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Microsoft really has got to fix the Ctrl+C Bug (doesn't work sometimes)

Ctrl+C issue  

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+warwagon    12,166

I don't know if anyone else here has noticed that ctrl+c sometimes doesn't work. You will select something, press ctrl+c only to realize when you go and paste that nothing got copied to the clipboard. I find it happening more and more. So annoying!

I thought it was just me until I heard this on security now a while back.

STEVE: I absolutely wanted to chime in on Paul Thurrott's...

LEO: Oh, the copy-and-paste thing.

STEVE: Yes.

LEO: Yeah.

STEVE: I'm sure there is something broken.

LEO: Oh, this is great. I mean, it's been driving me crazy. And Paul, too, because we just thought it was us.

STEVE: Yeah, I know. And that was me, too. In fact, it's gotten so bad for me that I'm sometimes right-clicking on the blob that I select and then choosing copy because Ctrl-C just doesn't seem to grab it all the time.

LEO: Mm-hmm.

STEVE: And, I mean, and I'm sure the app has focus. We should back up a little bit for people who aren't aware.

LEO: Yeah, let's explain it, yeah, yeah.

STEVE: Yeah. I was listening to you and Paul do Windows Weekly last Thursday. And Paul said, you know, he was sort of scratching his head. He said, "You know, it's occurred to me that maybe there's actually a bug that no one has ever detected before, which who knows when it came along; but it's, like, Windows is not reliably responding to Ctrl-C for copying whatever is currently marked into the Windows clipboard." And when he said that, I mean, when I heard him say that, I thought, yeah. I mean, this is - it's been something that's been really annoying for some length of time. And I don't know when they broke it or how they broke it. But, I mean, it's not - it doesn't always not work. But it definitely - and as you said, Leo, it's so easy for the whole Windows community to think, well, maybe I just...

LEO: It's us.

STEVE: ...pressed the wrong button, or it didn't have focus, or I didn't press it hard enough or, I mean, who knows?

LEO: Right.

STEVE: But as enough people are beginning to say yes, that's happening to me, too, there's this growing momentum behind this idea that there's some subtle bug in good old Windows copy-and-paste that isn't, at least in the copy side, that isn't copying. In fact, sometimes I'll be pasting what I had on the clipboard before because it didn't get replaced by the Ctrl-C. So it seems that pasting is reliable, but copying often isn't. And who knows why?

LEO: Well, you know, you probably heard him say that Microsoft's sending somebody out. They want to observe and see. They're trying to figure it out. They're not saying there's a bug. But they want to find out if there is one. And enough people are reporting. Now, during the show I said, yeah, I've had it happen to me. And I thought it hadn't - but I use Macs most of the time, and it hadn't happened to me on Macs. So I've been paying attention, and it has happened to me on Macs, as well. Occasionally on a Macintosh you will select text, do a Command-C, which is copy command on the Mac. And the Mac highlights briefly the edit menu when you do that to say, yeah, I got a Command-C, so you know that the Command-C has been issued. And you'll go to another field, and there's nothing there. You'll paste, and there's nothing there.

So my sense is, and I don't know how the Windows paste board works. I know how the Mac's does because I used to write more software for the Mac. And it stores data on the paste board with formatting, and sometimes in a variety of ways, depending on the application, what the application is saying. So the application may say, well, I want you to say this is text, RTF, whatever. The receiving application would have to understand that formatting. And my sense is that sometimes there's an impedance mismatch between the data that was copied and what can be pasted in the target program. And so on the Mac I think that's what's happening. But I don't know what's happening on Windows, or if it's related. I imagine the mechanism is the same.

STEVE: Yes, it's a very similar mechanism. And you are able, for example, you're able to copy rich text, for example, that's got, like, much more embellishments on the text, into the Windows clipboard. And then, if you paste that into an app which is not rich text-aware, that is, the app only knows plain text, then you just - it strips the rich text out and only does plain text.

LEO: Is that an OS feature? Or...

STEVE: Yeah, well, it's a feature of the app saying this is what I'm able to accept. And then Windows looks at what's on the clipboard and gives it, like, the best of what it's able to accept.

LEO: Right, right, right.

STEVE: So, but it could be something like you're positing, also.

LEO: Some sort of mismatch, yeah.

STEVE: Yeah.

LEO: Well, we don't know. I think - I'm glad, though, that you've observed it. I have, as well. And maybe...

STEVE: Something's wrong, yeah.

LEO: You know, my motto on Call For Help was always, "It's not your fault." Because we assume, I think it's natural, oh, I'm doing something wrong. And it often isn't.

STEVE: Well, and with something so fundamental. I mean, if we didn't have the clipboard - I'm using it constantly on the iPad. I'm using it constantly in Windows. I mean, it's just so handy for moving things around. And it's just, wow. The idea that it's something wrong with that, it's like, okay, that's - who knows when it kind of crept in? But it seems to be happening. Speaking of my iPad, I did have it hang, actually many times, but once at a perfect opportunity for me to go back to the Apple store.

