Suddenly, textedit graphics error on startup!! Strange!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by apple-exhaustion, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. apple-exhaustion macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2015
    I have both a 2012 MBP retina and a 2012 MBP non-retina. Both are running Mountain Lion which I need to stay at for program compatibility.

    They both have developed the same problem recently and I can't figure out why. I shut them down and check the box "reopen windows in next session..." . Usually only firefox and textedit are open a that time. Later, when I start either of them, everything opens okay, except that the textedit files now open with black type on black background (basically a big black box). They were created and saved with black text on white background. If I highlight in the text field, the parts that I highlight switch back to a white background instantly. Part that I haven't highlighted remain black. Sometimes if I move the text edit window, it leaves behind a black box where it was at startup. The box goes away if I highlight or click more in the text edit windows.

    If I create a new textedit file, it opens fine and normal. Only the files that auto-open on startup are affected.

    It's definitely a graphic drawing issue, but its started out of nowhere. 2 different machines, one with a clean install, one with an older install, neither exhibiting a problem like this before. The only thing I can think of is that I started using Firefox on them somewhat recently and it is a program that also auto-starts in this scenario. But the problem didn't start right after installing Firefox, everything was fine for a few months until just the past 2 weeks.

    Does anyone have any ideas? I don't think it's mechanical (2 different machines), I don't think it's the OS (new install on one, old install on the other, nary a problem in the past). Could Firefox do something like this?
  2. apple-exhaustion, Apr 10, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2016

    apple-exhaustion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2015
    I took and attached some screenshots of the error to make it easier to visualize. I find it hard to believe no one else has encountered this, since I have it occurring on two separate machines.

    In addition to suspecting Firefox, I'm wondering if graphics card switching could be responsible somehow. I can't say all, but at least many of the times I've encountered this error was after starting the computer without the power supply attached.

    Image 1: 2 textedit documents side by side but overlapped, exactly as they appear directly after startup. The image on the left is all black but shows the header. The image on the right is just a black square:

    Two Documents Open All Black.png

    Image 2: Highlighting the text that I know to exist instantly reveals the white background that is supposed to be behind it. Nothing else changes but what it highlighted: Highlihgting Text Reverts Background Color Behind It.png

    Image 3: Hitting 'enter' extends the white background. Hitting Enter After Text Extends The Normal Colors.png

    Image 4: Clicking in the text field of the image on the right makes some of the text options in the header appear. Before this the whole document was all black.

    Square On Right Is Actually A Scrambled Doc..png
  3. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Have you tried removing the textedit plist, then relaunching Textedit? (which would have the effect of resetting Textedit to original defaults)

    Quit TextEdit.
    trash the file from your user Library/Preferences folder.
    Relaunch TextEdit.

    Are the auto-open textedit documents the same (identical documents) on both Macs?
    Anything special about those auto-open files?
    Can you just have those files on your desktop, and open those as you need them? I ask that, because there is such a short delay to launch such a simple app (TextEdit) that you likely wouldn't notice that it wasn't already running.
    That doesn't fix your issue, of course. Just a workaround so it doesn't happen for the same reason.
  4. apple-exhaustion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2015
    Thanks for the reply. I did try trashing the plist files but to no avail.

    The documents are not the same on the 2 macs or even the same each time. It happens to whatever text documents are open when either computer is shutdown. That changes daily as I use text edit like a notepad through the day.

    Sure, I could just save and close everything. But that defeats the purpose of an auto-open session at startup. And like I said, I use textedit like a notepad while doing research on-line. If I have a big Firefox session going with multiple pages/tabs and 5 or 6 textedit documents open with different information, I exponentially increase my mouse clicks through the day by having to save and title everything just to re-open them again later when I want to resume work.

    My only current workaround is to highlight, copy, and past the text to a new document once the error occurs.

    Its just weird that this started only recently on both computers. Until recently it hasn't occurred on either machine since 2012, when they were new. The only constants between the two that are recent are Firefox and starting the computers without the power supply attached.
  5. DeltaMac, Apr 11, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2016

    DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    (random thoughts :D )
    Is there any reason that you suddenly began using Firefox?
    Does Firefox really need to be a startup item, too?

    Have you checked that you don't have any adware? Malwarebytes is good with that, and free, too.

    Download and run EtreCheck. Post the results here.
    Etrecheck will show all startup software (and a variety of other stuff) including apps and plugins that you may not realize are loading, so might help to decide how to proceed. The report will ALSO show the presence of adware, etc.

    Does everything improve if you simply plug in to your power adapter on boot?
    If you get the same affects on both, then you could concentrate your efforts on one. If you fix one, then the same fix will probably work with both.

    Just curious - what software keeps you at Mountain Lion?
  6. apple-exhaustion thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2015
    I began using Firefox because Apple no longer allows Safari updates unless you update the entire OS. It's a bundled part. They dropped support, so I dropped the program.

    I work in Pro Audio and use Pro Tools 10, an assortment of plug-ins, and some of the Adobe creative suite. The upgrades to Pro Tools beyond version 10 have had stability issues, not to mention the nightmare of updating all the third party apps that run with it and trying to sort out which ones are causing problems Then there's the whole having to update the OS as well. One of the more stable versions of Pro Tools might only work with say Mavericks or Yosemite and you can't even download those from Apple anymore, only the most current version of the OS or the one the computer shipped with. Adobe has moved on to a subscription service software, which is like leasing a car. Even Pro Tools has made that move this year. In my line, you can't update an OS until the program you are using is supported on it and by the time all the kinks are ironed out, the computer is dated and can't run the newer version too well.
    So, in order to use the machine I bought, the way I intend to, with the versions of Software that were written to perform well on that machine, I have to stay in Mountain Lion.

    I'll try those programs and look for malware, but I'm very selective about what sites I visit and probably only visit a select 10 or so.

    And Firefox isn't an assigned startup item. It's just that I'm usually in the middle of a session when I shutdown and I leave the program running and check the box at shutdown that has the option to re-open all running programs at next startup.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    Right, I feel for ya with Protools.
    I do know (a little) about ProTools - not from a user perspective, but as a Mac support guy, reminding folks that they need to check with ProTools support before they blindly update their system. I have spent some time on their (often confusing to me) support pages, trying to decide where a user went wrong with hardware or system updates.
    And, I never choose to let the system re-open apps, as it doesn't affect me, but letting all apps simply re-open on a restart isn't something that I need.

    Try leaving that box unchecked when you next shut down. Leave Textedit as a startup item, if that works well for you, and that will mean you can go forward without needing to check that "open apps on restart" box. Do that as a test, to see if TextEdit goes back to normal operation...
    You don't have ProTools launch automatically during boot, do you? I think that's not the best way to use PT.
    I could be mistaken, but I think you should always shut ProTools down gracefully, anytime you shut your Mac off.
    (You are the PT user, so you may have a different take as a real user, so just my opinion that can be wrong :D )

    It's not my intent to change your workflow - but you came here with the question, eh?

    I suggest that you occasionally run Malwarebytes, just for your own reassurance. You may feel very selective about where you browse, but those advertisers try pretty hard to get your attention, and sometimes you get surprised by Adware. And, with Malwarebytes, it is a pleasant surprise because it removes any adware that it finds. Only takes a few seconds to run a scan. I run mine a couple of times a month. Almost never find anything, and I have no idea where the adware comes from, it just shows up in the scan.

Share This Page

6 April 9, 2016