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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Cannot switch between applications, use drop downs etc


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derren

 
Member Since: May 31, 2011
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I hope someone can throw some light on this problem before it drives me insane. For some reason, and not after the installation of any new software or updates, I cannot switch applications anymore. When I use CMD Tab it shows my active applications, but where I normally keep pressing cmd tab to cycle through them to select one, it is flashing through them without any input from me as such a speed that you can't choose one. It's like the keys are being pressed repeatedly as fast as the computer can do it. If I use expose (or is it spaces?) to show the windows I have open I cannot click on one to select it using the mouse. I initially thought that I had a problem with the keyboard, but it still failed with mouse only, and normal use of the keys is not affected.

I restarted the computer and opened text edit to see how it switched between two apps, but this is the same.

I also have a problem in Firefox, where I cannot choose an item in a drop down select list, and if I add a bookmark it flashes the dialogue box up for a split second and then it disappears, adding the bookmark as if an "ok" button is pressed immediately. It's OK in Safari and Chrome. There are other applications that are a bit glitchy when trying to select text using the mouse.

It is like there is a constant keystroke happening which interferes with certain functions, but I am lost. Any ideas? Thanks
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mrplow

 
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I'd say you've got a stuck key. Any spilliages on the keyboard?

Give the Tab and CMD keys a few presses. Are they moving freely ?

You don't say what hardware you're using but is it possible to try a different keyboard?

External hard disk acquisition addict - but admitting the problem is the first step to a robust backup

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derren

 
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Hi mrplow, thanks for responding.

The first thing I thought about was the keyboard, as many a person I know has been floored by such a simple thing, but the keys are working fine, and I am using a different keyboard now for this reply, just in case, but that also does not stop the rapid "pressing". The other point is that I cannot switch by going to expose and clicking on the window I want to use their either, which is not using the keyboard, and things like auto complete on the firefox address bar flashes up the choices menu then disappears in a split second.

Sorry, should have said, I am on an iMac, SL 10.6.7, 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB ram.

I thought it was a Firefox issue, but I have upgraded to v4 and nothing has changed.
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Are you able to open a text editor, say text edit and type normally into that?

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derren

 
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yes indeed. Most aspects are working normally, and both the command and tab keys are working separately.
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Is this problem confined to one account? Try creating a new user account and see If that account is affected as well. If it's not that would suggest there are some corrupt files somewhere in your existing account.

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derren

 
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Thank you for helping out on this. I am not normally beaten on things and couldn't figure out why it wasn't a simple key stick. I have now found the culprit - I have a mouse with a scroll wheel that can tilt left and right. This was set to horizontal scroll and had obviously stuck, giving a permanent signal. This doesn't affect many things, but when I was using photoshop and the image scrolled it gave me a clue. Bloody thing - watch out for this. I couldn't understand why it was restricted to just a small number of things.

Thanks again for the replies.
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Wow never would have guessed that. Thanks for posting the fix. What kind of mouse was it?

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derren

 
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No problem, I always curse when I find a useful thread that matches my issue and it is either not resolved, or worse, the original poster says "it's OK, I have fixed it" and doesn't leave their solution - that really winds me up!

It's a logitech MX cordless mouse (I threw my "magic" mouse out of the window and went old school)
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Thanks for posting back.

Welcome to the forum BTW

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