Strange intermittent text selection bug

I apologize if this has been discussed, but I can’t even think of search terms for it.

I have encountered, on dozens of occasions, a situation where the cursor stops blinking, and text selection goes wonky. Other applications behave normally while Scrivener is doing this, so I think it’s not a system problem.

The symptom is that the cursor does not blink any more, and clicking once anywhere in the text selects the text from the cursor to the point where you click - it’s almost like the shift key is being held down, except that the text does not stay selected - it immediately is unselected. You can see this in the first part of the movie linked below.

Also when I click and drag, the selection does not stay selected - it becomes unselected and the cursor stays where it is. That can be seen in the second part of the movie.

This occurs about once or twice a week. Quitting and restarting Scrivener fixes it, and sometimes it seems to clear up on its own (perhaps as a product of switching applications, I’m not sure). I am using a Magic Trackpad.

Nothing weird in the console log.

Movie at:

Where did you look for the console log? If you looked in you won’t see anything, because as of 2.0.5, Scrivener redirects console messages to a special file - ~/Application Support/Scrivener/Logs/Console.log - so that it can use it in crash reports.

Next time it happens could you look there too, please, and let me know what’s in there? The behaviour in the video looks very much like an exception has been thrown in the background. The log most likely won’t give me much to go on mind - with errors in text editing the logs are usually quite generic (exception thrown, out of bounds, glyph errors and suchlike) - if you can remember the exact sequence of events immediately before the error occurs, that would be really helpful.


All the best,

Hi Keith - Nothing in the logs at the time the movie was made. The time stamp on the movie file was 10:33, and the logs had entries at 9:33 and 10:43. Here’s what they show. There are a bunch of similar entries before and after these. I will try to remember what I did before it the next time it happens and post back here.

2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 1. SCRInspectorViewController responding to insert binder doc notification…
2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 2. call main doc: <SCRMainDocument: 0x951600>
2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 3. done!
2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 1. SCRProjectTargetsPanelController responding to insert binder doc notification…
2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 2. call main doc: <SCRMainDocument: 0x951600>
2011-04-06 09:33:21.185 Scrivener[12637:207] 3. done!
2011-04-06 10:43:13.489 Scrivener[12637:207] 1. SCRBinderController responding to insert binder doc notification…
2011-04-06 10:43:13.490 Scrivener[12637:207] 2. call main doc: <SCRMainDocument: 0x951600>
2011-04-06 10:43:13.490 Scrivener[12637:207] 3. done!
2011-04-06 10:43:13.491 Scrivener[12637:207] 1. SCRCollectionsController responding to insert binder doc notification…
2011-04-06 10:43:13.491 Scrivener[12637:207] 2. call main doc: <SCRMainDocument: 0x951600>
2011-04-06 10:43:13.491 Scrivener[12637:207] 3. done!

Hmm, yes, those are harmless - messages I put in 2.0.5 in the hopes of trapping a crasher in the automatic crash reports. Have you got any third-party plugins that interact with the text at all?


Seeing the OP’s post reminded me, and now that the university’s anniversary celebration is over and I am back to normal levels of overload … just before the start of the typing-lag issue I raised in another thread, that I’m going to get back to, my MBA had exactly the same problem as the OP’s. But I couldn’t think what I had just been doing to be able to report it, and there were no entries in any log that seemed pertinent, so I left it, to see if it happened again. I had to turn off the computer and leave it off for quite some time to clear the problem; a simple restart was not enough.

As I say, it was immediately after that that the typing-lag started. I have removed DevonThink, LaunchBar and SpiderOak from the “Open on Startup” list, and have not yet re-instated any of them. I have also removed the active .scriv from a folder that was being backed up to SpiderOak, and have removed the auto-backup from the folder where the zipped backups are happening. I have had no typing-lags since doing that, so I think my original supposition is probably right. But as I say, I’ll get back to that.

Just wanted to say, I too have experienced what the OP reports, but no, there were no console logs anywhere, and it affected the whole system so the mouse-pad was unusable, in the sense that it didn’t respond to any clicks, and on taking the mouse-cursor to the menu-bar it turned into a Spinning Pizza. I had to use keystrokes to open “Force Quit” to quit not only Scrivener, but aslo other applications, and hold down the power-key to do a forced shutdown.

Doesn’t help much, I realise, but I thought you ought to know. I can’t even say that it was Scrivener behind the problem, though I was using Scrivener at the moment the mouse went wonky.


Not that I know of. Oh wait - I do have TypeIt4Me installed. I think that would be the only one. Shall I disable it for a while to see if it helps (inconvenient but not a big problem)?

Text expanders, like TypeIt4Me, and third-party spell checkers operate at a level within the text system where they do have the capability to interfere (so I’ve read – I’m not an expert). I installed TypeIt4Me a few months ago; to the best of my knowledge it hasn’t interfered with Scrivener, but I think it has affected typing in another application.

There was a long thread on this subject a few months ago, although I’m not sure that the text expander’s culpability was proven. There’s also potential for conflict with other programmes that can be involved in typing, such as voice recognition applications.

Bear in mind that if you do want to test Scrivener without TypeIt4Me, you may need to quit the text expander completely and re-boot so that it ceases to lurk (so I’ve been advised).


I have discovered that this can be resolved reliably by grabbing the Scrivener window’s title bar and moving the window. I haven’t isolated TypeIt4Me as a cause yet as it’s so important to my work. I thought the info about moving the window might help troubleshooting it.