A workaround for the cursor jumping on “Save” in WordPerfect

October 3, 2009 at 10:35 pm

A few recent versions of WordPerfect (including some builds of WP 11, 12 and X4**) occasionally exhibit odd (and frustrating) behavior: The cursor jumps to another position in the document when you save your edits. It doesn’t seem to matter which method you use — clicking the “Save” icon, pressing Ctrl S (or Ctrl F12, if you use the DOS-compatible keyboard), or using the “Save” command on the file menu. The results are the same regardless.

What makes this problem even more mysterious is that it doesn’t happen consistently. I have been using WordPerfect 12 at my part-time job for several years, and most of the time it works just fine. But every now and then I save a document I’m working on, and moments later I glance at the screen and realize that I’ve been inserting text in the wrong place because of one of those infernal cursor leaps.

We’ve wrestled with this issue a few times on WordPerfect Universe, and people have suggested a couple of possible fixes. Perhaps the most commonly mentioned solution involves unchecking the “Auto-generate” option in the References toolbar (click the Tools menu, Reference, then click either Table of Contents or Table of Authorities and, when the toolbar appears, look for the checkbox in the lower left-hand corner). When Auto-generate is enabled, WP attempts to generate a TOC and/or a TOA each time you save the document (even if the doc doesn’t contain TOC or TOA codes), and the cursor hops to another location.

As it turns out, however, “Auto-generate” isn’t checked in any of the versions of WP where I’ve encountered the problem. In a way, I was disappointed to discover that fact, because it ruled out a quick and easy remedy.

Then the other day, I noticed something that gave me pause. The cursor jumped on “Save” when the mouse was hovering in such a way that the I-beam pointer was visible within the document margins. When I moved the mouse so that the pointer was outside the margins (and specifically, when it was near the vertical scroll bar or the Application bar), the cursor did not jump on “Save.”

I tested repeatedly, and the results seemed fairly consistent. So now I try to make sure the mouse pointer is not within the document editing screen when I’m typing. If I need to move the mouse in order to click a menu or perform some similar task, I position it carefully when I put it back. As long as the I-beam pointer rests outside the document margins, I seem to be able to save normally, without the cursor landing in some other part of the document.

If you’re having a problem with a jumping cursor and you’re sure that the “Auto-generate” option in the References toolbar is unchecked, try the workaround I mention in this post. It could “Save” you from tearing your hair out!

**A few people who use WP X3 have reported the problem, but interestingly, I’ve never seen it myself with X3. It’s possible that I’ve applied a service pack that resolved the issue. (On the other hand, we just started using X4 at work, and the release we installed definitely suffers from restless cursor syndrome. It doesn’t make sense to me that Corel fixed the problem in a patch for X3 but the fix didn’t persist in X4.)

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