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29.3.3.7 Cursor Parameters

This frame parameter controls the way the cursor looks.

cursor-type
How to display the cursor. Legitimate values are:
box
Display a filled box. (This is the default.)
hollow
Display a hollow box.
nil
Don't display a cursor.
bar
Display a vertical bar between characters.
(bar . width)
Display a vertical bar width pixels wide between characters.
hbar
Display a horizontal bar.
(hbar . height)
Display a horizontal bar height pixels high.

The cursor-type frame parameter may be overridden by the variables cursor-type and cursor-in-non-selected-windows:

— Variable: cursor-type

This buffer-local variable controls how the cursor looks in a selected window showing the buffer. If its value is t, that means to use the cursor specified by the cursor-type frame parameter. Otherwise, the value should be one of the cursor types listed above, and it overrides the cursor-type frame parameter.

— User Option: cursor-in-non-selected-windows

This buffer-local variable controls how the cursor looks in a window that is not selected. It supports the same values as the cursor-type frame parameter; also, nil means don't display a cursor in nonselected windows, and t (the default) means use a standard modification of the usual cursor type (solid box becomes hollow box, and bar becomes a narrower bar).

— User Option: blink-cursor-alist

This variable specifies how to blink the cursor. Each element has the form (on-state . off-state). Whenever the cursor type equals on-state (comparing using equal), the corresponding off-state specifies what the cursor looks like when it blinks “off”. Both on-state and off-state should be suitable values for the cursor-type frame parameter.

There are various defaults for how to blink each type of cursor, if the type is not mentioned as an on-state here. Changes in this variable do not take effect immediately, only when you specify the cursor-type frame parameter.