Impulsive highlighting is a term for clicking repeatedly on text on a computer while reading it and consequently highlighting it.
The word "highlighting" is synonymous with "selecting" in modern-day computer terminology.
Occasionally Impulsive Highlighting may reveal content that was formatted in the same color as the background color and which wasn't visible otherwise. It is also a convenient method for personal website authors to leave apparently invisible comments, while also leaving an easy way for those comments to be discovered. This is an example of hidden text, which can be revealed by Impulsive Highlighting.
Impulsive highlighting may also reveal errors in redaction
of electronic documents
. Several instances of improper digital redaction have been publicized in the media, where sensitive information was simply obscured visually and not removed from the digital copy. In many cases, highlighting the redacted text revealed or enabled the obscured information to be copied and pasted
into a new document.
It's also possible to hide an image inside another image, which can be viewed only by highlighting it in the browser. Highlighting an image in most browsers overlays a checkered-pixel pattern over it, which obscures every other pixel of the image. The hidden image would generally be embedded only on the non-obscured pixels, such that it is camouflaged under normal circumstances. This is far less common.
Impulsive highlighting can be used for marking the point in a long article where one stopped reading, and conveniently resume reading from the same point without creating any long-term bookmarks. This is assuming that the window containing the article (a web browser or word processing software window) was not closed or changed. See Bookmark
Even if studies say that black-on-white text is more readable
for users, too much brightness can be a negative factor. Users could then use compulsive highlighting instead of lowering the brightness of their screens in order to receive less light from the screen for some time. As text is nowadays mostly dark-on-light, highlighting usually marks the text white on a dark blue background.
While highlighting text in a document or on a web page, it is possible to scroll up or down the page by moving the mouse up or down without letting go of the highlighted text (keeping the left mouse-button pressed). While this feature of GUI operating systems
was originally intended as a means of selecting or highlighting text by scrolling, it can also be used for scrolling by selecting or highlighting.