User Interface Research Group - Masatomo Kobayashi - Ninja Cursors

Ninja Cursors

Multiple Point Cursors Multiple Bubble Cursors

What is this study about?

We propose to use multiple cursors to reduce the average distance to targets to improve the performance of target acquisition, particularly on large screens. We present the design and implementation of this technique, including a method for resolving the ambiguity that results when different cursors point to multiple targets simultaneously. A user study indicated that the performance is greatly affected by the cursor number and the target density while our technique can generally reduce movement time.

In this technique, each cursor moves synchronously following mouse movement. Users can point to a target with one of the cursors located nearest to it. Our technique uses a waiting queue to prevent two or more cursors from pointing to multiple targets simultaneously, i.e., while a cursor is pointing to an object, other cursors cannot point to any target. We also present another strategy using a post-selection menu to resolve the ambiguity and discuss advanced features including drag-and-drop, selecting multiple objects, and a combination of the bubble cursor technique.


Demo: Icon Manager

  1. Press Esc to exit.
  2. Press F5 to try a traditional point cursor.
  3. Press F6 to try ninja cursors (default).
  4. Press F7 to try another style of ninja cursors.
  5. Press F8 to try a combination with the bubble cursor technique.


  1. Kobayashi, M. and Igarashi, T. Ninja Cursors: Using Multiple Cursors to Assist Target Acquisition on Large Screens, In Proceedings of CHI 2008, Florence, Italy, April 2008, pp.949-958. PDF (525KB) ACM DL
KOBAYASHI Masatomo <kobayash at>
Last Updated: Mon, 31-Mar-2008 JST