I was testing out Office 2013 RTM today and while I liked many things about the update, I found the first thing I dislike. While pretty minor, it was having a larger effect on my typing.
In Office 2013 products, the cursor is animated. As you type, instead of the cursor disappearing or moving ahead while you type, it is animated to keep moving with each letter entered. The difference was noticeable right away that something had changed. As I typed more and typed more quickly, the animation seemed to lag behind and it became jumpy. Finally, it began tripping up my typing as the lagging cursor made me wary of entering the next character until the cursor caught up so I didn’t overwrite it. It began to feel like my fingers were stuttering as I typed. Fortunately, I figured out two ways to disable the animated cursor.
Here’s a demo video comparing typing with and without the animation. (Looks best full screen and highest quality and even then, it’s not the greatest… Sorry!)
To disable the cursor animation, the first method is the one seen in the video above. Right-click on Computer and go to Properties. Then select Advanced system settings. Next hit the Settings… button under Performance. On the Performance Options window that pops up, uncheck the box ‘Animate controls and elements inside windows’. Hit ‘Apply’ and test your typing in Word 2013 to see the difference.
The above method affects all applications unfortunately, which may mean it could change the behavior of something else inadvertently. Instead, to stop only the cursor animation in Office 2013, create a DWORD key in the Registry through Regedit at:
Data: 1 (hexadecimal)
Unfortunately and what seems to becoming the norm for Microsoft products, there is not an option to disable the animation through the application options. I checked through all of the Options and couldn’t find anything that solved the problem. Disabling hardware acceleration and unchecking smart cursoring sounded promising but didn’t fix the problem.
Now, with the registry key in place, I can go about using Office 2013 without it causing confusion in my fingers. It might be something I would get used to or could learn to ignore but I don’t think it was a matter of familiarity since it was lagging behind and jumpy. Overall, I like the other features of Office 2013. The color scheme and presentation styles work particularly well on Windows 8. I look forward to diving into it further.
The Registry Key solution should also work for Office 2016. I have found documentation suggesting it but the animation is actually working properly for me, so I’m not able to reproduce the lag with the “smooth typing” function in Word 2016 or Outlook 2016 to prove it.
Data: 1 (hexadecimal)
You may have to create the Graphics key if it does not already exist.