Text typing, selection, and editing weird behaviour in last few updates to v1.1.1

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2018-06-18 06:00:10

Creating a text layer and editing it has problems where non-alphanumeric characters typed at the end of a text box appear at the start of the last line of a text box (layer).

Would like the behaviour of typing and selection to work as expected in text layers.

How to reproduce:
1. New blank document
2. Use Text tool to add a text box layer to the document (Will have default 'Text' string.)
3. Double-click on 'Text' to select these characters
4. Type 'Hello!' to replace 'Text' string. Everything will look OK until you type the '!' character, where this '!' will appear at the start of text string showing, '!Hello' instead of 'Hello!'
5. If you keep typing text after the exclamation point, the text box will now look OK. So if I type 'Hello! There' the sequence on how this appears onscreen will be, 'H', 'He, 'Hell', 'Hello', '!Hello', ' !Hello', 'Hello! T', 'Hello! T', 'Hello! Th', 'Hello! The', 'Hello! Ther', then 'Hello! There'.
6. It's not just the exclamation point that is causing problems, all of the keyboard characters above the number keys that have to be typed using the Shift key seem to be affected. This is the set of '~!@#$%^&*()_+' characters, and the space character as well.
7. If you type a number or a letter at the end of the string, the string is then shown correctly. If I type in the string 'Hello~!@#$%^&*()_+' it will show as '+_)(*&^%$#@!Hello', but if I then type a '1' the string shows correctly as 'Hello~!@#$%^&*()_+1'. Note the non-alphanumeric characters seem to be in reverse of how they were typed as if they were in a 'right-to-left' language - but just for the non-alphanumeric characters and not numbers or letters.
8. Using the arrow keys doesn't help to get the cursor in the right place to delete unwanted non-text characters. If you have typed in 'Hello!' and it is showing '!Hello' the cursor is to the left of the '!' but pressing the left-arrow key will not move the cursor to the end of the 'o', but pressing the right-arrow key will move the cursor in a predictable manner to the right. If the place the cursor at the end of the 'o' in the '!Hello' string, pressing the forward-delete key deletes letters from the string in the order H-e-l-l-o-! while the cursor remains at the end of the string.
9. If pressing the space key at the end of the text made the text look OK, then this would be a work-around, but a space character appears at the beginning of the string and doesn't fix the problem.
10. Multi-line text with a '!' typed at the end make the '!' appear at the start of the last line of text, not at the very end as it should.
11. Yet to try: clean install of MacOS just running Pixelmator Pro v1.1.1 to see if it is the OS or other installed software causing this.

System Setup:
- Pixelmator Pro v1.1.1 Monsoon bought on App Store. I tried deleting the app, and also deleted the Preferences in the ~/Library/Preferences. Re-downloaded and tried running again - same weird text box behaviour. This behaviour did not seem to happen with the first released version of Pixelmator Pro, and seems to have started recently coinciding with a recent Pixelmator Pro update (not just 1.1.1).
- Tested this behaviour on a Pixelmator v3.7 on the same computer, which doesn't seem to exhibit the problem.
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016, four Thunderbolt ports)
- macOS 10.13.5 High Sierra
- Australian region and Australian keyboard setting (not a right-to-left language)
- Fonts tested: Helvetica, Impact, Arial Unicode MS - all behave the same
- Experienced user, been using Macs since 1984 and worked as Systems Engineer at Apple 1990-2005
User avatar

2018-06-20 13:35:58

Thanks for the incredibly detailed bug report! I actually haven't been able to reproduce this. I notice the original Pixelmator appears to be fine, but have you tried something similar in an app like Keynote, by any chance?
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2018-06-21 13:07:00

Yes, it only seems to be an issue with Pixelmator Pro.

I just went through my Applications folder and tried Capto, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Intaglio, Keynote, evil Microsoft Word, evil Microsoft Excel, evil Microsoft Powerpoint, Motion, Omnigraffle Pro, Pages, PDFpenPro, ProPaint, Stickies, Turbocad Pro, Voila and none of them seem to have the same behaviour with text boxes that Pixelmator Pro is having. (Yes, I have a lot of software installed, and have 135 apps in the Applications folder.)

Looks like my next step is to build a clean Mac OS on a separate drive, install Pixelmator Pro and see if the behaviour is still occurring.
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2018-06-22 11:13:54

@Bill Lee. Before going to drastic measures like installing the OS from scratch, you might want to try some cleanup with the Disk Utility that comes with OS X. Sometimes checking and repairing permissions on a disk does wonders: https://support.apple.com/guide/disk-ut ... elcome/mac
User avatar

2018-06-22 11:58:11

by Bill Lee Yes, it only seems to be an issue with Pixelmator Pro.

