Herbi HocusFocus

The Herbi HocusFocus app makes it easier to see where keyboard focus is on the screen. To install the app, click Install Herbi HocusFocus.




The video below shows the new text cursor highlight feature.






After installing the app, run it from the shortcut on the desktop:


Desktop shortcut for Herbi HocusFocus app




When you run Herbi HocusFocus, a window will appear.


Herbi HocusFocus V1.2



While the app is running, a box will appear where keyboard focus is on the screen. You can choose the colour, thickness, margin and style of the highlight box. The selections you make at the Herbi HocusFocus window will be remembered when you next run the app.


If you'd like the name of the thing with keyboard focus to be spoken as you move around the screen, check the "Speak where keyboard focus is" box. Note that the voice used by app will be whatever the active voice is at the time the app was started. So to change the voice used, select the desired voice in the Speech Properties Control Panel, and restart the Herbi HocusFocus app.


You can minimize the Herbi HocusFocus window to get it out of the way whenever you want to.



Currently the Herbi HocusFocus has English and Dutch versions.


Dutch text showing in the Herbi Hocus Focus app






Moving around the Control Panel:





Moving around Internet Explorer:









- The highlight does not appear on everything on the screen. For example, the Windows 8.1 Start Screen or the Windows 10 Start Menu or the TaskBar.


- The colour selection window used by the app is not keyboard accessible.




Next steps


- Add a keyboard shortcut to minimize the app down to the taskbar or the system tray, or restore it from there.

- Add a keyboard shortcut to have the name of the thing that currently has keyboard focus announced.

- Add a keyboard shortcut to turn on or off the highlighting.



What would you like the app to do?


For example:


- Highlight such that the thing with keyboard focus is magnified. Today the app shows only the box around the thing with keyboard focus.


Send your request to Barker@Herbi.org.



Text cursor highlight now available

Herbi Hocus Focus version 1.8 includes text cursor highlighting. Configure the highlight so that it's how you like it. The customize settings include:

- Size of highlight.

- Colour of highlight.

- Translucency of the highlight.

- Distance between highlight and text.

- Show the highlight either above or below the text being edited, or both above and below.

- A key which can temporary turn the highlight on or off.


The picture below shows the Herbi Hocus Focus app with configurable settings for the text cursor highlight.

Herbi Hocus Focus app showing text cursor highlight settings


The Herbi Hocus Focus app is a work in progress and sometimes its highlight might not work as you expect. The app can continue to be improved over time based on feedback from people using it. Some known issues are listed below.

- If the app you're working in is moved or resized, the Herbi Hocus Focus highlight might not appear in the expected place. In that case, switch away from the app and then back to it. The highlight should appear in the expected place after that.

- Sometimes the highlight doesn't appear until you start typing.

- The text cursor highlight sometimes does not appear in the expected place in web pages, and might not move as you type in the Edge browser.

- The text cursor highlight won't appear in the Start Menu's Search field in Windows 10.

- The text cursor highlight won't appear outside the bounds of the thing that currently has keyboard focus. So when typing in a cell in Excel, the text cursor highlight vanishes once the text lies outside the cell.

- The text cursor highlight is very wide in Excel when keyboard focus is on a cell.