Weird thing happening in Word/Office 2010

Okay, so I’m typing away at a document and all of a sudden the punctuation went weird.

Like instead of a period (.) it would only do (>) And the num lock key stopped functioning for the keypad section and nothing would type at all.

And all the numbers would type the upper case and nothing else. Instead of “1” you’d only get “!”; hitting “2” gets you @. And so on.

Only thing that gets me out of it is closing everything down and doing Magic Mr. Reboot. About every 15-20 minutes. Which makes you very slow. Which is incredibly annoying when you’re paid by the audio hour.

Not finding anything on this anywhere … I know it sounds weird. It IS weird.

Windows 7, by the way. HP/Compaq laptop.

Also using “Express Scribe” and “Shorthand10;” I’m transcribing, of course. They don’t usually conflict, this is a basic transcription setup.

Anybody seen this? I really don’t want to have to stop work and try to reinstall Office … please don’t let that be my only solution.

Would love any useful information. Thanks.

It sounds almost like a keyboard issue. Otherwise I got nothing.

Is it happening in all apps… browser, search bar, etc., or only in Word?

Only in Word. Everything else seems fine.

Found this, hope it helps:

This happens to me about once a week. Either Windows or the application “misses” the key release event (WM_KEYUP message) for the Shift or Ctrl key, so it thinks I’m still pressing the key after I’ve released it. In my case I can usually get back to normal by pressing and releasing the offending keys.

When the problem happens, try pressing the left Shift and letting go, then pressing the right Shift and letting go, and see if your keyboard is back to normal after that.

You can also try disabling StickyKeys from Control Panel.

Thanks for the tips.

Don’t have anything like Sticky Keys turned on … but this is an older HP machine so may be something not good happening here. Already replaced the keyboard once on this machine … may be due for another one, perhaps; I type a lot, probably more than this machine was designed to deal with.

I appreciate everyone that weighed in on this issue. Thanks.

I will try that; if that takes me back to baseline it’s much better than cold reboot. Thanks!

Borrow another keyboard and see if the problem persists. Since it’s only Word, it’s probably software, but it’s worth a quick try to eliminate the hardware possibilities.

Last time I had weird stuff happening, it was the batteries in my cordless keyboard.

You can turn sticky keys on by pressing Shift five times in a row. Then, similar to what Heracles suggested, try turning it on then back off.

I can confirm that there isn’t any compatibility problem with Express Scribe and Word – I use them both simultaneously all the time.

You say you don’t have Sticky Keys turned on, but could it have been turned on without your knowledege? The behavior you describe could definitely be caused by Sticky Keys. In Windows 7, you get to it by opening the Control Panel, then “Ease of Access Center.” There are a bunch of options there, one of which permits you to adjust various keyboard settings. Go there and see if “Turn on Sticky Keys” or “Turn on Toggle Keys” or “Turn on Filter Keys” are checked. They shouldn’t be (unless you want those feature activated, which I’m pretty sure you don’t).

Here’s a Hail Mary move. Close Word. Go into your templates folder (File > Options > Advanced > File Locations… > User templates if you don’t know where they’re stored) and rename Normal.dotm to NormalOLD.dotm. Open Word. Word will create a new Normal template (but you will lose any customizations). If this doesn’t fix it, you can always reverse the steps to restore your old Normal template.

One of my work computers frequently switches from English to French keyboard layout on its own while I am working in MS Office. Maybe something similar is happening to you.