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I woke up yesterday morning, I noticed that Vista had installed three different security updates overnight. Opening Microsoft Word, I noticed that I was unable to use my mouse anywhere within the document anymore. I couldn't select any text. I couldn't right-click. I could only move my cursor around with the arrow keys on my keyboard. For me, this made Word completely useless.

The problem was with a SnagIt add-in to Microsoft Office that was installed on my machine. It all of a sudden seemed to have issues running in the new environment (even though I had this add-in for quite some time on my machine). If you don't have the SnagIt program installed - then it most likely is another add-in.

To fix the problem, you can try to go to the Word Options dialog. You get to this dialog by pressing the Office Start button in the upper-left hand corner and selecting Word Options (a button at the bottom). You will then get a dialog where one of the options will be a Add-Ins page.

 

From here, you can highlight your add-ins by clicking on the Go button and unchecking all the add-ins. From there, start adding them back in till you find the one that is the problem. If you are like me and couldn't even navigate to this screen, then you are going to want to make the add-in changes to the registry yourself. For this, press the start button and type regedit in the search box to get to the regedit.exe program. BE CAREFUL IN HERE AND DON'T CHANGE ANYTHING BUT WHAT I MENTION HERE OR YOU WILL TOTALLY MESS UP YOUR MACHINE. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE TO ANYTHING YOU DO TO YOUR MACHINES!

In the regedit tool: navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\Word\Addins

Go to the LoadBehavior item in the right-hand pane and double-clicking on it will allow you to change the value from 3 to 0. A value of 0 (Zero) means that the add-in is disabled.

This should work for you - worked for me.

Posted on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 11:36 AM Windows , Microsoft , HOW-TOs | Back to top


Comments on this post: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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We had the same problem with one of our clients. It seemed to hit several of their pcs at one time. After changing the registry entry, it seems to have solved the problem.

Thanks for the tip.
Left by Peter on Oct 10, 2007 7:56 AM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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I'm experiencing the same problem, but I can't even select the "Add Ins" tab with my mouse. Is there a way to select it using my keys?
Left by J on Feb 22, 2008 10:36 PM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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press "control" while clicking on the short-cut or icon that resembles word. I had the same problem (yeah, vista really stinks, I tell ya) and when I went to another blog, this worked for me. And Also when I was selecting the "Add Ins" tab, J, It wouldn't respond. This way works the best.

By the way, when pressing "control", you are entering word in "safe mode", but I really don't see whiy they need one since it's already messed up enough... :)
Left by mj on Apr 15, 2008 8:50 PM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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The regedit fix worked for me. Many thanks!
Left by greenfroggie on Jul 21, 2008 10:31 PM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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Your blog helped me fix my Word!

Thanks Bill, I owe you a beer!!
Left by Piojojoi! on Dec 30, 2008 10:34 AM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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It works :)
My admin couldn't fix it almost 2 months :D
Left by elen on Feb 27, 2009 8:47 AM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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Cool, your solution works very well
Left by Faizal on May 13, 2009 11:36 AM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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Just had this problem this morning - for me it looks like it was Adobe contribute. How bizarre! Quick Google found your solution - thank you so much I thought I was going mad for a while there ;)
Left by tony on Jun 14, 2009 5:44 PM

# re: Word Issue - Couldn't Select Text
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Deleting the normal.dot file and rerunning Word fixed the issue. Poor programming on Microsoft's part. Be sure to back up the Normal.dot file.
Left by Jim on May 26, 2010 1:54 AM

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