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David Jenner2 Level 1 Level 1

I have a problem with Apple Mail when I cut some text and paste it somewhere else within the message it doesn't go in where the cursor is located! Instead it pastes into what appears to be a random place elsewhere in the message usually at the start of the line or paragraph.


It's really strange and completely unfathomable. The only solution I've found is to put in a couple of returns paste it in to the message then move the cursor up and delete the newly added line breaks.


I thought it might be a font issue so I changed my default font from Arial to Trebuchet and it's still doing it. This doesn't appear to happen in any other application.


This is not exclusive to Snow Leopard as it does it on my Mac at home which is running Lion.


Any advice gratefully received.



iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10

    I've found that to re-arrange things in an email I'm building, like changing the order of lines or paragraphs, it's easier to selct what I want to move and then drag it to where I want it to be, rather than do a cut/paste operation.

  • David Jenner2 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Don,


    Thanks for your reply.

    I tried dragging and dropping and I still have the same problem.

    The text gets pasted into the line above where the cursor is indicating it should be pasted!

    I guess this doesn't happen for you?


    I wonder if I have if it's my Mail signature or a plugin or app or something that is causing this problem?



  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10

    The text gets pasted into the line above where the cursor is indicating it should be pasted!

    I guess this doesn't happen for you?



    No, for me when I drag/drop a block of text it lands exactly where the insertion line is blinking, which while dragging follows the tip of the arrow cursor when possible. At either extreme of the pane the insertion line can't stay under the tip of the cursor when the cursor leaves the insertable field, or when the line is blank other than for a return (e.g., the gap between double-spaced paragraphs).


    Don't know what might cause it to mis-land in your case. Maybe try using a different font or font size, see if that makes a difference? Maybe a restart?

  • David Jenner2 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Don.


    I've had a small breakthrough and have narrowed it down to my styled signature in Mail...




    Kind regards,


    David Jenner

    Esquire Print Ltd
    Diamond Works  Maidstone Road  Nettlestead  Maidstone  Kent  ME18 5HP
    01622 871 871



    when use this, I have the cut and paste problems.

    However if I convert this to Plain Text (Cmd Shift T) the problem goes away but then I lose my styling as all the text defaults to roman and in the one size like this...




    Kind regards,


    David Jenner


    Esquire Print Ltd

    Diamond Works  Maidstone Road  Nettlestead  Maidstone  Kent  ME18 5HP

    01622 871 871




    I can't seem to work out how to style a signature and for this not to happen as the Plain Text and RTF option isn't available in signatures.


    Could you test it at your end?





  • Don Archibald Level 10 Level 10

    I drag/dropped your signature (the styled version) into a new message in Mail, and moving blocks of text behaved properly in the body of the mail message.


    However, placing the insertion point in your signature block did not behave - the blinking marker was at least one line off. Apparently Mail is choking on something in the styling.


    A possible solution - after you open a new message window, set the Signature pulldown to "none". The signature block will disappear. Prepare your message - there should then be no interference. Once done, select the appropriate signature from the Signature pulldown - it should be added to the end of the message without issue.

  • David Jenner2 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks for testing it and your suggestion to put the signature on at the end does appear to work but it's not a solution for me as I have about thirty or forty different signatures containing lots of information that I drop in and tailor to suit my receipient then send.


    Having the basic text there and then cutting and copying elements suits my message workflow. I have noticed this problem probably a couple of years ago but just lived with it thinking that Lion would solve it but it appears to still be there.


    If you have the same problem and I have it on both my Macs then maybe there is a glitch the big boys at Cupertino need to address?


    ...until then I'll just have to carry on hacking it around as I always have

  • datadelver Level 1 Level 1

    David -


    I have also been experiencing this oddball aim issue when attempting to insert clipboard contents into a specific point in Mail. I am writing to lend credence to the contention that this is an Apple Mail issue that really should be fixed. Apple started the cut & paste revolution and the fact that one of their key software packages cannot paste properly strikes me as a bit ludicrous.


    This started happening on both my iMac and MacBook Pro a few months ago. It could be that it correlates with my use of three different styled signature files for three different e-mail accounts (I hadn't thought of the connection, so thank you, I had been wondering if they had altered something in one of their many security updates).


    I desired that the body text of my e-mail  default to something different from the style of my signature files. Mail is fairly limited in this area, so I include a top line my signature file that has the right style for my body text. Now I start all messages by overwriting that styled text, so my message font is as I want it. Is this the source of the problem?


    The inability to place text correctly isn't restricted to pasting something in via clicking on a particular spot in the e-mail. Odd things also happen if you use the directional arrow keys to move the cursor around with the keyboard and then command-V, or if you drag text to a certain spot, and when you release, it refuses to go there.


