When you are typing on the computer, you get a (a black flashing line that shows you where you are typing). The black flashing line is called "the cursor." It is also called "the text cursor," or "the insertion point."
If you move your mouse over some typing, in most programs you will get an . This is called the "I-bar." It is also called "the mouse cursor" or just "the cursor."
When someone is talking about "the cursor" it is important to be sure whether they mean the flashing text cursor, or the mouse cursor.
You probably already know that when you are typing, if you make a mistake, you just punch the "Backspace" key, to back up and erase what you just typed.
If you have your flashing "text cursor" in the middle of some typing, when you punch the "Delete" key, it will erase the letter on the "right" side of the text cursor.
You can also erase larger amounts of stuff, fairly quickly, by "highlighting" the stuff first. When you highlight something, it looks black with white letters (instead of the usual white background with black letters).
There are two major ways to highlight something (tip: the second one is usually easier for beginners):
- You can "drag" your mouse over something. To drag your mouse over some typing, put your mouse at the beginning of the typing, press and hold your mouse button down, and move your mouse to the end of the typing (while you hold the mouse button down).
- You can use the keyboard. To use the keyboard to highlight some typing:
- First put the flashing text cursor ("the cursor") at the beginning of the typing (use your arrow keys on your keyboard to do this).
- Then press and hold the Shift key down.
- While you are holding the Shift key down, punch your arrow keys (left, right, and up and down), to highlight the typing.
Once you have some typing highlighted, if you punch the Backspace key once (or the Delete key once), it will erase everything that is highlighted.
Highlighting is also useful for many other things, besides erasing.