Cursed Cursor?
March 25, 2010 7:50 AM   Subscribe

Help me fix my Mac's cursor? Google-fu fail.

Ok, so. This could be a question I could add to the "What question do you regret posting" thread in MetaTalk. But I don't even know how to Google this. It kind of seems like my Mac's cursor is "slow," as in it doesn't change between applications quickly enough.

Such as, in Word, it is the text cursor. But it gets stuck as a text cursor when I'm cruising around my desktop or surfing Firefox. (Right now, as I move it around my screen in Firefox, it is not an arrow. It is a text cursor.)

When it's in XL, it's the little plus sign. Ditto with getting "stuck."

Sometimes, seemingly randomly, it changes to the little hand or the arrow, and sometimes it's even the "left pointing" arrow when I swipe through my dock.

I don't get it and it's driving me nuts. I can't SEE that text cursor in most situations. FIX ME PLEASE.
posted by functionequalsform to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
 
Which OS version? Which version of Safari and FF are you using?

For FF: are you running the Adblock plugin?

For Safari: are you running the Safariblock plugin?

I had a similar problem after installing Safariblock. Uninstalling the plugin fixed it.
posted by zarq at 7:57 AM on March 25, 2010


What OS version? What Mac model? What version of Office? What version of Firefox? Does it happen all of the time, or only intermittently? Have it always happened, or is it a recent development? Have you installed anything recently? If this is a trackpad-equipped Mac, does the problem persist when you plug in an external USB mouse? Does the problem persist if you quit the application in question and relaunch it? Do you have any 3rd-party mouse or trackpad software installed (there are many; most have a System Preferences pane).
posted by mrbarrett.com at 7:58 AM on March 25, 2010


Nothing new installed. The problem just started last week. Caveat: I did add another profile/user last week. Don't know if that makes a difference.

MacPro 4 tower. Brand spankin' new.

Firefox 3.5.4. (I don't use Safari.)

OS 10

Has external mouse.

No 3rd party mouse software, that I know of. (I'd probably know...)

Quit out of Word just now, and it seemed like it fixed the problem, as I moused over my desktop I got the friendly little arrow. But then I came back to type here on AskMe in FF, and the cursor is stuck when I mouse away from the free textbox.
posted by functionequalsform at 8:34 AM on March 25, 2010


Microsoft Office 2004 or 2008? And have you ensured that it's been updated to the latest version?

For MS 2004, you can run the Microsoft AutoUpdater program right outside the Microsoft Office 2004 folder in /Applications. For Microsoft 2008, you can find the AutoUpdate program in /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/MAU 2.0/
posted by mrbarrett.com at 8:43 AM on March 25, 2010


TWO THOUSAND FOUR. Is that the problem?
posted by functionequalsform at 8:45 AM on March 25, 2010


It's possible. It's definitely PowerPC code, and so is running using the Rosetta environment. It's certainly possible that the cursor mode changing isn't very smooth between some programs running using Rosetta and other programs that execute natively in the Intel environment. You should make sure that Office 2004 is as up to date as possible.

You can purchase a Home Use/Teacher version of MSO 2008 (which is Universal Binary so will run natively on your Intel-based Mac) for not a lot of money. While I'm very much not a fan of Microsoft Office, in general, the 2008 version is better than the 2004 version and is worth the upgrade.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 8:56 AM on March 25, 2010


mrbarrett is probably right. MSOffice 2004 does not play well in a native Intel environment. In my experience, the Entourage 2004 database also has a nasty tendency towards corruption in Intel environments as it gets larger. If you lose the database, you lose your email and address book, which isn't fun.

If the problem is driving you crazy and you can't get a copy of Microsoft Office 2008 immediately, you might consider Open Office, combined with a free email program like Eudora, Mailsmith or Mozilla Thunderbird. (Those are links to reviews, so you can compare features. Links to the websites for each program are on each review page.)
posted by zarq at 9:09 AM on March 25, 2010


Heads up, Eudora is also PPC-only and also have huge issues with cursor mode changes and focus changes in an Intel environment. Also, on slower Intel machines, if Spotlight is enabled it can cause huge delays in Eudora's operations. I recommend just using Mail.app or Thunderbird, both very good email clients.

I stopped recommending Entourage a long time ago because of the database corruption issues. To be fair, I haven't tried the newest version that's tuned for Exchange environments.
posted by mrbarrett.com at 9:26 AM on March 25, 2010


Thanks everybody. I'm going to update Office, and see how it does. If it doesn't work, I'll try some of these other options.

My productivity will soon be back up, as I will be able to actually see my cursor, thanks to you guys!
posted by functionequalsform at 9:38 AM on March 25, 2010


mrbarrett, thanks very much for the correction, re: Eudora. I didn't realize they haven't updated it for Mac beyond PPC.
posted by zarq at 9:47 AM on March 25, 2010


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