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I don't know if this is a site problem or my Firefox but I think I must have touched something.

On some places like while composing an email with Gmail i can't press ctrl left/right to highlight/select words. I notice this at a few places. Here in this post its fine, I'm unsure what the common denominator is in all the places this doesn't work.

Any ideas?

-edit- I'm using Firefox 3.6.13. On both profiles i have they both cant use ctrl+left/right. With Google Chrome it works.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It sounds as though perhaps a FF add-on stole these hotkeys. You could install the add-on Keyconfig to check which hotkeys are in use and for which functions, it usually works well for me. Edit: on the other hand, if it also happens on a clean profile, I have no idea. Still a good idea to diagnose with Keyconfig or Advanced Keyconfig (can't remember what the difference was).

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wtf! it was firebug!… i dont understand why firebug allows it on some pages and takes control under other but that was it and now its solved. Thanks! i had NO IDEA it would be a addon. Note to others, you can disable all addons quickly by using firefox safe mode to disable them all. – acidzombie24 Dec 15 '10 at 19:35
Good note! Safe Mode is a good first troubleshooter. – Cerberus Dec 20 '10 at 11:52

In both my Firefox and Chrome, Ctrl+L/R causes the cursor to move between words. No highlighting. I believe this to be common across most all Windows applications.

I believe the key combination that you are looking for is Shift+L/R. Each character that the cursor crosses will become highlighted. If you want to highlight whole words then that key combination would be Ctrl+Shift+L/R.

Maybe you have accidently activated the windows sticky keys feature? Control Panel > Ease of Access Center > Make the keyboard easier to use > ...

Good luck.

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That was my first thought but it works fine here on SO and on other apps. Only selected textareas seems to be affected (so far i notice gmail and vbulletin board forum) – acidzombie24 Dec 15 '10 at 6:01

to select words, you need CRTL+SHIFT+L/R Arrows. To move the cursor to either side of words, you just use CRTL+L/R Arrows. This works for many programs...

Works for me, in Firefox 3.6.13.

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Is it working for you in gmail? it works CRTL+L/R Arrows still works but CRTL+SHIFT+L/R Arrows does not. – acidzombie24 Dec 15 '10 at 5:59
@acidzombie24: yes, It works in Gmail, both shortcuts... – studiohack Dec 15 '10 at 17:14

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