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Tip of the Day
Language: Visual Basic
Expertise: Beginner
Oct 1, 1996

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Application Security Testing: An Integral Part of DevOps


Hiding Mouse Pointer at Run-time

Question:
During run-time, for a particular reason, how do i hide/unhide mouse pointer?

Answer:
Here's how to hide the Mousepointer: The Declaration:

Declare Function ShowCursor Lib "User" (ByVal bShow As Integer) As Integer
The Call:
x = ShowCursor(True)
or:
x = ShowCursor(False)
Be careful, though! This can backfire on the VB programmer just as it can backfire on any other Windows Programmer. Because the cursor is a shared resource, there is an internal *cumulative* cursor display-count so that different processes can elect to show or hide the cursor. Below is a paraphrasing (mine) of what the Win SDK has to say on the ShowCursor fuction:
"The true or false argument specifies whether the display count is incremented or decremented. If TRUE, the display count is incremented; otherwise, it is decremented. The return value is the new display count, if the function is successful. The cursor is visible only if the count is greater than or equal to zero. If a mouse exists, the initial setting of the cursor show level is zero; otherwise, it is -1. A window that hides the cursor should show it before the cursor leaves its client area or before the window relinquishes control to another window."
In a nutshell, if you elect to hide the cursor, show it again before your process ends! The thing most folks use this for is making screensavers (which is really just a renamed executable with a couple teeny bells and whistles for command-line parsing and that sets a true/false state to Windows to "tell it" a screensaver is running), or games/graphics where the mousepointer gets in the way.
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