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I have this issue where the entire text in text boxes is selected whilst I'm typing in it. For example, in FireFox search box I'd try to type "foo" but end up with "o" because I managed to type "fo" before everything was selected, and then typed "o" which replaced the "fo".

When it happens, it is incessant - not just a one-off. But it doesn't happen all the time, and I haven't managed to figure out what causes it to start and stop.

Is this a known problem with an easy solution?

EDIT: this has nothing to do with touchpad. I get this occasionally even on a machine without one. I can usually rectify the issue just be alt-tabbing about a few times.

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same here. Very very annoying. Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop. Ubuntu 10.10. Latest firefox 3.6.13. It happens on text input fields and search bar. – user11281 Feb 22 '11 at 13:10
up vote 5 down vote accepted

This has also been reported as a bug at

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Do you have a touchpad? Without any more information given here, the most likely case in my experience is inadvertent events by the touchpad since it notices not only touches but also close proximity movements. However, due to the lack of information, this is just a guess.

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+1 I do have a touchpad. But are you saying that I'm triggering this problem, or that the hardware or drivers are faulty? I'm quite sure it's not me near the touchpad, but I'll make doubly sure next time this happens. – Kent Boogaart Sep 7 '10 at 20:12
I sm not sure if you can configure the sensitivity of the touchpad, however, I believe you can temporarily switch it on and off. – txwikinger Sep 7 '10 at 20:21

I have the same problem, and it's infuriating me! I just took a closer look at what was happening:

  • with my mouse over the text field, this problem occurred
  • I could type characters quickly, and when I slowed down is when it seemed to select everything
  • At first, it would only happen if there were 9 characters or under
  • Having convinced myself it is not due to my touch pad sending false clicks, I moved my mouse off of the text field and the problem persisted
  • At some point, the upper cap on the number of characters replaced went down to 5

With my extremely limited understanding of firefox, I think it may be due to a plug in. Unless, @Kent, have you made another firefox profile? That is the only odd thing I have done to my firefox...

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No, I'm just using standard profile. I do have some add-ons though, so perhaps they're the root cause. – Kent Boogaart Oct 25 '10 at 17:59

I have been experiencing this problem intermittently for several months across to systems. Ubuntu 10.04 laptop and 10.10 desktop both are up to date.

Whilst most frequently it happens in the search box but occasionally i have the noticed the same thing happen when i go the the subject field of a new email in gmail (rare but happens) so i suggest it is not limited to the search box.

Another bug i've noticed that seems to occur at similar times (and also seems to be fixed by alt-tabbing) is that when i type in the search box i dont get a search on my history. Usually when i start typing say 'mail' i get a drop down including '' but at these times this doesnt happen. I can't say for sure these bugs are related as i haven't tested the correlation enough yet.

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