Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is Your 10-Key Numeric Keyboard Not Working in InDesign? Here's Why.

Yesterday, my 10-key stopped working in InDesign. After a day of thinking about it, I figured out how to fix the problem. Now, keep in mind that I'm on a mac. It's been several years since I even touched a PC. But I remember something on PCs called "NumLock." It's a key you press to disable the 10-key on the side of your keyboard.

Now, I can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would want to disable 10-key. But apparently, the same type of function exists on a mac. It's the "clear" key. It's at the top left hand corner of the numeric keypad. Somehow, while working in InDesign, this key got pressed.

If you're in InDesign and you press "clear," your 10-key numeric keypad will be disabled and act instead as cursor keys. So you will think that you're typing in data, but in reality, you'll just be cursoring through your text. Interestingly, the other applications aren't affected like this by pressing the "clear" key.

Here's what you should keep in mind about pressing the "clear" key:
  1. In order for your 10-key to stop working, you must press it while working in InDesign.
  2. And in order to get your 10-key to start working again, you must press "clear" again while in InDesign.
After a bit of thought, I finally figured out how the "clear" key got pressed. I didn't press it. One of my dogs did. You see, my dogs have their own dedicated sunning spot on my desk. Yesterday, I went downstairs to answer the doorbell, and he got agitated and walked across my keyboard, trying to find a way to get off the desk. In the process, he stepped on the "clear" key. Thanks a lot, buddy!

Clarence the wiener dog, Keyboard Walker Extraordinaire