Date: prev next · Thread: first prev next last
2014 Archives by date, by thread · List index

Not sure; it's just a possibility to rule out. One possible explanation is that the seemingly "stuck" key doesn't have any effect in other applications you use. In Gnucash, Shift+Arrow keys or Shift+Click just moves the selection - the same as just pressing the arrow keys or clicking without holding Shift - so you may not notice if Shift was "stuck". In LO Calc, Shift+Arrow or Shift+Click selects a range of cells rather than moving the selection, so you do notice different behaviour.

In the case of the Shift key appearing stuck you'd notice it as soon as you type a letter and get upper case instead of lower case though... but perhaps you usually want to start with an upper case letter anyway so press and release shift while typing that letter - and releasing the key would likely clear the fault for the following lower case letter.

Since this only seems to happen occasionally, if you're not able to change the keyboard long term perhaps just carry on as normal and next time it does start happening try pressing (and releasing) each of the Ctrl, Alt and Shift keys in turn (remember there are often two of each, so press and release both in turn). If that then clears the faulty behaviour, it sounds even more like a faulty keyboard / cable / hub - doing this sends a "key down" and "key up" message for each key, and chances are that this time the "key up" messages get through OK indicating to the PC that the key is no longer held down.

Or it may not the problem in your case - as I said, just a possibility to rule out. I have experienced strange symptoms like you describe before which did turn out to be a faulty keyboard, USB hub or cable (can't remember exactly which bit of hardware was at fault, but the symptom was that the PC would occasionally act as if a key was held down even though it wasn't, and pressing and releasing that key would clear the fault).


Gregory Forster wrote:
Hi Mark,

That gives me something else to try - plugging in another keyboard. This
notebook computer is still under warranty and now would be the time to
find out.   But what still puzzles me, is why only Calc? Why doesn't it
affect any other program?  I extensively use Gnucash also.  One thing I
failed to mention, all my Gnucash files, as well as many personal LO
medical and financial files are encrypted using Truecrypt.  I have
Truecrypt running to access Gnucash as well as many personal medical and
financial files (IRA spreadsheet).  But, as I told Tom, I've completed
my IRA spreadshheet, so now I have to think up of some other elaborate


On 8/6/2014 11:42 AM, Mark Bourne wrote:
To rule out the keyboard possibility, perhaps try a different
keyboard, plugged directly into the PC (no USB hubs or other cables in

I've previously found that a faulty keyboard (or USB cable or hub
between keyboard and PC) can act as if keys get stuck down (seems like
the PC sometimes gets the "key down" message but not the "key up"
message, so thinks it's still held down). A "stuck" character key is
usually obvious as it keeps repeating, but not so obvious with Ctrl,
Alt, Shift, etc. which only have an effect when you press something
else - which then doesn't do what you expect. If pressing and
releasing keys a few times "unsticks" them (PC gets the "key up"
message this time), which it sounds like you've found with the shift
key, that may well be the cause.

I'm not sure if combinations of Ctrl, Alt, Shift or other keys along
with those you're pressing can cause the effects you describe. Perhaps
more likely if you're using the numpad arrows (rather than the
separate arrow keys) as those keys can enter other characters when Alt
is held down - e.g. for me Alt+822 (up, down, down) gives "6" and
Alt+826 (up, down, right) gives ":". Certainly Shift + Click or arrow
keys selects an area rather than moving the active cell.


Gregory Forster wrote:
Woops, I meant to click the spell-check and not the send.  That all
explains well for the unexplained highlighting, but what about the
random ;6 (semi-colon and the number six) at times, or the random :
(colon) at times, replacing cell contents by just pressing a directional
arrow key.  That,  I can't  figure out.  No, I won't sack my tech (he's
my son - we work together). It ONLY happens with LO Calc, not Impress,
or Writer, or Base, or any other program.  In fact, I extensively use
Gnucash.  I am the Treasurer, Financial Accountant and do the payroll
for church and also use Gnucash for personal finance records - No

However, you did give me ideas and reminders.   I've always been very
passionate about backups and keeping your hard drive clean from malware,
viruses, rootkits, etc. of which we also nag our clients about..  I
forgot about keeping the keyboard clean.  Thank you.


On 8/5/2014 1:58 AM, Brian Barker wrote:
At 22:25 04/08/2014 -0500, Gregory Forster wrote:
I have an inconsistent and not often issue with Calc. [...] Calc does
weird things now and then. [...] Sometimes, I complete a calculation
in a cell, and press the Enter or Down Arrow key. My calculation will
disappear and a ;6 will appear in the cell. Or I may randomly
highlight a cell to check a formula, then when I press a directional
arrow, my calculation will disappear and a : will reside in that
cell. Sometimes, I'll just move an arrow key, or the mouse to move
from one cell to another and wherever I move will highlight as if I
was holding down the Shift key. [...]  This all started in early
July. [...] I changed different versions of LibreOffice (vs 4). I
have LO 4.3.0, 4.2.5, 4.2.2, 4.1.4, 4.1.3, 4.1.2, and 4.0.3 (which I
am currently using).  I still had the same issues with whichever
version used.

I discussed the issues and history with another tech and he reasoned
(the same as I) that LO was having memory conflict issues with one or
more simultaneous running programs.

What, you mean that LibreOffice - in many different versions - is
improperly sharing memory with other programs for you but not for
anyone else? And why would that behaviour change in early July?
Perhaps you should sack your "tech".

My questions are: Has anyone else experienced the same?

I doubt it - at least, not as a problem with the software.

Does my reasoning sound feasible?


Any ideas?

If you spend a lot of time on one project or using one application, it
is very easy to blame a more general problem with your computer on the
particular application.
o Try draining the spilt coffee from your keyboard.
o Try shaking the biscuit crumbs from your keyboard.
o Try poking out the cat hairs from your keyboard.
o Try running your computer manufacturer's diagnostics (especially
those for the keyboard).
o Try attaching an external keyboard and using for a sufficient period
to test.
o Does your notebook have a trackpad? Is your thumb or palm grazing
the trackpad as you move your fingers about? You won't believe this is
possible, so get someone else to watch as you use the system for a
period. Try temporarily disabling the trackpad or reducing its
sensitivity to test.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

To unsubscribe e-mail to:
Posting guidelines + more:
List archive:
All messages sent to this list will be publicly archived and cannot be deleted


Privacy Policy | Impressum (Legal Info) | Copyright information: Unless otherwise specified, all text and images on this website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. This does not include the source code of LibreOffice, which is licensed under the Mozilla Public License (MPLv2). "LibreOffice" and "The Document Foundation" are registered trademarks of their corresponding registered owners or are in actual use as trademarks in one or more countries. Their respective logos and icons are also subject to international copyright laws. Use thereof is explained in our trademark policy.