Productivity - Microsoft updates messing with mouse functioning in Word

This post is a much a note to myself for the next time this happens, sorry for the indulgence but I hope it helps someone else too. I've just lost too much time looking for the answer to this when it happens. As it's VERY important to get these steps exactly right, you just don't want to go with the "I think this was what I did last time" attitude.

Immediately after an automatic update from Microsoft I was no longer able to use my mouse within a Word 2007 document. It didn't matter if it was a new document or an existing one. The only thing I could make the mouse action on were the ribbons. Word allowed me to move around and work in the document with keyboard stroke but nothing was happening with the mouse.

Now I've been experiencing this problem on my Vista base laptop for over a year now but today was the first issue with the Windows 7 based desktop. At least now Microsoft has finally admitted that it's a problem of THEIR creation and is directly related to these automatic updates. On that page they offer an automatic fix but that doesn't work for every installation - including new Windows 7 setup.

They do also offer a manual fix and while it sounds scary to start, it's easy to do and works perfectly.

Important: This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

322756  ( ) How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To resolve this problem, delete the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Word\Data registry subkey. To do this, follow these steps:

   1. Exit all Office programs.
   2. Click the Start button, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

      If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
   3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:

   4. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes.
   5. Exit Registry Editor.
   6. Restart Word.

That should do it for you and now I have easy access to the problem resolution for the next time this happens. I know my productivity would probably be increased even further if I turned off Microsoft's automatic updates but I kind of like having updates happen without my having to initiate them.

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