Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Microsoft Word 2010 Bug

I spend a lot of time in Microsoft Word 2010 writing my novels.  I most often am working on my ACER 1420P laptop while doing it, and honestly, this is the only place I have seen this bug, but it annoys the crap out of me.

Here’s what happens:

  1. Open a new or existing document
  2. Start typing
  3. Let you mouse cursor drift up over the tool bar (like the one for text formatting). 
  4. Keep typing.
  5. Eventually, characters will start repeating.  First you’ll see three ‘c’ characters (or whatever character that falls victim to this bug on that given day).  If you see this start to happen, sometimes moving the mouse will stop the next phase from happening, but if you miss it because you watch your fingers and not the screen (which I am prone to do), phase 2 of the bug will soon kick in.
  6. Phase 2 involves Satan taking over your computer.  If you just happen to hit the backspace key or a cursor key, it will start repeating indefinitely.  Next thing you know, your whole document is gone or you are sitting at the top or bottom of your document, and you still can’t get control back.

The only thing that I have ever found that works is to pull up task manager, and kill Word.  But at least it will ask you if you want to save your changes before it closes.  If the repeating character is a cursor movement, no problem.  If it was the backspace key, you are SOL.

I find that the bug shows up most often if the cursor seems caught between tool bar buttons.  It looks like a Windows event has gotten into an infinite loop, and as a developer, I would not want to be the one who has to try to figure this one out.

That said, I really hope this gets fixed soon.  It happens to me at least once a week, and more than once has cost me work.  I save early and save often because this one could strike at any moment.

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