I opened a new document in Word 2010 and before I typed anything, I moved the mouse across the screen (which had only the single end hard return visible). The mouse pointer which having the expected I-beam shape also had additional "widgets" to the right and (eventually) underneath it. I counted 4 different manifestations - depending on where the pointer was with respect to the single hard return.

Word was obviously trying to tell me something, but since I didn't understand the syntax (what all the widgets meant) I couldn't grok the semantics...

I tried Googling for the help on what these widgets meant but I obviously didn't use the right words.

Can anyone point me to where the definitions of the various pointers and (additional widgets) are to be found?

TIA, Paolo


My guess is the "widgets" probably are the little lines to the right of your I beam. They look like text to signify that you can double click to add text. The lines are also left justified.

Now if you wander your I beam over to the right, the lines sift to the left of your I beam. The lines are also right justified, signifying that if you double click there, you can add text that will be right justified. I don't recall ever seeing the lines below or above however.

Now hover below your cursor in the middle of the page. You should see little lines of text below your I beam that look center justified. Double click.

Now hover below your caret again. Move your I beam to the right about a half inch from the margin. The last one should look like a left justified text. But there is a plus sign or an arrow on the first line. Double click. That should give you a first line indent paragraph.

The only other "manisfestations" that I can think of are the "hide white space" cursor (appears when you hover above the header of a page) and the "select" line cursor, which is a right facing arrow when you hover in the left margin.

I have no idea if there is a link for these. I just happen to read about them in a PC World article a long time ago.

  • Thanks! A colleagure confirmed that - by experimentation. Do you know if this is NEW with 2010 or was it there in previous versions of word? Just checked - it was in Word 2007. – PaoloFCantoni Oct 31 '11 at 6:57

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