RealWorld Graphics' Cursor Editor is a nifty free app that you can use to create and edit special Windows cursors, including both static and animated designs. Drag-and-drop functionality, built-in drawing tools and image filters, correction capabilities, and support for sophisticated image-handling features such as layers and arbitrary selections give it capabilities we've usually seen only in large graphics packages that typically have correspondingly large prices. It can create custom icons, too.
A full Windows installer includes an optional component to support translations via community-made language packs, which we appreciate as a feature but declined to install. The clean and basic but well-designed interface opens with a full range of online tutorials in the main window, which together with a fully indexed and searchable Help file make it easy to take advantage of this program's many capabilities. You can create an optional free account from the interface, which offers yet more assistance with features like translations. We tried the Animated Water Drop cursor, which was fun, for a while. But that's the beauty of Cursor Editor: it's easy to create, modify, and save cursors until you find "keepers." We like its cool plug-ins, too, especially the fractal generator. It even accepts homemade plug-ins.
RealWorld Cursor Editor is freeware and works in Windows editions 2000 to 7. It installs desktop icons without asking but is otherwise completely well mannered. It has the capability to add numerous custom cursor effects that can be as easy or sophisticated as you like, and we recommend it to all users.