Basic non-animated CursorXP tutorial #1
Published on November 2, 2006 By Island Dog In Tutorials

Making a Custom Cursor with CursorXP


Many years ago the first program I used to "customize" my desktop was CursorXP, and still remains one of my favorite applications available from Stardock.  CursorXP was also the first program I used to actually create something to upload to Wincustomize.  So today I wanted to write a simple tutorial on how to make a non-animated CursorXP theme.  I will cover animations in the next tutorial.  I just wanted to give a basic outline of how to get started creating themes for CursorXP.

Now what are you going to need?  A few simple tools will get you there.

First you will need CursorXP.  You can download it from here.

Next you are going to need some kind of graphics program.  Now some of the common programs people use are Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, but there are a few free tools which you can use.  One of the best free graphics programs is Paint.NET.

Now that you have your "tools" lets start.

First thing to do is start your graphics program and create the image you want as a cursor.  I am going to use a graphic I am working on for a new Christmas theme, but you can pretty much use your imagination to create the cursor you want.  The size of your image is something that will depend on the shape and design of your cursor.  It's just one of those things you need to experiment with to find the right size that works for you. 

Also take into account that people with different resolutions might see your graphic differently.   So once you have created your graphic, save it to your location of choice.  I commonly make a folder to keep all the graphics together for each theme I make.  I usually save my graphic as a .png, but CursorXP supports several different formats including .ani, .cur, and .ico formats.  I use a .png because it contains it's transparency information.

Here is our simple graphic.


Now open the CursorXP configuration as shown below.
    1.  Go to "theme" drop down menu and select "new theme".
    2.  Now you can choose which cursor to modify, select "normal select"
    3.  Click the "Configure" button by ref. #1, and the "options" button by ref. #2 will become "configure", click it.



When you click "Configure" another window should popup with the properties for that selected cursor element as shown below.


Check the "Enhanced cursor" button, and the import button will become active.

Click the "Import" button and a dialog box will open.  Browse to your cursor graphic and click "open".  Do not worry about the Frames box right now, we will go into that when we get into animated cursors.  Just make sure it says 1.

Click Apply and then OK, and you should end up at the CursorXP Configuration window with your new addition showing as shown below.


Now you must set the point to your cursor. In the graphic above where the black arrow is, move the blue crosshairs to the area on the image you want to assign the "click" point.

Click Apply, save your cursor theme, click Apply, and your cursor should now change on screen. 

All you have to do now is repeat the same steps, but now you will just select the different states such as "help select", "busy", etc.  There are many more options in CursorXp, but I just wanted to show you the basic so you can create your own cursor for yourself, or to upload to the Wincustomize gallery. 

The next tutorial we will get into animation and more advanced options.  This first tutorial is just a basic primer for you to start making your own cursor.  If you have any questions or need any help with your cursor, please let me know.

Island Dog


Comments (Page 1)
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on Nov 02, 2006
Nice simple tut. Thanks
on Nov 02, 2006
Now if I could only figure out how to draw.
on Nov 02, 2006

on Nov 02, 2006
Great tutorial ID.   Thanks.
on Nov 02, 2006

Test Reply- Please disregard.



on Nov 02, 2006
Very interesting, always wondered how to skin cursors in cursorxp. Gonna have to start making them for my themes now, at least with cursor XP you can animate.

off topic, do u have font smoothing turned on on ur comp? your fonts seem sorta jaggy. Sorry, just the skinner in me
on Nov 02, 2006
thanks for the info Island Dog..   
on Nov 02, 2006
Nice tutorial!
on Nov 02, 2006
Thank you everyone.

on Nov 02, 2006
I've been wondering how to set the 'click' point.

on Nov 03, 2006
You have made this look so easy, that I think I am going to get really brave and give this a try tomorrow, big breath......
on Nov 03, 2006
That's great jennifer1. You really can't hurt anything by trying, and I learned a lot by just trial and error. If you need help please feel free to e-mail me.
on Nov 04, 2006
(Citizen)Island DogNovember 3, 2006 21:04:59

I went to download paintnet and got a message about corruption so cleared it all and went to download it with some frame things and it has taken 1 hour and 20 minutes to down load 20% - the down load is going to take hours to do, so I have cancelled it for now.    (I am on a 56k modem)

I will be changing to broadband next month, so I am going to wait till then to give it all ago.

In the mean time I will put this under favorites for safe keeping.   
on Nov 04, 2006
Paint.NET would work for making cursors.  I believe I started out with Paint Shop Pro 8, and eventually moved on to Photoshop. 

I got broadband just over a year ago and will never go back.  I live in a rural area so it took many years for it to arrive, but it will change your online experience.

on Nov 04, 2006
Thanks, I.D! This is so simple, and I didn't have any idea the abilities in CXP were there all along. Now to find the abilities I have laying around here...   
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