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Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..

Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 01:44 PM
artbrooks 21 Nov 09 - 01:48 PM
Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM
Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 01:55 PM
Andy Jackson 21 Nov 09 - 01:58 PM
Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 02:30 PM
Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 04:40 PM
Maryrrf 21 Nov 09 - 08:23 PM
Jack Campin 21 Nov 09 - 08:40 PM
Ross Campbell 21 Nov 09 - 09:39 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 09 - 12:37 AM
Leadfingers 22 Nov 09 - 06:33 AM
Bernard 22 Nov 09 - 06:48 AM
jeddy 22 Nov 09 - 07:10 AM
Maryrrf 22 Nov 09 - 08:10 AM
Tangledwood 22 Nov 09 - 06:08 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 22 Nov 09 - 08:52 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Nov 09 - 09:40 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Nov 09 - 07:20 PM
Andy Jackson 23 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM
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Subject: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:44 PM

This started suddenly about 1/2 hour ago when I was editing an Audacity file. Suddenly, I couldn't select a section by holding down the "Control" key and moving the cursor. I thought it was Audacity only, but now find I can't do it at all, in word, in Mudcat, nowhere. Does anybody have an idea of what could cause this, and what I could try in order to remedy it? I have an HP Pavillion with Vista installed. Thanks - this is really upsetting. Can't do much work on anything right now without cut and paste facility.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: artbrooks
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:48 PM

1. reboot

2. try a shot of compressed air under the CONTROL key


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:52 PM

I've tried rebooting. I'll go get some compressed air. I think it might be the whatchamacallit - the thing you slide you finger on in the middle of the computer that substitutes for the mouse??? The control key works for other uses.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:55 PM

"Select all" works, but I can't specify what I want to select. Very puzzling! Also, the cursor and mouse tracker seem to work fine for everything else - except selecting text to copy or paste.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 01:58 PM

I've been caught by the small strip above the touch pad that stops it altogether. Silly suggestion but it cost nought.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 02:30 PM

I've tried everything I can think of - nothing seems to help... keep suggestions coming please...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 04:40 PM

Looks like I can no longer drag and drop, or resize text boxes or pictures either. Still can't figure out what to do.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 08:23 PM

It seems to have fixed itself! Gremlins playing tricks ?????


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 08:40 PM

I had something like that once with a stuck shift key (this was on a Mac where holding down shift changes selection behaviour).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 09:39 PM

If the trackpad finally dies, you can still control the cursor with a USB (couple of dollars/pounds?) or wireless mouse (more). I got myself a wireless keyboard with a built-in trackpad for my desktop machine, but that would be an expensive solution. If it's recovered itself, it may have been just dust or grit stopping the trackpad from working. I have an older laptop where the trackpad clicker only responds on the extreme left-hand side. So far it's not bad enough to dismember the machine.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 12:37 AM

The normal "select" in Word is to click and hold down the mouse left key while you drag over the text.

To select contiguous longer sections, you can place the cursor at the beginning, and hold down the Shift key while you click at the end.

With drag and drop, holding the Ctl key down while dragging should Copy the selection to where you drop it. (The equivalent of Ctl-C to copy and Ctl-V to paste.) Holding the Alt key while dragging will MOVE the selection to the drop point. (Equivalent to Clt-X to cut and Ctl-V to paste.)

Holding down the Control key while you click - with the most common settings - usually will select an entire paragraph, but if you try to drag the mouse without releasing the mouse key, with Ctl still held down, it thinks you're changing your selection and may drop the entire selection.

If you need to select multiple non-contiguous bunches of text, the only simple method in older versions is to use what Microsoft calls the "spike." You can copy a selection to the "spike" using Ctl-F3, and all of the selections you copy are "added on" in memory. Ctl-Shift-F3 then dumps selections from the spike (into a document) but they do come out in reverse order (LIFO) so you have to plan ahead or expect to cut/paste to sort the "dump." The "expanded" clip board in latest Windows/Office versions allows you to have multiple "copies" in the clipboard, and to select from the ones available, so I'd expect use of the Spike is less known for newer users.

A commonly encountered interference with normal cut and paste or drag and drop is the accidental invoking of "Sticky Keys." In this mode, once you press the Ctl or Alt key, the program responds as if the key remains held down, until you "complete an executable command." This is an "accessibility aid" for people who have trouble working multiple-simultaneous-key combinations. The default "quick key" to toggle this function on/off is fairly easy to produce by accident - pressing the shift key five times in a row.

(I spent about a half hour confirming the short cut in Vista/Office 2007 UnHelp since I haven't had that accident recently. All "Help" searches lead to half-hour video training programs that waste your time without telling you anything related to your query, on the standard Microsoft assumption that "only idiots use Microsoft's latest products.")

