Tools: Word98 and the unpredictable Command key: an update

Subject: Tools: Word98 and the unpredictable Command key: an update
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001 08:25:45 -0500

A while back, I reported that some users of Word98 on the Mac were having
problems with cut and paste, such that they were unable to select text, copy
it, and paste it (Command-V) into the search and replace dialog box. I was
one of them, but through a fortunate coincidence, I discovered that using
the righthand Command key solved the problem. Unfortunately, I seized upon
that superficial solution without detecting the underlying cause of the

Further experimentation revealed that _both_ Command keys will work--but
only if you hold the Command key and the other key (e.g., V to insert copied
text) down for longer than you'd ordinarily do. Less than a second,
certainly, but longer than the lightning-quick press and release many of us
have grown accustomed to. So it seems it's not whether you use the right or
left Command key after all, but rather how long you hold it down. Why do
different Word users report such different experiences? I'd bet that users
of more modern computers (mine is a pre-G3 PowerMac) don't experience this
problem at all, or experience it only rarely (most likely when the
processing load on their computer is high). In all likelihood, Word simply
can't scan the keyboard fast enough to detect a rapid Command-V on older,
slower computers.

Weird (Word?) but true.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
"User's advocate" online monthly at

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

Develop HTML-Based Help with Macromedia Dreamweaver 4 ($100 STC Discount)
**WEST COAST LOCATIONS** San Jose (Mar 1-2), San Francisco (Apr 16-17) or 800-646-9989.

Sponsored by ForeFront, Inc., maker of ForeHelp Help authoring tools
for print, WinHelp, HTML Help, JavaHelp, and cross-platform InterHelp
See for more information and free evaluation downloads

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: Tech writers and cookbooks? One's already available.
Next by Author: Lots of forms?
Previous by Thread: RE: Removing outdated FrameMaker styles
Next by Thread: Re: Tools: Word98 and the unpredictable Command key: an update

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads