go back. Is that cursor maybe used in one of languages that I tried?

1 Answer 1


A possible explanation is that this is the cursor for internationalized language, where text can be mixed for languages of different directions.

If you had installed a language whose direction was left-to-right, together with another whose direction was right-to-left, the caret with the dash indicates the typing direction for the current language.

  • I did some digging in Firefox source code and found where it is drawn: dxr.mozilla.org/mozilla-central/rev/… So you were right that this is language direction indicator. But still, I think this should not be shown in that case.
    – mareko
    Dec 4, 2019 at 20:38
  • Indeed, the code works heavily with Bidirectional text (Bidi).
    – harrymc
    Dec 4, 2019 at 20:41
  • For those who are annoyed by this cursor I found out how to toggle it manually: go to about:config and toggle bidi.browser.ui
    – mareko
    Dec 4, 2019 at 20:47

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