LEO: Good, good

*****************************

LEO: Right. Question 3 from listener Matt. He says, "Please, Sir, can I have some more?" Episode 248 was fantastic. Oh, and you're right about ctrl-c, the copy-paste bug. It's been like that for a few years. So much so that it's second nature for me to always now press ctrl-cc. And that always works. But it's a pain in MS Office because it brings up a multiple-paste toolbar. So everybody's responding to this. I mean, apparently it's something people are really having happen.

STEVE: Yes. I wanted to drop this in for Matt, mostly as a placeholder and reminder. Many of our listeners have responded that they were so happy to hear this brought up.

LEO: Not just you.

STEVE: Because they've been thinking it was just them for a long time. And one person wrote a lengthy piece of email where he's convinced this happened at Service Pack 3.

LEO: Oh, interesting. Of XP.

STEVE: Of XP, and it's in Vista and 7, that Microsoft did deliberately, in their security enhancements for Service Pack 3, they changed the way the keyboard hooking technology works in order to thwart some behavior of keystroke logging. And that it's his belief - and this is not confirmed, but I just wanted to share it - that that was the boundary; that Service Pack 2 works fine, reliably, and that it got broken somehow subtly when Microsoft went to Service Pack 3 and beyond, that that was the boundary. And it had something to do with the way Microsoft increased the security in order to thwart keystroke logging. So I don't know whether that's true or not, but I thought that was an interesting thought. And I know that Paul and Microsoft are pursuing this. So if you think of it when you talk to Paul again...

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articuno1au    1,264

All you Brother Warwagon.

I've never had problems with it..

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remixedcat    2,767

depends on the application.... some let you and some don't....

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ahhell    1,303

I think it's just you. I've never had an issue.

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Pam14160    319

Same as the others. . .no problems.

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Andrew Lyle    336

I sometimes have issues with it, but I just keep thinking I'm missing the C or something.

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+warwagon    12,166

nvm

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Cask1    68

I've had it happen sometimes, very annoying!

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+warwagon    12,166

I've had it happen sometimes, very annoying!

ya when it happens I get so ****ed I do ctrl+CCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

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DKAngel    273

yeah cant say ive ever had a cntrl c bug, but as stated some programs dont let u

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Davo    146

I've always thought it was because my keyboard had bad connectivity or I wasn't pressing it right

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+warwagon    12,166

yeah cant say ive ever had a cntrl c bug, but as stated some programs dont let u

the bug is, if you go back and do a ctrl+c a 2nd time then it copies

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SoCalRox    196

I have had it happen many times. It really is irritating.

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Boxster17    78

Used to happen to me here and there, though now I've gotten in the habit of mashing that C button a couple times to make sure I get it. I could swear that I hit the keys everytime that I supposedly 'missed' it....

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+warwagon    12,166

Poll added to the thread. Please Vote.

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Andrew Lyle    336

Used to happen to me here and there, though now I've gotten in the habit of mashing that C button a couple times to make sure I get it. I could swear that I hit the keys everytime that I supposedly 'missed' it....

Lol that's what I have to do sometimes too, sucks, but it's the only way I know how to copy when it doesn't work.

Also, multi option poll? You have either experienced it or you haven't :p

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+warwagon    12,166

Lol that's what I have to do sometimes too, sucks, but it's the only way I know how to copy when it doesn't work.

Also, multi option poll? You have either experienced it or you haven't :p

What would option C be? (no pun intended)

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Innuendo    21

I've used every version of Windows since 1993 and I have never had Ctrl-C not work unless it was a badly coded program which didn't let Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V work at all.

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Slammers    114

Yeh I always hit it twice incase it doesn't work. I mean it does 99% of the time. But I am on a computer ALL day at work and alot of the time at home and I probably use ctrl + c at least 20 times an hour while and work and it definately doesn't register once or twice a day. Well at least it didn't untill I started hitting it twice.

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Mikee4fun    12

Your pressing your keystrokes the wrong way, never had this happen except when typing too fast.

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qdave    159

It happens but very rarely.

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farmeunit    612

Your pressing your keystrokes the wrong way, never had this happen except when typing too fast.

How do you press CTRL+C "the wrong way"? I've had this happen before and it's not that the programs don't support it because it's usually between the same set of programs for me. It works more often than not, but . . .

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Boxster17    78

Poll isn't what I was expecting it to be, perhaps it's all part of a ploy just to make us think that we're actually the problem, as they're unable to fix it....

..... unless it was a badly coded program which didn't let Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V work at all.

Had a program at work that wouldn't let you use the keyboard shortcuts, but you could use the edit menu to do so (or something weird along those lines). Then on top of that since we only really went in to adjust wrong numbers, the numpad worked just fine which was great, but the Enter key there didn't and you had to reach back over to the main one. These restrictions/issues completely kill efficiency in the work environment considering your right hand is usually on the mouse navigating the forms/cells.

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+Xinok    294

I used to have this problem. I would press Ctrl+C multiple times, Ctrl+X, or right click > copy.

Now I use a clipboard manager called Ditto, and I configured it to make a sound every time I copy something to the clipboard. I've noticed that sometimes Ditto will capture what I copied to the clipboard, but when I try to paste, nothing happens because the clipboard is empty. So that might be related to this "bug".

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Stoffel    1,810

Same here, work 99% of the time but once and a while it just doesn't work first time

And yeah I too get annoyed and hit that C key a million times at that point :)

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