I've come up with what i consider a clever workaround to the dissapearing cursor problem. It requires a 3rd party utility called iKey which some of you here may be familiar with.
My normal ikey shortcut for the Apple mail app has always been Control E. Since iKey allows you to create a sequence of commands all contained in one shortcut, I simply added the command for opening a new email message and then closing that window. This effectively restores the cursor to exactly where i was previously in my email compose window.
I just needed to add a few timing adjustments to make sure that the process happens very quickly but not so quickly that the mail app can't handle it.
The result is quite cool... it takes less than one second to put me back into my desired email where I can continue typing where I left off.
Now I don't give a crap how long it takes Apple to fix this... I'm a happy camper. My work flow is no longer being disrupted. If you're interested, you can get iKey at plumamazing.com and they do offer a free trial.
You defne a shortcut and give it a name like "mail app"
You add the first action which is to switch to the desired app (mail app or whatever)
You add the second action which is the keyboard command N, that opens a new mail message or window.
You add a third command which is the keyboard command W, that closes the frontmost window. [This will restore the cursor in your primary mail compose window.]
Give the shortcut a trigger, i.e. launcher, typically a command like Control E or whatever is convenient for you.
Save the shortcut.
Test the shortcut.
If it works for you, you're done. If it doesn't, you may need to add some "wait time" actions for 1 second or less to give the mail app a chance to keep up with ikey.
The wait time actions are in the ikey utility section. You may need to adjust the timing a bit either increasing or decreasing the amount of wait time so that the shortcut interacts nicely with the app. As you can see from attached screen shot, I got my wait time down to .1 seconds.
All of the above was done with the mail app. I'm not sure how it will work with other apps but it should be fine with some tweaking.
Here's a screen shot of my completed shortcut. Enjoy...
Michael, you're welcome. Glad you like iKey. I agree that it is awesome. Yes, Applescript is not userfriendly and is quirky too.
The best way to learn iKey is to simply practice creating shortcuts that take care of your every day repetetive tasks.
Necessity is the mother of invention so as you dig in to create new shortcuts, you'll become familiar with the wide range of actions. I use iKey for all my app launches and switches and I use it in Filemaker Pro do some cool menu actions.
On the web, it is powerful for bringing up websites and performing actions you do often. Have fun with it!
I have been doing the same with command-print followed by the escape key (-P + esc), but it is still crazy that you have to do this. As this is the first OS that has had this problem, Apple should have fixed it. To say "I am now a happy camper" seems to say OK, Apple, no need to fix this or find the root of the issue. As it effects other programs, Apple still needs to fix this!!!
I know... why don't we write another script to turn wi-fi off and on to eliminate the effect of that bad bit of ML code that has been causing so many of us net dropouts in ML, and then there are all the adobe issues hordes of others have been experiencing - more work-arounds? Maybe I just got up on the wrong side of bed, but saying that we are happy with these workarounds is not sufficient. Fix the problem Apple!
The app store application "pinpoint" is extremely useful for dealing with the disappearing cursor. It is designed to make it easier to find the cursor so it puts a rotating halo around the cursor that follows the cursor at all times. The halo can be adjusted for color, transparency and size. I make it orange brown and about 75% transparent so it is not annoying. When the regular cursor disappears, the halo remains, so you always know where the invisible cursor is. You can bring the cursor back by lighting up an application icon on the bottom bar or by clicking up top and probably other ways.
I don't know if you're quibbling over terminology or what. The llittle arrow is what I call the cursor. And yes, pinpoint does put a halo around the cursor. Here is a video of pinpoint (dropbox link good for 30 days)
I agree Apple needs to fix this and I've been pushing them very hard.
The insertion point, not the cursor, is what gets hidden. To see what I mean by insertion point, begin typing a reply and you'll see the blinking vertical line-- that's the insertion point and what disappears in Mail, Notes and some other programs after a "Hide Other" command.
With pinpoint the arrow cursor is highlighted--- if you do that now you'll see it can move all about the screen, but the (not hidden) insertion point vertical line is blinking on and off.
Wednesday 20 March 2013
You are correct—the symptom involves the (i-beam) insertion point rather than the (arrow) cursor.
I have seen this symptom in Mail on my Mountain Lion.3 iMac but not in Mail on my Lion.5 MacBook Pro; and in Safari Reader mode on my Lion.5 MacBook Pro.
In addition to the absence of the insertion point, I have noticed that after selecting text, the highlighting is in grey rather than in the system highlight color (I have my Macs configured for highlighting to be in red; your's might be different).
When the symptom happens in Safari Reader, I can recover from it by closing Reader and then reopening it.
When the symptom happens in Mail, I can recover from it by bringing Mail's Viewer window to the front and then switch back to the problematic message window.
This behavior leads me to think that the symptom might be due to a loss of focus.
I agree 110% - (and ironically I'm into red as a highlighter, too!-- guess after I got my new Volvo S60 RED in 2010 - well the lawnmower is now red, the CushPad for my iPad, my logitec mouse and I'm a dried cherries imported from Michigan fanatic…)
Yes everything exactly as you wrote it-- I have the same problems with my MacBook Pro-13" mid-2010 running 10.8.3 Mountain Lion-- (and 10x faster with my new SSD 512 gb - like a brand-new Mac for 1/6th the price!).
I sent in a bug report back in Sept 2012 - have updated it twice, but 10.8.0, .1, .2, now 10.8.3 -- this has not been solved, maybe not even addressed? I never had this with LION 10.7.x, never with snow leopard, leaopard nor with my 1989 Mac SE running 6.0.4 (checked the other day-- no missing insertion point issues there).
OK and today I noticed it in Apple's NOTES -- the same grey highlighting and no insertion point (i-beam) but of course one can type away and the letters appear--- until you need to move to a new point then *@$%^*@&$! - so it needs addressing. We've got the fix, but it's not a cure---
...and I wonder if it is related to the finder windows changing in ICON view? Background color or picture, icon size, sort-by and more-- all goes back to some 32x32 unsorted white background 2-10 times/day for no reason at all. Another Mountain Lion first-- yet I love dictation in ML (and on my iPad 3 - I basically don't type any longer-- just talk!) and other things about ML are great---
I'll re-update my bug report and write another letter to Apple…
Thanks for any additional feedback if you see a cure--- with 10.8.4 OR will it be Tues 30 July 2013 for OS 10.9 Lynx… (that's my guess!)
Tuesday 26 March 2013