Insertion Point

What Does Insertion Point Mean?

In a digital interface, the insertion point is the point at which typed letters, numbers or other inputs are going to be inserted and displayed on the screen. Some of the most common examples of insertion points involve programs like word processors, spreadsheets and text boxes in web forms, where the insertion point is often called the "cursor" and most often appears as a vertical blinking line.


Techopedia Explains Insertion Point

The insertion point or cursor has a very prominent history throughout the personal computer age. The earliest personal computers had an insertion point that was a significant part of the command line interface – essentially, when the computer was booted up, the insertion point as a flashing cursor was one of the first things that would appear. Users would manage the insertion point through a series of command lines, and the process was visually straightforward.

With some more modern interfaces, there is a lot more complexity, and it can be harder to figure out where the insertion point is at any given time. In some senses, technology is moving beyond the age of the cursor, and into a new environment where the touch screen and other modern interfaces are taking over. However, engineers always have to provide that insertion point as orientation for the user, or they are going to encounter major problems with usability. With that in mind, the insertion point is a very key fundamental component of the ways that people use nearly any digital technology.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.