Why can I not highlight text on my iMac?
May 7, 2015 2:00 AM   Subscribe

Why can I not highlight text on my iMac?

First off, the specs of my machine. 2007 Intel iMac, 3GB RAM, 2.4 GHz processor, integrated graphics card. I replaced the hard drive about two years ago.

I can't highlight text. Firefox, Safari, Word, etc., and with all I have the same problem. I hover the mouse over a word, click and drag, and the word may or may not be highlighted. Same with a full sentence. I can double click, and a whole line or passage will in fact highlight, but I can't do it selectively. Clicking and dragging will even sometimes scramble up the words like crazy.

I had this problem previously and seem to remember it was a symptom of a more serious problem--like the computer being on it's last days. Given that I've used this iMac daily for 8 years, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
posted by zardoz to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sounds more like problem with your mouse. It's not likely a system-wide failure -- this would be a weird symptom if it is the only one.

Can you highlight text by the shift/arrow down method? If do try a new mouse.

Or clean your current one.

Are there any other symptoms of u expected behavior?

What version of OSX are you using? More recent versions have pretty granular settings for how the mouse behaves.
posted by spitbull at 4:42 AM on May 7, 2015

Best answer: Clicking and dragging will even sometimes scramble up the words like crazy

It kind of sounds like something's funky beyond just your mouse. My first guess would be that something's funny with your video card.

If you haven't already, try the Apple Hardware Test; I'm sure there's lots of problems it can't detect, but it's an easy way to check for some things.
posted by aubilenon at 11:03 AM on May 7, 2015

Your left mouse button is being flaky. Try a different mouse.

(source: I have a mouse with a similarly flaky left button)
posted by neckro23 at 1:07 PM on May 7, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. Why didn't I think of the mouse?? I need to procure another one to test, hopefully that's all it is.
posted by zardoz at 3:06 PM on May 7, 2015

Let us know!!!
posted by spitbull at 6:22 PM on May 7, 2015

Any news on whether changing the mouse worked?

I have the same issue with my Magic Mouse (no right/left button). Sometimes I can highlight, sometimes I can't. If I can't, and I click randomly around the page a couple of times, I can usually then highlight the desired text. I've got OS X Yosemite 10.10.4

It's not just Word where it happens, but primarily that's where I have the issues, since that's where I'm doing the majority of editing.
posted by Rxwiz at 4:57 PM on August 5, 2015

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