1.   (unit, text)   (Sometimes abbreviated "pt") The unit of length used in typography to specify text character height, rule width, and other small measurements.

There are six slightly different definitions: Truchet point, Didot point, ATA point, TeX point, Postscript point, and IN point.

In Europe, the most commonly used is Didot and in the US, the formerly standard ATA point has essentially been replaced by the PostScript point due to the demise of traditional typesetting systems and rise of desktop computer based systems running software such as QuarkXPress, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Pagemaker.

There are 20 twips in a point and 12 points in a pica (known as a "Cicero" in the Didot system).

Different point systems.

Last updated: 2004-12-23

2.   (hardware)   To move a pointing device so that the on-screen pointer is positioned over a certain object on the screen such as a button in a graphical user interface. In most window systems it is then necessary to click a (physical) button on the pointing device to activate or select the object. In some systems, just pointing to an object is known as "mouse-over" event which may cause some help text (called a "tool tip" in Windows) to be displayed.

Last updated: 2001-05-21