Delete button doesn't work with track changes on
Thread poster: Ivana UK

Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:10
Member (2005)
Italian to English
May 13, 2009

I'm halfway through proofing an enormous document in Word 2002 (with track changes on) and my delete button suddenly stopped working. I can't use the backspace button to delete either as it simply doesn't work and overtyping no longer does the trick (the new text appears at the end of the word I'm trying to overtype).

When I switch track changes off, I can delete and overtype as normal.

What has happened? I hope someone can help!!


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:10
Member (2005)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Removing track changes doesn't restore full functionality, May 13, 2009

in the sense that although I can now delete, I can't highlight text so it looks like there's something seriously wrong here.

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 23:10
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Use Shift+delete May 14, 2009

IMHO Microsoft Word gets worse and worse at every upgrade. Word 2.0 under Win 3.* was pretty decent. Word 97 is still barely usable, while I only use Word 2003 when a really good client so requires.

Sometimes I can't delete things in Word 2003, but I discovered that Shift+Del still does it. Don't ask me specifically when, but it works.


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:10
Russian to English
+ ...
Reboot May 14, 2009

I haven't had that particular problem, but in general whenever anything goes wrong, I save, close and reboot. That usually fixes things.

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Tony M  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:10
Member
French to English
+ ...
Similar symptoms May 14, 2009

I've experienced similar symptoms, but not simply with 'Track Changes' turned on.

What I have observed (Word XP, BTW) is that either 'Delete' or both that and 'Backspace' don't work under certain circumstances:

1) when the spell checker dialogue box is open (in this instance, it does nothing, and an error message saying something about Visual Basic is returned)

2) when typing in marginal comments, where attempting to use the ordinary 'Delete' key drops you out of the comment and back into the text (very annoying!); backspace and overtype seem to work OK

3) when typing in the comments fields at the bottom of the page, however, not only does the above happen, but also, as described by Ivana, overtyping doesn't work, nor does backsapce — the only way I've found to be able to make corrections is to use Ctrl X to cut the mistake out and re-type it.

Oddly, since one of the recent 'auto updates', #1 and 2 seem to have been fixed, but #3 is still just as bad as ever.

Clearly something of a bug in Word — and I haven't noticed the problem getting worse, nor have I noticed re-booting having any effect, sadly. Luckily for me, though, I have never experienced it in the actual main body of my text!


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 03:10
Member
English to French
Try saving it it with another name May 14, 2009

Although I have not experienced your problem (except the backspace/delete key not working after/before a hidden change), maybe using track changes on a massive doc takes up a lot of ressources and inflates the file disproportionally.
It may help to "reset the counters" and save the file under another name, or in rtf, then back to doc format.

Philippe

PS to José: For my part, I would never go back to earlier versions of Word. I have noticed significant improvements in Word 2003 for my daily use that make my life easier, like right-click synonyms, or a statistics toolbar, which saves a few clicks when counting words. And I disabled Smart tags, so I don't have this nuisance.


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Ivana UK  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:10
Member (2005)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone for your replies - May 14, 2009

I tried everything you suggested.

Unfortunately CTRL + Shift didn't work, nor did renaming the file.
I downloaded word again but that had absolutely no effect.
In desperation, I finally rebooted the system and everything is now back to normal!

I'd never experienced anything this before - hopefully it was just a one-off ...

Thanks again,

Ivana


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Luisa Ramos, CT  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:10
Member (2004)
English to Spanish
Conflicting software May 14, 2009

I experienced that situation long time ago. After much research I found that another software (guess what? TRADOS) had assigned another function to the Delete key. It affected mainly my Outlook because I had Word as my email editor. Unfortunately, other than that, I don't remember how I solved the problem, I only remember doing lots and lots of research to get to the bottom of it. Later on I changed my computer and although I have the same applications and Word as my email editor I have never encountered the problem again.

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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:10
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Try this May 15, 2009

Ctrl+Alt and F12
Let us know, if that works.


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Jak_200
Norway
Late response Jun 12, 2013

The reason for this is that in "Track Changes Options" the "Baloon" feature is set to "Never". Try setting that to "always" and see what happens.

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