Text select problem with Big Sur


I upgraded to Big Sur on my MacBook and subsequently am having problems selecting text.

When using the Browser, if I double-click anywhere within a word (generally delineated by spaces or a “-”) I expect to select the whole word. Since installing Big Sur, it often selects only a part of the word to the left of my cursor position.

What I have tried already:

  • restart my MacBook
  • update Big Sur (I am running 11.1)
  • restart Anki with no add-ons running (Shift key held during startup)
  • update Anki to the latest release (2.1.37)
  • again start Anki with no add-ons running

I really am convinced this behaviour changed immediately after upgrading to Big Sur, although I have been unable to replicate this problem in any other application than Anki.


I don’t seem to be able to trigger this on a machine running Big Sur here. You say “often” - is there a pattern to it or specific text that seems to cause it?

Hi Danien,

Thanks for the fast response!

In the attached screenshots you can see I am adding a card. I have added a tag and then have double-clicked this tag, but only some characters have selected. How many seems to correlate to where my cursor is positioned: i.e. the selection is roughly from the start of the word up to my cursor. I can reproduce this all the time. The same happens when editing an existing card in the browser. It does seem peculiar to the tag field. I will continue to monitor more closely and see if I can reproduce the behaviour elsewhere.

Please let me know if you need any further information.

Sorry, Damien (typo)!

FYI, I have also played around with the double-click speed (and some other accessibility settings) for my trackpad, but it seems not to make any difference. I have also checked across multiple Anki decks, created by me and imported. Also with single and multiple tags in a card. Same strange behaviour only in the Tags field and independent of the number of tags.

I can’t seem to reproduce this in the tags field here (I was previously trying in the fields area). Have you updated Big Sur to 11.1 already, and if not, does that help?

Yes (11.1) …

…and no, the behaviour is still happening. It is not all the time, though. Is there a way I could take a video of myself reproducing the behaviour? Would that help?

A video by itself won’t help I’m afraid, but if you manage to figure out a pattern that causes it to occur, please let me know. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do anything about it if it’s a toolkit issue, but if I can reproduce it I can at least try some things.

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I don’t think this issue is caused by the Big Sur upgrade because I have been experiencing the same thing in the last month or two, and I haven’t upgraded to Big Sur yet.

The only places I have this problem are in the browser search terms and card tags; never within card fields. Never in review, including review editor.

If I double-click between two characters of a word the whole word highlights for a short time—less than a second—and then the highlight contracts to cover only the characters to the left of the mouse.

MacOS 11.3

Could it be you are slightly moving the mouse/trackpad as you double-click? There’s a similar issue with selecting cards in the browse screen, and it’s a bug in the toolkit Anki uses.

I have the same issue - it’s occasional though.

I am running the latest Big Sur with a MBA M1 chip.

As in that other thread, at first I couldn’t get a failure; then with no change—no mouse movement—double-clicking in the same spot on the same quoted word in the search bar, I got continuous failures.

[No substantive content: this issue is a drop in the ocean of amazing quality and utility provided by Anki software.]

After more experimentation, I can say only that whether the problem occurs is not dependent on the exact mouse coordinates.

To reiterate: the problem is that double-clicking on a word causes (1) selection of the entire word, followed after a very short interval by contraction of the selection highlight to the portion of the word to the left of the mouse position.

One additional thought: the final result of the problem behavior—selection of a leftmost part of a previous selection—is consistent with the normal selection UI result that occurs if the Shift key is pressed while single-clicking within a previously-selected word. But in the problem instances no hand is in striking distance of the Shift key.


You have meticulously provided a list of your attempts to remediate.

IMHO, the major actions were:

  • Updating to Big Sur
  • Updating Anki

Unfortunately, you haven’t specified the SEQUENCE of your actions. So you don’t know whether to blame the Anki update or the Big Sur update.

I think you need to roll back to a previous successful baseline, and start again. If one step fails, there’s no point in continuing with some other step, hoping it might all work out in the end. Yeah right :slight_smile:

But maybe the other folks here can help.

BTW: I thought I was first to answer your post, but it looks as if there have been about 20 replies since I typed my answer :slight_smile:

Oh, well. Better late than never - as the French say.


Rolling back an OS update is excessive, especially for a bug that is inconvenient but does not cause data loss. If you found it really bothered you, you could try Anki 2.1.35-alternate after using the Downgrade button - the older toolkit may not behave the same way.