Emacs: Change Cursor Shape and Highlight Current Line

You can change your cursor shape to a box or i-beam. Put the following in your emacs init file:

;; change cursor shape
(setq cursor-type 'box)
(setq cursor-type 'bar)

(blink-cursor-mode 1)
;; highlight current line
(global-hl-line-mode 1)

Note: on Windows, if you have Microsoft Speech Recognization on, or Screen Magnifier, then, cursor will be i-beam, and setting “cursor-type” has no effect.

See also: How to Set Emacs's User Interface to Modern Conventions.