There are a couple of other "accessibility" options that can produce somewhat similar unexpected behavio(u)r, and any of several could have been "invoked" accidentally. Or you may have had a key that was mechanically "stuck?"

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Leadfingers
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:33 AM

Glad it sorted itself Mary - Hope it DOESNT re appear


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Bernard
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:48 AM

Just a thought... if it happens again, try shutting down the computer, unplugging the mains lead (power cord?), press and hold the 'on switch' for at least ten seconds (to make sure the power supply unit has fully discharged), then reconnect and power up.

Sometimes things can get themselves in a twist which a 'soft restart' doesn't solve, but a 'cold reboot' could.

This is particularly true for USB-2 ports which 'disappear', a problem which, I understand, Micro$haft still haven't addressed...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: jeddy
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 07:10 AM

thanks for the tips guys.
my left button is buggered, i think the spring is gone, or has moved slightly, so it doesn't get the sensor.

the other thing that happens, is the scroll things stops working for a while then comes back.
should i be worried? or is this just a weird thing that will always happen from time to time?
any advise welcome.
thanks again.
love jade x x x x xx


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Maryrrf
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:10 AM

I think, from what John in Kansas said, that I may have somehow activated one of the accessibility keys. By bungling around on the keyboard in frustration, I must have deactivated it. Thanks John!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Tangledwood
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 06:08 PM

Probably not relevant in Mary's case as she had rebooted, but I have had similar things happen if certain other applications are running. For example, with Rapid Share Downloader or VDownloader running the normal copy function won't work as the copied item gets interpretted by the application as the link to be downloaded.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:52 PM

I also came across the Windows accessibility keys problem a few years ago. I spent some time trying various things before I checked that. The person whose computer it was also hadn't knowingly done anything with accesibility options, but had toggled the sticky keys.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 09:40 PM

The Sticky Keys thing is one I've run into by accident, although it was several years back - I think with early (pre-SP1) WinXP. It can be very confusing because Ctl key may be "stuck" and when you hit it again to turn it on you actually turn it off. Other accidental "accessibility settings" like the "Magnifier" etc are usually so bizarre (if you're not using them purpose) that they don't simulate subtle malfunctions. When it happened in WinXP I found a quick answer in a Help file. Knowing what I wanted to look for, it took an hour in Vista; and even then I had to chase a dozen false leads that lead nowhere.

For anything that needs to be "customized" in any Office program, the settings you make in Word are applied to all other Office programs and often carry over to other (non-Office and/or non-Microsoft) programs. (I haven't seen anything about how you would change settings in Excel or Power Point for example if, for some reason, you're using them and don't have Word installed to give you a place to change the settings.)

The accessibility settings are changed in the OS though, so that you have to go to "a different place" to find out about them. The "place" is generally in Control Panel, although Vista doesn't name the place so you can recognize it easily. Vista Help(less) entries sometimes give you a link to take you to a place to do things, but generally don't tell you where the place is so that you can identify it for future use, and when you use a link from Help "the place" may be labelled differently than when you open it using a more direct method, so even "being there" doesn't tell you where the functions are.

Vista help files rely a lot on links to "Training Videos" that all assume that you're a "first time user" and that you are incapable of learning anything and need to start over with the basics. A search for any feature too advanced to have been familiar to the "redesigning waitress" in charge of Vista design is ignored by search, and you're just sent to an "introductory video" again. The Videos of course don't mention "that complicated stuff."

There are no "Microsoft answers" to anything, in Help for Vista or Help for newer Office programs, or even if you search what used to be called the Microsoft Knowledge Base. Instead, you're referred to discussion groups where you have to sort out which SPGWK might actually know something and which ones are telling you to do something that will destroy your system completely. It is obvious that nobody from Microsoft even looks at the misinformation that's posted, since it's easy to find a dozen threads on the same question, none of which give the answer (that can be found in a thread on a different subject) - with many questions several years old with no answer where they were asked.

(We do better here than most of the "official" Microsoft discussion sites.)

Sorry for the rant. There probably are enough "casual users" to keep Microsoft in business and maybe even profitable; but they've destroyed their flagship programs as useful professional level tools.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:20 PM

When anything like that happens to me I try a System Restore, and most times that sorts things out. Of course that's Windows XP.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help - Computer Problem - can't select..
From: Andy Jackson
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 07:56 PM

Well I've been forced to using Ubunu for the last few months and I'm getting used to it. When my mainframe is repaired I will seriously consider sticking with a Linux variant.
Microsoft has blown it big time as far as I am concerned it doesn't give a toss for it's ever patient customers.
I was brought up in the days when the more complicated the bit of gear the bigger the book that came with it. And I always read every word.


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