Web Paint-by-Number Forum
Topic #442: Cross-Hair Cursor
By MrsThing (mrsthing2)

#1: MrsThing (mrsthing2) on Nov 5, 2013

Hi Jan,

As time goes by, my poor eyes are finding in almost impossible to distinguish between black & blue number clues, especially of value '1'. I enlarge the puzzles to max size & still have trouble. Could you allow the puzzles to be enlarged even bigger?

I also constantly move the puzzle borders to help me clearly align the clues with the column or row I am working on, especially on larger puzzles.

Would you (please) be able/willing to turn the cursor into moving cross-hairs that would extend the full height & width of the puzzle & clues? That would help so much!

Thanks for your consideration. :-)
#2: Norma Dee (norm0908) on Nov 5, 2013
I also have a request about making things easier to see. I, for some reason, have a really hard time seeing the little green dot that tells you which row or column you are in and frequently lose my place because I have to wiggle the cursor to see the dot. I think blue would make a big difference. I also thank you.
#3: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Nov 5, 2013
MrsThing - there is only a maximum size in HTML mode. Try the SVG mode:

On the Settings page, choose the options tab, then under "Drawing Mode" choose "Use SVG Mode"

This can go much larger and the numbers are clearer to boot. I must admit that I also have trouble with the blue & black ones. This helps quite a bit for me. In terms of changing the site, I think that lightening the blue that the numbers are drawn in could help considerably without being confusing.

I'm not sure I'd like crosshairs that spanned the puzzle. One method I've seen on several sites is to highlight the clues for the current row & column by "lighting them up". An easy way of doing this in SVG mode would be to draw a hollow rectangle around those clues in a bright color.

#4: Jan Wolter (jan) on Nov 6, 2013
As Joe said, you can zoom bigger in SVG mode.

There is also an option to turn on hovertext, in which case, if you hover the mouse over a clue, you will see "1 blue" appear in a little box.

But yeah, since I originally designed this site, pixels have gotten smaller on most computers, so the old "big" sizes aren't so big anymore. So I've thought about supporting bigger sizes in HTML mode, but it's a lot of work. I'd rather abandon HTML mode, but SVG mode isn't very good about keeping the numbers legible when they get small. Might need some kind of hybrid.

I've actually started coding the kind of clue highlighting that's mentioned here ... but it's harder than you'd think. HTML mode works by putting images on top of each other, and I can put a transparent image on top of the clues to highlight things, but then you can't click on the clue numbers anymore, because though you can see them, they are covered. Programming around that is a pain. Probably I'll work on that again some day. Not soon.
#5: Joe (infrapinklizzard) on Nov 6, 2013
Jan, in HTML mode, it might be easier to place a solid rectangle *behind* the numbers, but in front of the black background - it would "light up" the black lines and leave the numbers on top and clickable.

In SVG it could be a series of four lines rather than a rectangle.

I pretty much stopped playing with HTML about the time that layers were really getting started, so I'm a bit fuzzy on what properties they have, but is seems that logically there should be one that makes the layer "invisible" to clicks while still being visible. Not that logicality is necessary for standards, though.
#6: MrsThing (mrsthing2) on Nov 7, 2013
Thank you Joe and Jan. I never looked into HTML vs SVG, never knew their differences could affect me. I will look into the SVG mode.

I have been using the hovertext feature quite a while now. Problem is on large puzzles with strings of clues of the same numeral. I move the cursor to hover over the clues, try to fix the complicated string of blue & black 1's in my memory, then use the cursor to help my eyes track along the column/row back to my current working place in the puzzle. As I move along considering the fit of that string in the column/row, I can lose track of the complicated string. Aaaaargh!

I like the idea of lightening the blue numbers to let my eyes see the difference from the black, but not so light as to confuse them with green. (I know, picky, picky. :-))

Highlighting clues sounds interesting. I'm not a programmer, but I understand a little about layers.

I really appreciate this interactive communication on webpbn, and the fact that you are open to suggestions that could help those of us with 'more-experienced' (don't want to say older) eyes.

#7: Jan Wolter (jan) on Nov 8, 2013
Well, my eyes are getting pretty old too - I'm 54 - so I struggle with some of this too. But I also struggle to find time to upgrade the website.
#8: MrsThing (mrsthing2) on Nov 8, 2013
I can understand the time issue! And by the way, you're a youngster! :)

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