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Microsoft Office applications on Windows behave like Mac OS - if a window does not have input focus, then clicking one of its buttons only focuses the window and you have to click again to activate the button (or other control).

This would be annoying enough if it was consistent with other apps, but it's not even consistent with other Microsoft apps like Explorer.

This post "First mouse click sets focus but is otherwise ignored" describes the problem well but the moderator didn't get it, and it has been ignored.

This one "Windows requires a click to activate a window before a second click will select a button. How can I change this?" was about developing code rather than general user configuration.

One workaround is to enable "Activate a window by hovering over it with the mouse" from the Control Panel, but that is not to everyone's taste and changes the behaviour of the whole desktop rather than just fixing the broken apps.

Is there a way to stop Office apps ignoring click on unfocussed window without changing the behaviour of the whole desktop?

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I was about to ask this question, too. Really strange that no one knows an answer. Maybe asking on some Office forum? –  Uwe Keim Jul 21 '13 at 19:57
    
Odd. I never noticed this disparity, but it indeed doesn't make sense. No matter what your preference, at least within Microsoft stuff it should be consistent, in one way or the other. Good question. –  Ariane Aug 20 '13 at 17:49
    
What flavor of Office are you using? –  Doktoro Reichard Aug 21 '13 at 5:44
    
I'm using Office 2010 on Windows 7 but I think it's always been like that. –  Denis Howe Aug 21 '13 at 19:31
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In some situations, the Office team went to great lengths to make Office swallow clicks and not respond to them: blogs.msdn.com/b/jensenh/archive/2006/01/26/517851.aspx –  TessellatingHeckler Aug 22 '13 at 15:07

1 Answer 1

I'm pretty sure that the handling of mouse click activation is up to the application and is not configurable at a system wide level.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hae1hxka.aspx

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Clearly it's up to the application as Office does it differently from other apps. I don't want to change anything system-wide, I want to fix Office. If it's impossible to fix Office, I would consider an app that watched for mouse clicks over inactive windows and activated them before they received the click. Possible? –  Denis Howe Feb 7 at 13:01

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