From: Barry Isralewitz (
Date: Fri Jun 22 2018 - 13:18:31 CDT


        On a Mac, the built-in "Cursor size" Accessibility controls will enlarge the VMD cursors, including VMD's item-picking crosshairs. The color of the picking cross-hairs is all-black, so I'd suggest using a non-black VMD background like gray to help you see the cross-hairs more easily.

If you have difficulty seeing or following the mouse pointer when it moves—or changes to an insertion point, crosshair, or other shape—you can increase its size.

        • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Accessibility.

        • Click Display, then drag the Cursor Size slider to the right to make it larger.

Tip: To make the pointer larger temporarily, quickly move your finger on the trackpad or quickly move the mouse. To turn this feature off, deselect “Shake mouse pointer to locate” in the Display pane of Accessibility preferences.



> On Jun 22, 2018, at 3:15 AM, John Stone <> wrote:
> Hi,
> I must have missed your email while I was traveling.
> You didn't indicate what operating system you're running.
> For MacOS X and Windows, the only way I know of modifying the
> cursors is to make changes to the software source code, and the
> degree of program control there is relatively low, so you may or may
> not be able ot easily achieve what you're after even if you modify
> the VMD source code and recompile.
> For Linux (X11), there are a variety of ways to modify
> the mouse cursor size and shape, both within the program itself
> and externally through the use of user-customized X11 resource files.
> For X11, you can modify the size of the cursor relatively easily,
> without making any changes to the program source code. This is done
> using so-called resource definitions. Here is a simple example of how
> you can set the cursor size immediately prior to running VMD:
> #
> # Enable large X11 cursors on ultra-high-res 4096x2400 projector
> #
> xrdb /Projects/vmd/pub/scripts/vmd.bigcursor.resource
> The contents of the .resource file look like this:
> Xcursor.size: 48 ! 32, 48 or 64 may also be good values
> Best regards,
> John Stone
> On Thu, May 24, 2018 at 01:48:30PM -0400, Daniel Strahs wrote:
>> Hello:
>> Is there a way in the preferences to alter the appearance of the mouse
>> crosshairs? I'd like to alter either the color or the thickness.
>> The crosshairs are difficult to see on my laptop; I can alter the
>> background to increase their visibility but that's not the best approach.
>> Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks!
>> Dan Strahs
> --
> NIH Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics
> Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
> University of Illinois, 405 N. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL 61801
> Phone: 217-244-3349

Barry Isralewitz
Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group
3043 Beckman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Office Phone: (217) 244-1612