Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > OK i confess! - i'm a text-selecting retard!

OK i confess! - i'm a text-selecting retard!
Thread Tools
m a d r a
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: the intarweb
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 05:04 PM
 
well, i've been using macs for more years than i care to count and OSX since public beta, so i'm not exactly wet behind the [huge] ears at this stuff. but there's been a small insignificant mac operating skill that still seems to elude me after all these years. why, nary five minutes ago i presented the following picture as i tried to rise to the monumental challenge of... fanfare.... "highlighting a line of text on a webpage so i could copy it":


tongue hanging out, eyes-crossed, sweat pouring down forehead, teeth grinding in frustration, face turning more purple by the second as all my careful dragging from left to right along the sentence i was trying to copy produced a myriad of results - except for the one i feckin' wanted!... selecting text on the line above... selecting text on the line below... selecting the paragraph above... selecting the paragraph below... selecting to the left of the cursor while i dragged to the left... selecting to the right of the cursor while i dragged to the right... only beginning to select the text at an arbitrary point along the line after i've started dragging... arbitrarily deselecting some of the text after i stop dragging... arbitrarily deselecting all of the text after i've stopped dragging....!

i have similar problems whenever trying to make text selections with that accursed I-beam cursor that most text editing apps use.

so is it really just me, or any of the rest of you prepared to come out of the closet, hanging your stupid heads in shame and confess that you too are a text-selecting retard?

[if enough of us get together we can blame the OS ]
     
Catfish_Man
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 05:42 PM
 
Actually, yeah, I've had issues with that. If I see it again I'll try to have a look in more detail and figure out what's going on.
     
lil'babykitten
Professional Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Herzliya
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 06:29 PM
 
**** yeah I have that problem too!
     
Dr. Smoke
Forum Regular
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Earth
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 06:36 PM
 
I often find it easier to select text in a Web page by first clicking on the page just ahead of the text I wish to select.

If you're using the Apple Pro Mouse, you might want to consider a better mouse. I use a Logitech MX700.
Good Luck!

Dr. Smoke
Author: Troubleshooting Mac OS X
     
Brass
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 07:40 PM
 
your start and end points for selection need to be ON the first and last character, not just to the left or just to the right of them.

This often helps, but still doesn't always get it right.

The problems are with the browsers, not the OS. Some browsers certainly do it better than others. Camino seems to be easier to manage than I remember in some other browsers.

I'm guessing that the problems are due to the complex nature of how the browsers lay out the page (including many text views, some overlayed over others, within the same window). Any drag that moves from one view to another gets a screwed up selection.
     
Jellytussle
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Badfort
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 08:54 PM
 
umm, treble clicking the line you wanted not working for you?
You see, my friends, pirates are the key. - thalo
     
m a d r a  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: the intarweb
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 09:05 PM
 
Originally posted by Jellytussle:
umm, treble clicking the line you wanted not working for you?
hah! - treble clicking selected nothing at all!
     
Brass
Professional Poster
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Tasmania, Australia
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 09:13 PM
 
Originally posted by m a d r a:
hah! - treble clicking selected nothing at all!
which browser you using?

... and what web page, and which sentence/line on that page?
     
ryju
Professional Poster
Join Date: Aug 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 14, 2004, 09:27 PM
 
Um if I can do it on a trackpad why can't you do it with a mouse?

Work on your motor skills.
     
Turnpike
Mac Enthusiast
Join Date: Mar 2004
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2004, 12:46 AM
 
Seeing as how moving a mouse from left to right or from right to left isn't very hard, I'm going to say the problem must be the website you are using. tables can really, really screw things up. possibly other things, too (wacky CSS margin hacks and poorly thought-out box model hacks, perhaps)

btw, yes... I too will use this as an excuse to pimp the mx700. Great mouse.
     
Apfhex
Mac Elite
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Northern California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2004, 06:09 AM
 
Some websites are just impossible to select text on. There's no problems with these forms, but I encounter pages on an almost daily basis where I spend far too long trying to copy just a small block of text. I think Windows browsers have the same problem sometimes.

Never had a problem with word processors, though, except on Windows where I have a terrible time with the I-beam cursor! It's always some pixels to the side of what I want. Especially annoying when trying to select a part of a URL.
     
m a d r a  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: the intarweb
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2004, 08:19 AM
 
Originally posted by ryju:
Um if I can do it on a trackpad why can't you do it with a mouse?

Work on your motor skills.
er... where did i say i was using a mouse? i'm using a trackpad too.

work on your 'not jumping to conclusions' skills


------------------------------------------

the particular example which occurred yesterday and prompted my original rant was while using omniweb. unfortunately i cannae remember the exact page [and besides, what i was trying to copy was a PHP error message which was subsequently fixed], but this has happened on more than one occasion - and often enough to provoke me to one of my increasingly infrequent MACNN rants.

it's strange, i can throw a lasso round a complicated selection in seconds with photoshop, or effortlessly pick out and manipulate a single point in a vector image in illustrator, but i always find the allegedly mundane task of selecting text [in almost all apps] to be much more of a hit and miss affair.
( Last edited by m a d r a; Dec 15, 2004 at 08:41 AM. )
     
Love Calm Quiet
Mac Elite
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: CO
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 15, 2004, 10:20 AM
 
I *sometimes* have problems selecting text (TiBook track pad), but on *this very page* (using Safari) triple-click selects a line just fine, as always in safari.

Double-click-drag collects the words I drag over... Seems to work fine.

I've had trouble on *some sites* ... only to have the problems disappear when the *site* changes. I tend to suspect the suggestion was right about (at least in browsers) that the problem is with how certain browsers render certain designs (tables?)
TOMBSTONE: "He's trashed his last preferences"
     
phantomdragonz
Mac Elite
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Near Boulder, CO
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 16, 2004, 09:53 PM
 
from my experience, you just have to be patient, click, wait a second (well half of one) and then drag.... but then again, I have a 400Mhz g4 running the 10.3.7

Zach
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:34 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,