[Solved] Difficulty with OpenOffice Writer on Windows 10

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[Solved] Difficulty with OpenOffice Writer on Windows 10

Postby Siarach » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:24 pm

I have been using OpenOffice for many years with very little trouble. However, I have changed from my ancient HP Vista to an HP ENVY laptop with Windows 10, and I am having considerable problems that I cannot explain, but which are very distressing. The version of OO which I have is 4.1.3. My problem is with WRITER, which I use extensively. When I am writing up a document, my cursor seems to have a mind of it own, and suddenly jumps back a few words, or a few lines without warning, and sometimes a large chunk of text disappears. I sometimes get it back with 'undo', but not always. When I am writing my blog, using Wordpress, I have the same problems, only worse. Getting the lost text back there is much more difficult. There is no 'undo' facility. Even writing this small post, my cursor has jumped back three times. Can anyone help me to solve this problem? Siarach.
Last edited by thomasjk on Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Mark thread [Solved] and add green checkmark
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Re: having difficulty with open office writer on Windows 10

Postby RoryOF » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:30 pm

If the cursor is jumping around in other applications than OpenOffice (e.g. Wordpress and the forum text entry box) this is not an OpenOffice problem. It is possible that your new laptop is flexing slightly, thereby generating spurious signals from the touchpad, and/or that your sleeve brushes the touchpad, also generating spurious signals. In some operating systems it is possible to set "turn off touchpad while typing" which often cures the problem. It is also good to have the laptop on a hard surface, such as a tray or table, rather than on your knee or on a blanket or carpet. I cannot advise if the "turn off touchpad while typing" setting is available on Win10, but I am sure some Win10 user will be able to inform us.

 Edit: A quick test is to plug in a USB mouse for immediate use and cover the touchpad with a cut to size piece of heavy card (tape it on). If this improves the situation it gives a hint that the touchpad is probably the culprit. 
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Re: having difficulty with open office writer on Windows 10

Postby John_Ha » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:36 pm

Even writing this small post, my cursor has jumped back three times

So it is not Writer causing the problem!

It sounds like "tap to click" is enabled on the touchpad which means that every time you touch (even brush against it if set to extremely sensitive) the touchpad you are likely to send a left mouse click which causes havoc. Test by putting the mouse arrow on a line of text and then tapping the touchpad once. Does the cursor jump to where the mouse arrow is?

On some laptops - my Acer for example - you cannot even disable it! You should be able to disable "tap to click" by right-click Start (or Settings) > Control Panel > Mouse > Touchpad settings - it is the right-most tab. If you decide to keep it, and I strongly recommend that you do not, then set the sensitivity to as low as possible. Setting it so you need to stamp on the touchpad before it sends a click is about right.

There is no 'undo' facility.

As they say in the pantomimes, "Oh yes there is!". ctrl/z undoes in any application including Writer. So does Edit > Undo ..., and clicking the anti-clockwise arrow icon. Writer allows you to undo about 100 steps - change it by Tools > Options > OpenOffice > Memory > Undo ...

If this solves the problem, please click the Edit button on your original post and add [Solved] in front of your subject.
Last edited by John_Ha on Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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Re: having difficulty with open office writer on Windows 10

Postby RoryOF » Sat Dec 24, 2016 7:48 pm

On my Acer laptop, running Xubuntu, I can disable touchpad while typing. It is not currently disabled, which means I didn't need to do it, but I can remember at some time, on some laptop, I did have to enable that setting. I might be misremembering, but I think early reviews of that model (V5-121) pointed out that the chassis did flex and gave spurious input from the touchpad.
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Re: having difficulty with open office writer on Windows 10

Postby John_Ha » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:11 pm

I inherited an Acer E1-572. Despite extensive contact with Acer Support they have been unable to point me to a driver which has the facility to adjust the Touchpad settings.

The laptop purportedly has either a Synaptics or an Elan Touchpad but there seems to be no way to find out which. It came with W8.1 but without either driver installed: it used a Microsoft mouse driver.

I downloaded both Synaptics and Elan drivers and tried each of them but neither worked. I upgraded to W10 (W8.1 is actually worse than W10 which takes some doing) but I still cannot find a driver which allows to make changes to Touchpad settings or, critically, to disable "tap to click".

I am about to migrate it to LXLe Linux where I hope things will be better.
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Re: having difficulty with open office writer on Windows 10

Postby RoryOF » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:14 pm

Remember that you can run most (all?) linux distros from a "Live DVD" or "Live USB" (better) to try out until you find the one that best suits you. I have standardised on Xubuntu, but there are many others.
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Re: Difficulty with OpenOffice Writer on Windows 10

Postby keme » Wed Dec 28, 2016 10:26 am

On all HP laptops I have bought over the last few years, it is easy to disable and enable the touchpad. Hopefully, the ENVY line is no different.

A small amber light in the upper left corner indicates that it is enabled. Double tap that corner.

Always fun when our students come in with their laptops, complaining that "mouse isn't working". Takes me about half a second to fix it, and another half second to state "working now". You can imagine the looks I get (awe, disbelief) - priceless.
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Re: Difficulty with OpenOffice Writer on Windows 10

Postby Siarach » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:44 pm

Thank you all for the helpful emails. I took the advice to go Control panel>hardware> synaptics. This led me to try adjusting various things. Unclicking Clicking and/or tapping made no real difference. When I made adjustments under sensitivity, it made no difference. Then I notice that on the far right end of the highlit sensitivity bar, there was a gogged wheel, which usually stands for 'settings'. When I clicked on , it gave me a scale 1-6 from light touch to 'heavy touch' The pointer was set at 2. I moved it t o 3, and my cursor was much more stable. I then moved it to 4. Since then I have felt quite happy with my Windows 10. I would say, 'Problem Solved'. Siarach.
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