Problems highlighting text with Macbook Pro trackpad


I’ve been using Scrivener with a macbook air for a while now. I’ve just upgraded to a new Macbook Pro and I’ve noticed something awkward and strange when trying to highlight text to delete or copy using the trackpad. It seems that sometimes it just doesn’t work. The text is not highlightable.

I know it’s not the macbook, because every other program there is no problem. It’s only Scrivener.

Anyone else having this issue? It’s a huge problem. Being able to highlight text to delete or copy and paste is a huge part of writing.


Can you use the keyboard shortcuts to select the text that the trackpad won’t? Hold shift down and use the arrow keys to select left or right from the cursor, or shift and command and the arrows to select larger sections. If the problem persists I would contact

I use the new Macbook M1 and have the same problem. I need to copy and paste with my trackpad. It sometimes works and sometimes not. I don’t do tab commands so please don’t also just direct me to that. Please tell me how to get Scrivener to work for copy and paste with my trackpad. It is very urgent please Thanks.

Hello, I too have just received my M1 MacBook Air. I think the problem you’re having is not to do with Scrivener, but down to the sensitivity of the trackpad. When setting this machine up, I was having real trouble dragging files and folders from an external drive to the internal one. It’s a real problem for me as I have a tremor, which means in trying to select the folders/files in question, I found I was applying too much pressure and invoking the “force touch” options.

In Scrivener itself, as long as I can keep the pressure on the trackpad light, there is no problem selecting stretches of text.



I also have this issue. I am using a 2020 MBA. The problems seems to be with the trackpad itself. I did not have this issue with previous models of Macs. Scrivener seems unrelated.

Sadly, I don’t have a Macbook M1. But I do have problems with arthritis that have led me to make changes to my Mac track pad settings. Perhaps one of the settings I’ve fiddled with might make a difference.

  • If Force Touch is the issue, you can turn off Force Touch or adjust its sensitivity in System Preferences>Trackpad>Point & Click.
  • For an alternate method of dragging that’s served me well, try System>Preferences>Accessibility>Pointer Control>Trackpad Options. Three finger drag means I don’t need to apply pressure at all in order to drag on the trackpad.

Hope that one of these suggestions helps!

Thanks for reminding me Silverdragon. I haven’t got round to checking on that yet on this machine. I decreased the sensitivity on a 2015 13" MBP I had, but the 2011 MBP which died on New Year’s Day antedated Force Touch trackpads for many years, so I hadn’t had to look into it on that, or if I did it would have been in 2011 when I got it!

A job for tomorrow.



I too have the same problem in M1 MacBook Air. its not from pressing too hard. The problem never occurs in Pages but in Scrivener often but only intermittently. It’s weird because sometimes it will seem to have a run of functioning normally, then a run of refusing to highlight. I have been using Scrivener for a decade and find this problem really affects my enjoyment of it.

Try click at the start and shift-click at the end of the text you want to highlight.

It’s 2023 and the highlighting problem still is not fixed. While drmajorbob’s work-around works, sometimes, I question why I want to use a less elegant approach than simply positioning the cursor like I do for other programs. Scrivener, please fix this issue.