Image Cursors

The Image Cursor is a permanent tracking cursor available in every Image Window. The Image Cursor is used for locating centroid positions, measuring region statistics, and defining the limits of column and row profile plots. The Image Cursor is different from the mouse pointer that roams around the screen, as shown below:

The image cursor is dedicated to its image window and it stays fixed on the image unless you intentionally move it. It can be adjusted to any size and positioned anywhere within the image. See Adjusting the Image Cursor.

The Image Cursor can be switched between 3 different shapes and it can be hidden from view. You can select the shape using the command in the View > Cursor pull-down menu or by using the Cursor Mode button on the Image Toolbar, as shown in the picture at left.

There is only one Image Cursor per Image Window. Therefore, if an image set is opened by the window, the same Image Cursor is used for all members of the set. For example, if you use the Image Cursor to define the region to be cropped, and the Process Image Set flag is enabled, then all members of the image set will be cropped to the same region marked by the Image Cursor.

The Image cursor position and edges are defined in terms of image pixel coordinates. Therefore, if you magnify the image, the Image Cursor coordinates remain correct at the level of sub pixel precision, independent of the way the image is displayed.



Mouse Pointer vs. Image Cursor

The table below lists the differences between the capabilities of the Image Cursor and the Mouse Pointer.


Mouse Pointer

Image Cursor

Tracking & Moving

Always moves with the mouse.

Moves only in Cursor Mode and when the mouse button is is down. Otherwise, remains where you drop it.


Cannot be resized.

Resized by dragging the edges or by setting exact dimensions.


Fixed by icon size.

Measured in image pixel units (i.e., columns x rows).


Dynamically displays image x, y, column, row, and pixel value as it roams over the image.

Does not display coordinates. Measurements such as Centroid are listed in a Report Window.


Takes the shape of an icon for each different command or tool mode.

Can be changed to crosshair, rectangle, lines, or hidden. The rectangle also shows a central crosshair.


Moved only by moving the mouse.

Moves using the mouse in Cursor Mode or using the keyboard arrow keys.

Related Topics

Adjusting the Image Cursor, Image Cursor Preferences, Image Windows, Point Measurements, Measuring Images, Go To Coordinate