I just went through my Applications folder and tried Capto, Final Cut Pro, iMovie, Intaglio, Keynote, evil evil Microsoft Word, evil evil Microsoft Excel, evil evil Microsoft Powerpoint, Motion, Omnigraffle Pro, Pages, PDFpenPro, ProPaint, Stickies, Turbocad Pro, Voila and none of them seem to have the same behaviour with text boxes that Pixelmator Pro is having. (Yes, I have a lot of software installed, and have 135 apps in the Applications folder.)

Looks like my next step is to build a clean Mac OS on a separate drive, install Pixelmator Pro and see if the behaviour is still occurring.
It could still be a bug with Pixelmator Pro — just not a common one (and not one that anyone else has come across yet). Another quick thing you can try is logging in to the Guest account on your Mac and trying to edit text with Pixelmator Pro there. That would show that something may have gone wrong with the preferences files.
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2018-06-22 23:33:02

Good idea Andrius, and I did this this morning anyway as part of my troubleshooting process before I read your post above. I created a new user 'Test' and logged into this new user and ran Pixelmator Pro and this new user account didn't have the problem. This means whatever is causing my text problems is isolated to my login and the files associated with my login. I didn't raise the problem initially with Support as a definite bug because I was unsure if anyone else was experiencing it, and it seems like nobody is.

I don't need to go the next step of building a new macOS on an external drive and seeing if the problem is present, because it shouldn't be.

My next step is to copy my Preferences folder contents over to the 'Test' user and see if that triggers the weird text behaviour. I need to keep copying over files and folders until I can trigger the weird text box behaviours and then start narrowing it down. I am running a lot of software in the background so much so that my menu bar is more than full, but none of this should affect the was the text appears in a
User avatar

2018-06-22 23:35:39

...none of this should affect the was the text appears in a Pixelmator Pro text box.

Thanks to the replies from Andrius and Sebastiaan, I know now that it doesn't seem to be a common problem and likely some unique problem under my normal login.
User avatar

2018-06-23 08:18:45

No problem, glad to hear we're getting closer to a solution! As I mentioned, this could still be a Pixelmator Pro bug, just an obscure one that no one else has come across yet. If you do replicate the issue with those preferences files, it would be awesome if you could send them over to support@pixelmator.com as we'd love to take a closer look at this issue ourselves.
User avatar

2018-06-24 03:52:23

SOLVED!

OK, it looks like the problem was the .plist preferences file for Pixelmator Pro. It appears that Pixelmator Pro doesn't store its Preference files in ~/Library/Preferences/com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x.plist, but in ~/Library/Containers/com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x/Data/Library/Preferences/com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x.plist

If you delete this com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x.plist file, or the whole ~/Library/Containers/com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x folder structure, then Pixelmator Pro rebuilds a new one when it next runs and the weird text box problem goes away.

This testing was done by creating a new login and then copying anything I thought might be relevant to this new login home folder, making the files R/W for the test login and resetting the user permissions so these folders and files belong to the test account. Many folders in the (normally hidden) ~/Library were copied across, then I logged into the new test account and tested to see when the problem reappeared. Eventually the problem was traced down to just the ~/Library/Containers folder and further tracked down via trial and error from there. Once I thought I had found the relevant file, I deleted the test account to ensure that I hadn't accidentally missed some other relevant file that was responsible or may have contributed.

I took a copy of the bad preferences file, created a new test account on the same computer then moved this preference file on to this new login and can reproduce the problem with this bad preference file. I'm happy to supply this to the Pixelmator developer team so they can have a look at it if they want, but my testing it has raised the following behaviour:
• If you delete the good preference file then drop the bad preference file in its place, the weird behaviour will not show the first time you subsequently run Pixelmator Pro. If you then quit Pixelmator Pro even without even saving anything, then the second and succeeding times you run Pixelmator Pro the weird text box behaviour will show. I don't know what is happening underneath the hood that causes the weird text box behaviour to show only on the second and succeeding running of Pixelmator Pro, but it will cause anyone testing between the good and bad versions of the preference files some frustration without knowing that.

How should I send this bad com.pixelmatorteam.pixelmator.x preference file? Should I take the original description of the problem above plus this comment's testing quirk description, together with an attached .plist file and send them to support@pixelmator.com? Is there a ticket number that should be quoted or will this just be treated as a new bug report?
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2018-06-25 09:26:16

Thanks so much for taking the time to really get to the bottom of this! You can send over the file to that support email and include the link to this forum post — that should be more than enough.