"Cursors, foiled again!" There's no need to swirl your cape and twirl your mustache, if you have Aha-soft's ArtCursors program. This shareware cursor creator and manager lets you design your own cursors for Windows. You can build and edit whole libraries of cursors with it. A simple wizard-type process makes it so that almost anyone can use ArtCursors to customize a computer's cursors, and in ways that maybe you haven't even thought of yet!
From ArtCursors' installer we chose between the registered version and the trial version, which is free for 30 days and includes a nag screen. We opted for the trial. We had the options to associate ArtCursors with each cursor file type separately and set its cursor library as the Windows default. The program's no-nonsense user interface takes its style from Explorer, with a toolbar and menu bar above a main window displaying a countdown of our trial period.
The program opened with the New Cursor wizard activated. This simple dialog offered selections for our new cursor's Size, Color Depth, and Conversion Mode (where applicable), plus the option to designate it as the default cursor in Windows. When we made our selections, the user interface's colorful array of tools filled the main window, including a grid-based Workspace for designing our cursor. ArtCursors' tool palette, color picker, effects, and other controls will be familiar to anyone who has used a basic graphics or image editor or drawing tool, such as Paint. Choices included a variety of preconfigured shapes, plus lines, curves, and objects.
No one wants to spend a lot of time learning to use a fun tool, so you'll be happy to hear that the best way to get started with ArtCursors is simply to dive right in and add stuff to the screen. The program's intuitive layout and tools make that easy, though the Help file clearly explains each feature and function, if you need more guidance. We quickly whipped up and applied a few basic cursors as experiments, and then went back and jazzed them up; simple, and fun, too!
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of ArtCursors 5.22.
ArtCursors contains all tools you need for creating and editing Windows cursors and managing cursor libraries. The program is friendly enough for the casual user who wants to tweak a couple of standard .CUR files, yet powerful enough for the professional graphic designer who needs to create complex animated cursors and manage large cursor libraries. Using this program you can create and edit static and animated cursors with image formats in either standard or custom sizes, with color depths up to 16 million colors. It supports smooth cursors in 32-bit color depth with 8-bit alpha-channel. Paint tools include: color replacer, color selector, spray can, pencil, brush, flood fill, text tool, line tool, rectangle, curve, ellipse, 3d frame and enhanced gradient and chess fill. You can set cursor hot spots and test cursors. You can import and export .cur, .ani, .ico, .bmp, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .png, .psd, .xpm, .xbm, .wbmp files, import .wmf, .emf files, export .rc files, export animated cursors to animated GIF images , capture screen. You can even extract cursors from Windows executables, libraries (including .exe, .scr, .icl, .dll, .il, .nil, .ocx, .vbx, .dpl, .bpl and several other file types). ArtCursors allows you to import, export and change color palettes for cursor images. With ArtCursors, you are can split compound cursor s into simple images and break down entire cursor libraries into individual cursors. You can also create your own cursor libraries. ArtCursors scans files and folders for cursor s, deletes identical cursors from libraries, sorts cursors within libraries, performs drag and drop operations to files from Windows Explorer or other file shells and drags and drops cursors from one library to another. You can move cursors between libraries as well as copy and paste images to other applications. Compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.
What's new in this version:
Addded: Inner Shadow effect, Support for 1024x1024 Mac OS icons