I have a totally weird problem here and I am close to tears, because that strange bug is in heavy conflict with my timeline :/.

My Problem:

  • I click on a shape (no problem with images).
  • the shape is displayed as selected with resize handlers etc. (the edit shape mode in light blue, not the edit text mode in light grey).
  • But I can't copy or delete the shape. CMD+C or DEL don't trigger any reactions (normally the menu flickers briefly to indicate that shortcut worked).

My guess is that it is a problem with the selection mechanism, because:

  • When I select a shape by encircling it with the selection marker (click mouse, keep the button down, draw the selection mask over the shape) CMD+C or DEL are working.
  • The selection of the shape is displayed as described above.
  • The same applies if I click on the shape and drag it around. Afterwards I can use CMD+C and DEL.
  • When I select the shape with a simple click and click in the menu on "Edit" the selection instantly switches into the text edit mode. But when I use the right mouse button (or the touchpad equivalent) I reach the context menu and can select the copy-command from there (it just costs so much time to take these workarounds).

Because of that and the fact that CMD+C works in any other program flawlessly it seems to be no shortcut issue.

The problem did occur spontaneous from one moment to the other within the same PowerPoint session.

  • Macbook Pro, Mac OS 10.10, PowerPoint 2011


  • When I select a shape with one click and then press the ESC key I can use the CMD+C, DEL etc. normally.
  • The arrow key are affected as well: I click on a shape and press an arrow key to move it, but it does not move. Instead the shape switches into textedit mode (I get a I-Beam Cursor).
  • Did you run repair disk permissions in the Disk Utility app in your Utility folder?
    – Ruskes
    Jan 8, 2015 at 17:18
  • Not that I know of. I did not start anything and I did not configure any routine operations.
    – Max Franke
    Jan 8, 2015 at 17:50
  • Question: what does it display if you Right click on the shape? Suggestion: Go to Utility folder and Open the Disk Utility, then click on the Repair permissions.
    – Ruskes
    Jan 8, 2015 at 17:58
  • Right Click ==> Opens Context Menu (including a valid copy command). But that's not a sound option for me. Selecting and copying is such a standard procedure in PPT that I really need a shortcut. Will try the Disk Utility thing (though I have no idea what I am doing ... :).
    – Max Franke
    Jan 8, 2015 at 19:09
  • I repaired the permissions. Though he reported fixes in the protocoll the problem remains.
    – Max Franke
    Jan 8, 2015 at 19:18

1 Answer 1


Delete the preference file com.microsoft.Powerpoint.plist from your Preferences folder (in your Library folder, hidden in 10.7 onwards - accessible from the Finder menu bar by selecting Go and holding the Option key). This has cured a multitude of strange behaviours at work, it's definitely worth a shot.

  • Thanks for the tip. I assume that I delete it and that it is recreated automatically, right?
    – Max Franke
    Jan 8, 2015 at 19:59
  • I removed the file it from the library folder. But the problem remains.
    – Max Franke
    Jan 8, 2015 at 20:05
  • Yes, the file is automatically recreated. Another thing to try is create another user account (with admin privileges) and see if the problem is replicated there. If not then you will know the issue lies with a user-area settings/preference file - and you will have an immediate workaround that will let you get on with your project while a more permanent fix is found. Jan 9, 2015 at 10:08

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .