Visual Studio 2010: Editor stops responding to keyboard

0 votes
asked Jul 22, 2010 by chuck-le-butt

I've got this very odd bug that appears to be a quirk in Visual Studio 2010: Sometimes, when moving the cursor into double quotes of a CSS style="" attribute the cursor refuses to move. I can't type anything, and the keys that respond are the UP/DOWN cursor keys and the DEL key (but not BACKSPACE).

Typing does nothing, but pushing LEFT/RIGHT on the cursor keys produces the following error:

The operation could not be completed

I've got no idea what's causing this, but I would hazard a guess that Intellisense is getting very confused and bugging out.

At the moment, whenever this happens, I have to write any CSS outsite of the double quotes of the style attribute and then place the cursor where I want the CSS to appear (using the mouse) and press CTRL-V to paste it in. Very annoying :(

There must be a way of fixing this problem...?

Hopefully someone has an answer!

12 Answers

0 votes
answered Jul 3, 2011 by rob-quincey

Microsoft have had variations on this problem reported quite a few times via their support portal. Here is one post and if you scroll down you will see a comment with a bunch of other reports all detailing similar(ish) problems.

Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to reproduce the problem but are "duping all the similar keyboard locking problems to a central bug, so that we can think a way to log the events if necessary". Which seems to be a generic response to a lot of these posts. Some people reported that it was simply becuase another window/pane/tab was in focus but I can see the OP obviously did not have this specific problem. Looks to me like one of those random unresolvable bugs. Hope I never get it! There's also numerous forum posts around the Internet, where users stated that removing certain 3rd party plugins has solved this issue.

I just spotted this particular post which has a possibly useful comment on it for you (which also link to this SO post. As I do not have the bug I cannot test its validity for you. The main point of it seems to be something about the keyboard layout switching.

I'm sorry for putting all this into an answer when technically it is not an answer and just a mass of research, but there was no way this was gonna fit into a comment. And also sorry for pretty much link spamming, but again there was no way I could extract everything that they said into this post. I hope there is something useful in there for you :)

EDIT: You should probably check the top rated answer below as this seems to solve a number of peoples issues, although I never had the Resharper plugin and still occasionally experienced this, but now I'm on VS2013 and have not had this problem re-occur, so maybe they fixed it...

0 votes
answered Jul 4, 2011 by mrchief

I frequently encounter this editor freeze, not just on CSS quotes but any file arbitrarily. I have a dual monitor setp and I have the doucment windows one one monitor and all tool windows on the next one. Sometimes, certain tool windows would freeze too (i.e. not respond to click).

Previously, I used to shutdown/restart IDE; but serendipitously, I discovered that switching to/from Full Screen mode, restores sanity. So now everytme I see a freeze, mode switching comes to rescue.

Not sure if this will solve your issue, but worth a shot.

Rant: In general, I find this new WPF based product very falky and unstable than its predeccessors.

0 votes
answered Jul 4, 2011 by mark-redman

I have some odd issues with the editor occasionally, a workaround for me is: 

Ctrl-Tab (x2) to another code file and back to the same code (or alt tab to another app and back, one of these two... can't replicate issue to be sure)

An ultimate solution might be a re-install.

0 votes
answered Jul 4, 2011 by andrew-steitz

I never had the problem until I installed plugins/extensions. Curious to know if anyone has had this problem without having any plugins/extensions installed. I don't know if they are the actual cause but since benefits of the plugins outweigh the occasional lockup, I have left them installed. BTW, I use the "closing/reopening of the window with the lockup" technique.

0 votes
answered Jul 5, 2011 by raz0r

Permanently fixing... Not too sure however I found that pressing pressing Ctrl+Shift+Caps Lock+Tab all at once seems to get rid of this and enables the mouse and keyboard again. I know this isn't the best of solutions but it works.

0 votes
answered Jul 29, 2011 by caesar

I have the same problem on IDE, some times the Return key is not working at all... My solution is: CLEAN the project/solution.

BTW: CLEANing resolve also other unexpected behaviours after amendements on CSS or HTML.

0 votes
answered Jul 5, 2012 by k4gdw

I have the same problem several times a day. I didn't notice it until I installed the web essentials extension. I just uninstalled it and will see what happens. I have tried reinstalling visual studio with no joy (but again, I didn't notice the problem until after I had already installed the various extensions).

Sometimes, closing and re-opening the specific code window I'm working in fixes it. If that fails, sometimes I close all windows and reopen just the one I was actively editing. If all of that fails it usually requires a complete restart of visual studio.

I find it funny that MSFT says that they can't duplicate the problem. Scott Guthrie experienced it first hand during his MVC4 beta demo here at about 28 minutes in.

UPDATE: So far, as of 4-5-2012 9:33am Central Time, the problem hasn't recurred since uninstalling Web Essentials. This is the longest I've gone without this bug occurring. If I make it through the next 24 hours, I'll be confident in blaming Web Essentials.

UPDATE: 4-6-2012 10:05am Central Time: Well, apparently it wasn't Web Essentials. It happened to me again this morning editing the contents of a block in my _Layout.vbhtml file. Closing the tab and reopening it fixed it.

0 votes
answered Jul 11, 2014 by davy8

I tried every other workaround here but nothing seemed to work, and the issue was only present in one solution but not another.

Disabling Resharper fixed it temporarily but it came back after re-enabling it which wasn't a viable long-term solution.

What worked for me was disabling all Resharper Extensions (Under Resharper -> Extension Manager). I was able to type again even after re-enabling all of them, so I'm unsure which extension specifically caused the issue, but that's another route to try for people who still have this issue.

0 votes
answered Jul 17, 2014 by jerry

I have encountered this using Visual Studio 2013 and Resharper 8.2.1. None of the solutions provided in this thread worked (even suspending and resuming Resharper)

After contacting JetBrains support, it turned out to be a caching issue.

Deleting all the files from the following directory solved the issue, as Resharper re-creates new caches:

0 votes
answered Jul 17, 2014 by erez-cohen

Just encountered the issue in VS 2012, in editing C#.
I noticed that the problem had occurred soon after the trial period of Resharper has ended and i inserted a valid license number. It also happened in only some of the source files.
The solution: Tools->Options->Resharper: Suspend.
Try typing - should work now.
Then: Tools->Options->Resharper: Resume.
Problem gone.

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