    There's some logic to the mistakes. The text is almost always placed a couple of lines above where the insertion point is blinking, and you can fool Mail sometimes by placing text in the middle of a bunch of new returns and then deleting the surrounding lines, but this is cumbersome and annoying.


    I hope Apple reads this, because it got so annoying that I switched to Outlook (Office 11) and it's terrific in some of the areas where Mail falters (work e-mail is Exchange). About the only thing that Mail does better is access my MobileMe folders much more quickly.


    Come on, Apple!

  • David Jenner2 Level 1 Level 1

    Nice one Datadelver it looks as if we have some momentum behind this issue. I too experienced the problems and the work arounds you mention. I asked a friend of to test it on his Mac and sure enough it now seems a universal problem, surely Apple must address it or at least come out on to the steps and make a public statement. This is something I (we) have had to deal with (to my knowledge) for at least three years, I distinctly remember this being a problem in Tiger.


    I'm sure Apple have got bigger things to deal with at Cupertino HQ like getting Mr Cook settled in, parking lot, water cooler, coffee breaks etc but this C&P problem with Mail has gone on long enough. To know that hardened Mac fans, like your goodself, are defecting to the dark side of M$ Outlook is something that simply can't be ignored!


    This is now starting to cause sleepness nights and I wanna know how can we draw their attention to this?

  • sdj2012 Level 1 Level 1

    Well I get exactly these same problems as you all do too so yes let's hope someone at Apple reads this and takes action (and no I reallly really do not want to go back to Outlook).


    In my scenario I use the Mail signatures (with differents fonts & colours) as basic email templates (helps not having to type the same thing over and over again to customers) and the effects really do appear random. If I decide to add some text to a paragraph and then bold a word or phrase, the entire paragraph will sometimes lose all its formatting or at times all of it will become bold. And yes, copying & pasting is a bit like using a gun at a summer fun-fair booth.

  • Caitlyna Level 1 Level 1

    I'll add my experience to the growing list of people experiencing this problem. I believe I experienced it a few times under Snow Leopard but now it is a recurring experience with Mail in Lion. Odd items - I can paste text only at the beginning of a paragraph but not the end (otherwise it hops to the top of a set of lines). On occasion if I indent a paragraph it disappears altogether. The only savior is the Un-Do command.


    I also have a template I have used since 10.5 that is now giving me the same cut and paste/drag and drop problems but hadn't in the past.


    This may well be related to the way determines the signature area, but I have no way to determine where or how the app decides where the signature area might be. It would be better if the would shade the signature area so I could determine the problem, or if it could show the raw text as one can do with received mail.


    All in all, a needless source of frustration that should be fixed by Apple instead of each user having to figure out the problem and make their own work-around.

  • kirstenfrombrooklyn Level 1 Level 1



    Using Apple Mail Version 3.6 (936)


    & I am having EXACTLY the same problem!!!




    Its pretty ANNOYING!

  • GrahamD Level 1 Level 1

    I will add my voice to this discussion. My experience with Mail 3.6 (936) in Leopard is the same frustrating one as eveyone is describing. In my case I use many Textexpander snippets. When I use one when editing a message the expanded text is inserted in an unpredictable place - above the paragraph I am working on or on the line below, or even, if I am lucky, on the same line.

    This is a silly waste of time for a program that has been working well for several years. I have to edit my emails in Text Edit and then paste them in their entirety into Mail. Bleh!


    Does anyone know the Dr. Seuss story "Horton hears a Who"? - Horton is an elephant who hears a tiny cry for help from a place he is about to tread on. The little "whos" are saved by Horton because he bothered to listen to their tiny voices.

    I hope we have the same fate with Apple that our little voices are heard by the largest tech company in the world.

    All the best


  • wholeshebang Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the exact same problem as David, except it's when I'm using Apple Mail Notes, not in regular email. I don't use signatures in Notes at all. I've been trying to identify the pattern to the cut and random paste, but haven't had much success. It's so annoying and taking so much time away from thought process when writing. I usually used ordered numbered lists in Notes and if I want to change around #3 and #5 I can't simply cut and paste.  I have to re-type the whole thing. If I discover a pattern I will report back. C'mon Apple!

  • wholeshebang Level 1 Level 1

    Okay, so reporting back.  I went into Mail Preferences and deleted all my Signature.  Voilà!  No cut and paste problem.  I'd rather cut and paste the signatures from an email I keep in Drafts then have the constant cut and paste problem when trying to type. Oddly, I never had the cut and paste problem when drafting email, only when working in the yellow Notes.

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