A cursor positioning system for a data processing system having a user interface shell defining positions for user entry of commands and data, a hot spot associated with a position in the user interface shell and a hot spot positioning device is disclosed. The cursor positioning provides for initially imaging a cursor in association with the hot spot and after computer prompted entry into a graphical operation mode by the user, detaching the displayed cursor from the hot spot. The hot spot position thereafter resets to a base position after every movement of the hot spot positioning device. The displayed cursor is moved to a series of successive locations in response to user manipulation of the hot spot positioning device, starting from the then current locations of the cursor with each move. Net displacement of the cursor in response to hot spot movement may be made extremely fine and mouse speed setting limitations in default device drivers supplied with popular desktop computer operating system products thereby overcome. Cursor speed may also be conveniently set for several users.