Word 2004: Insertion point in Find/Replace dialog blinking even when it’s in the background

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Microsoft
September 13th, 2005 • 2:39 pm

Normally, in the Mac OS X environment, there can only be one currently active location where you can type text. This location is somewhere in the foreground window and is indicated by a blinking insertion point or “I-beam.”

As soon as the window with the blinking I-beam is relegated to the background, the I-beam stops blinking, or disappears altogether. It’s supposed to only blink when the focus is actually on the location where the I-beam is and it’s ready to enter the text that you are going to type.

There is one exception, and of course it comes to us courtesy of Microsoft. Launch Word and bring up the Find/Replace dialog box. By default the I-beam cursor is in the “Find what:” text field and, since the focus is on that field, the I-beam is blinking.

Now leave this dialog box open and switch to another (any) application, while ensuring that Word’s Find/Replace dialog remains visible. Can you see it? The I-beam cursor is still there in the “Find what:” field, and it’s still blinking.

It only stops blinking (and disappears) if you actually switch from the Find/Replace dialog to another window in Word itself. But if you switch from the Find/Replace dialog to another application, it stays there, and continues blinking!

The simple truth is that, when it comes to sloppy programming, nobody can beat Microsoft’s developers.

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