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Stop Microsoft Word’s Cursor from Jumping Around

It wasn’t a poltergeist, but for a short while, the supernatural seemed like a reasonable explanation for a customer’s problem. She was typing in Microsoft Word 2011 for the Mac, and the page kept jumping around, thanks to the cursor moving to different parts of the document without her doing anything.

At first I didn’t believe her, just as none of the other tech support professionals had, either. Then the problem happened to me while I was showing her how to work with numbered lists.

Other help desks had her delete Word’s preferences, reinstall Microsoft Office, and jump through other essentially random hoops, to no avail. They even suggested that perhaps her trackpad was accepting input from her wrists, but she wasn’t touching it.

To solve the problem, I went to the Review tab. Even though Change Tracking was off, the Tracking view said, “Final Showing Markup.” We changed this dropdown menu to “Final” and the jumping stopped.

“Final Showing Markup” is the default setting in MS Word, so we were unable to learn why her computer was affected while most others are not. But making this change solves the issue of mysterious cursor movement in a Word document.

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