Repeating key

I hate to post something like this, but here goes anyway.

Every so often, a letter key repeats on me: during writing, the app stops echoing my input to the screen, pauses for just a bit, then puts up a string of about 10 -15 of whatever letter was next when it stopped responding. It follows that with the rest of the letters I typed before noticing that it wasn’t responding.

I’m working on a MacBook Pro with the latest versions of OSX & Scrivener. I don’t know to reproduce this problem (yeah, I know, how are you supposed to find it). Maybe someone else out there has observed similar behavior and learned more about it than I am able to. I’ll do my best to gather more info, but it’s fairly disconcerting.

BTW, I also heard from another user they they experienced major problems with a large project - files becoming corrupted, to the point where they cannot use Scrivener for book-length projects. As I am undertaking one now, I’m concerned. Have you heard of such things and is it fixed?

Thanks, sorry for the lack of specificity.


Hmm, that pausing sounds like what happens when the auto-save kicks in. Briefly, with the default settings, when you pause for two seconds Scrivener will save your current work to the disk. So if you pause for two seconds and then start typing again you’ll get a brief amount of lag. It isn’t anything to worry about, and as you already noticed the stuff you type gets stored in the buffer and as soon as Scrivener can, it dumps them into the file.

With the specific key getting repeated: I’ve never seen that or even heard of it happening. You might have a sticky key or faulty keyboard. Does this happen anywhere else?

As for issues of project corruption. I would be willing to guess that 99.999% of the time this results from the usage of failing hardware and network sync services like MobileMe disks and DropBox. See the warning on using network drives for more details on this. In short, it isn’t safe to do. The few other cases I’ve seen (on the boards anyway) involved a hard drive that was about to die, and working directly off of flash drives. These latter two can cause corruption under any application.

Working on a local drive that is healthy, you should be fine, but always keep regular backups for anything important. Failure to do so is never buying a life preserver. You might never need it in thirty years of sailing, but that one time you do need it is the only time that it really matters.

Thanks, AmberV, for your answers.

The repeating key has never happened in any other application. I’m fairly certain it is not caused by my repeated pressing of a key in the absence of its appearance on-screen; the last time it happened, I watched carefully, and a string of i’s appeared when I had definitely pressed the key not more than twice. Perhaps there is a timing issue, such that if a key is stuck at just the right moment when the app is starting a save, it throws that key entry into repeat mode for the duration of the pause.

I’ve changed the auto save setting to 30 seconds, so it should occur a lot less often. If you want me to look further into this, let me know what would help.

I’ll check with my nephew who reported the corruption problem. He may well have been working with an external drive. Thanks for the tip!


The only thing that I can think of is that you could be running some separate application that is watching and monitoring your keystrokes, like a text expander, spell checker, and so on. Like I said, I’ve never seen or heard of this bug, and given that so many customers never change their auto-save interval, that’s a lot of people typing during the save process. So logically it would likely be something somewhat unique to the way your computer is set up.

You could try logging in to your account with the shift key held down, this turns off all automatic login applications, and then see if you can reproduce the problem.

One other thing, be careful with setting the auto-save interval too high. If you never pause for more than 30 seconds during a writing session, and you were to lose power or crash or something, you could lose quite a bit of work. The auto-save interval is a idle-timer based thing, not a strict interval. It waits for 30 seconds after you have done anything (clicked, typed, whatever) before saving. Of course you could also just save manually, so if you are already accustomed to doing that, this wouldn’t be so much of an issue.

Thanks again for the tips. Perhaps is another app, although I’m not using anything that monitors keystrokes, as far as I know. My only login apps are iCalAlrmScheduler and LCCDaemon. I was using the Palm transport monitor, but I’ve eliminated that now. If I can narrow it down to a conflicting app, I’ll post it here.