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Very frustrating problem. I have a new MacBook Pro/Ventura. I haven't been able to consistently double-tap to select a word. This occurs in all text applications. When I tap, the vertical bar insertion point falls between letters and the second tap does nothing. If I third-tap, the entire paragraph is selected. Then I have to back up and start over. It may take 5 tries to actually select the word. It seems like the cursor can only recognize a letter if it initially falls on the center of a letter, otherwise it falls off into the abyss between letters. But as I understand, there is no "empty space" between letters.

I've been using MacOS/OSX for 20+ years and never seen this behavior, but it is really slowing down my workflow. I've adjusted all the available sliders for trackpad speed and accessibility. It can't really be a hardware problem because the same thing happens with external trackpad!

What am I doing wrong?

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  • It sounds like you are taking too long to double tab. Go into mouse settings and lengthen the time.
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2023 at 15:04
  • I am using touchpad, not mouse. There is a setting in Accessibility>Pointer Control>Double-click speed. Is that what you mean? I've experimented with every gradient of the slider and it doesn't help. Jan 11, 2023 at 15:11
  • I meant to say trackpad, but yes, the double click speed is where you should be.
    – Allan
    Jan 11, 2023 at 15:14
  • Double-click speed should be the same as when you launch an app by double-click directly from Applications, or a document; so you can check if the actual double-click is registering in other situations.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 11, 2023 at 15:23

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Although this does sound like a speed problem, have you looked at the main settings for the trackpad? That's not in Accessibility but in Trackpad > Point & Click. I would look at "click force" and "Tap to click" and see if that changes the behavior.

The other thing to try is to set up a new account on this Mac and see if the double-tap works. If it does, then you know there's something wrong with your installation. Either some part of the operating system has become damaged or you're running some kind of softer that's modifying how the pointer behaves.

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  • You're right! I logged into root account and it worked normally. So I reset my userfolder prefs to those panels and suddenly it is fixed! I don't know what doubleclick settings exactly affected word selection but will experiment. Thank you! Jan 11, 2023 at 19:02

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