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Strange highlighting problem with XP

by jackdeuce / January 26, 2007 5:50 AM PST

I have an intermittent problem that causes a left click on my mouse to highlight not only the item I'm trying to select but everything below the selected item. For instance, clicking on a link on a web page causes the whole page below the link to become selected as if I was selecting the whole area. This happens across all programs when it happens including Explorer, Outlook, or anything where a selection can be made which leads me to believe it is an XP problem. The only way to resolve the problem is to reboot.
I'm running XP Pro SP2 on a 3.4 P4 with 1 Gig of memory. This is a fresh install of XP on a new SATA drive but the problem occurred before this install as well. I thought the new install would cure it.
Anyone recognize this problem?
Regards, Tom

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Mouse starts highlighting text strangely
by twyrick / February 6, 2007 12:33 AM PST

Hey! I just ran into this exact same issue! Our receptionist has this randomly happening on her XP Pro machine. I looked at it while it was happening, hoping to find a quick fix, and I wasn't able to find an obvious reason for it. She's using a Microsoft wheel-mouse (white 2 button model with grey scroll-wheel in the middle, and a red plastic bottom with optical red LED). I checked under the Mouse settings in the Control Panel for anything out of the ordinary, but everything seemed to be set to defaults. There is a "click lock" feature you can check-mark to enable, which I thought was a potential issue - but it wasn't turned on.

After messing around with everything and clicking things randomly, the problem suddenly went away again.

This seems like a software bug of some sort to me. But in our case, it's sure going to be tough to track down. She has at least 6 or 7 applications open at the same time, including ACCPAC Accounting software for Windows, "Access It! Ultra" (security software that manages our security gate and ID cards in the company), Microsoft Word, Outlook, and so on.

Hope someone else can shed some light on this?

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Keyboard or mouse highlights all above or all below
by haraldguenther / February 8, 2007 2:23 AM PST

I have the same problem. I am running WinXP Home though I have had this problem on other versions in the past.

I used to think that the problem was only in Excel but I soon came to realize that it passes on to all other programs as well. If I go into Windows Explorer I can not highlight a single file without also highlighting all files in the list above it. Text boxes become useless if you try to select only part of the text. Etc.Etc.
It can be solved by rebooting or relogging in to the system. In either case windows is restarted and the bug is circumnavigated.
I have never been able to isolate the trigger for this bug. I am pretty sure it has something to do with the mouse.

I also just solved the problem by shutting down Firefox and opening IE. (?) Co-incindence?
Does this mean that the problem is linked to a system object that is part of Internet Explorer? We all know that the two are totally interdependent but that seems a bit much.
I thought it might have something to do with 'Sticky Keys' (what ever that is. usually for me sticky keys has something to do with dripping ice cream), but that does not seem to be the case.

Anyway, this is not a new issue as I ran into it in Win98 as well. It is probably related to the million lines of code compiled into Windows OS's that no longer have a purpose.

Bottom line it seems to me is that Windows doesn't like my mouse or my keyboard or my motherboard. They are probably not new enough or something.

I have also wrestled with the possibility that this may have something to do with a cheap or twitchy power supply.

My latest computer came in a really cheap case so the power supply is probably cr-p.

Anybody else out there?

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Check post3 of 9
by The Big H / June 20, 2010 3:47 PM PDT

@ haraldguenther

You maybe on to something! Either a Firefox update or Windows update has messed some of the mouse's functions.

Your suggestion for Firefox helped, also try reinstall Winxp mouse drivers.

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Windows highlighting problem solved
by Bodhishanti / April 26, 2009 4:26 AM PDT

My problem started being noticable after updating my browser (Firefox). I went to Tools, Opeions, General, and under scrolling enabled "Use Smooth Scolling." Problem solve.

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windows highlighting issue - all windows office apps
by sysons / October 13, 2009 11:06 PM PDT

I've been battling this issue for quite a while.
I resolved mine by hitting SHIFT key (Left & Right) simultaneously. Send me a note if this helps! thx - syson.suy@gmail.com

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It worked-Thank you!
by alought / February 25, 2010 1:17 AM PST

I hit the left-right Shift key simultaneously and it worked.
I signed up for cnet just to tell you thank you!

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This worked for me also
by rdsysadmin / May 31, 2012 2:04 AM PDT
In reply to: It worked-Thank you!

I tried the dual shift per above resolution. Worked for me. Thank You.

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It worked!
by mschristina / April 21, 2010 5:20 AM PDT

I also signed up with CNET to say thanks for the tip!

The "highlighting" issues started when my cat walked all over my netbook keyboard. When I tried to highlight icons or text, everything would get selected! I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what was wrong with the mouse since it wouldn't scroll up/down pages, but rather would move forward and backward through my page history also. Thanks again for the great advice! Sounds strange, but it taping the shift keys worked! Happy

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Thank you
by geva77 / May 12, 2010 12:16 AM PDT
In reply to: It worked!

I just wanted to thank you for posting this, it was very helpful!

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thanking you
by makay03 / May 18, 2010 7:53 PM PDT

it worked. thanks

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hitting SHIFT key (Left & Right) simultaneously.
by eltoyn / October 1, 2010 7:31 PM PDT

Brilliant I was pulling out my hair about this I nearly reinstalled saved me loads of time and a headache.

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Windows highlighting issue - it works!
by nomis_tac / August 6, 2011 10:48 AM PDT

Thank you sysons, your tip worked. Signed up for CNET just to tell you thanks!

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windows highlighting issue - all windows office apps
by monolith177 / September 1, 2011 12:36 AM PDT

I discovered another key combo that clears the sticky highlighting... Windows Button, Shift. We probably don't need two solutions, but there you go Happy

-monolith177

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this worked
by vigilethefab / October 12, 2014 3:49 AM PDT

Pressing both shift keys didn't work for me, but the Windows button + Shift thing did. So thanks a lot for still sharing it! Otherwise I would have gone out of my mind wondering why my computer was the only one not responding to the double shift thing.

Created a CNet account just to post this, but it was worth it. Thanks again!

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Worked for me, too!
by johnmarlo1 / March 6, 2012 6:39 AM PST

Thanks for this awesome tip sysons! I have no idea what caused this to happen, but I guess I wasn't alone. Was pulling m y hair out like the others and then thanks to google and CNET found this post and it worked! Hallelujah! Had to post a reply like the others to say thanks.

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Thanks
by nikos000 / September 16, 2012 11:24 PM PDT

Thank you for giving the answer to my problems Thaks thanks thanks!!!!!!!!

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Thanks
by yokimi / July 23, 2011 7:55 AM PDT

Thanks - you saved me, i had one hour to go before submitting my assignment and my laptop suddenly started acting up...

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