Re: hot spot?

Subject: Re: hot spot?
From: Joyce & Cordell Woods <jfwoods -at- MAROON -dot- TC -dot- UMN -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 1994 12:43:04 -0500

In message Yuk-Lin Ong writes:
> What is the technical term for this:
> the exact position/spot on a page that is a hypertext target.

> The product developers on my team call it a _hot spot_.
> When I look up dictionaries and glossaries, _hot spot_ seems to be
> connected to a cursor point.

The IBM Dictionary of Computing defines 'hot spot' as:
"The area of a display screen that is activated to accept user input.
Synonymous with touch area, trigger."

The Apple ResEdit Reference has this:
"The hot spot is the point in the cursor that the Macintosh recognizes as the
cursor's location. The hot spot of the familiar arrow curson, for example, is
its point." Usually, the hot spot of a cursor is a single pixel of the cursor

I see no problem with using both defintions. Normally, in technical
documentation for users, we do not need to mention the hot spot of the cursor as
it should be obvious from the cursor icon design. Technical documentation for
programmers working with icons may need to discuss the cursor hot spot.

The hot spot for the target may not be so obvious. In some applications with
check boxes, the hot spot is only the box; in other applications the hot spot is
the box and its label. I do not provide that much detail in documentation I
write and do not expect to find it in docmentation I purchase. The user will
find out by expermentation.

On the other hand, for some targets, the hot spot may not be so obvious and
should be explained in the documentation. I think using 'hot spot' for
hypertext targets is acceptabe, but my choice is 'hot link'.

In summary, the hot spot of the cursor must be placed over the hot spot of the
target to effect a result. However, I would not phrase my documentation in such
explicit terms.


Joyce F. Woods & J.Cordell Woods / Consultants
Cactus Software & Communications, Inc.
3151 Main Street NE; Blaine MN 55449-6112
voice 612/757-6916 fax 612/757-4515 email jfwoods -at- maroon -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu

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