I am experiencing a bug where, when I'm writing an answer and accidently press the TAB key, IE freezes, and I need to kill it entirely. It is frustrating because I lose whatever I've written. Has anyone else experienced this?


I have now found a method to reproduce. The error does not occur in the exact same place every time, but it will crash the IE eventually.

Start writing an answer with the following content (not including the lines):

asd asd asd asd asd asd asd asd asd

asd asd asd

Now, press tab. The little "an error ocurred on the page" IE javascript icon will appear in the lower left corner.

Now mark everything in the textbox with the mouse, and delete it.

Start typing from scratch:

asd asd asd asd asd asd asd asd asd

Added this since @Rejoice reported inability to reproduce Now press tab again, and (if you can, sometimes it already freezes before this) go back and keep typing.

At some point, and always when pressing space, the page will freeze completely.

  • 2
    Probably it's because your room is too cold. IE's melting point is quite high. :)
    – kennytm
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 11:33
  • I can't reproduce the freeze, but I am getting the inability to press tab after completing the first step.
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 12:12
  • @Rejoice, I added more some extra info. Can you reproduce if you follow the steps now? Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 12:42
  • @Klaus nope, strange, I can't reproduce it at all now - even after restarting IE. Will try again next time I restart the machine.
    – Pekka
    Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 12:45
  • Can't reproduce on WinXP SP3, IE8 (I've tried your steps, repeatedly, keeps working) - have you tried reproducing this with IE in "no plugins" mode? Some plugins for IE are subtly subversive in this regard. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 13:09
  • @Piskvor, no I have not tried that. Will do. Btw, I'm using IE8 on Win7. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 13:17
  • @Piskvor, I can reproduce the error in "no add-ons" mode. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


Not an answer but I don't have the rep to edit the question, here are some details regarding the script error that always occurs when the tab key is pressed during answer editing.

Webpage error details

User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; .NET4.0C; .NET4.0E; InfoPath.2) Timestamp: Sat, 18 Dec 2010 15:09:14 UTC

Message: Could not set the text property. Unexpected call to method or property access. Line: 1 Char: 26035 Code: 0 URI: http://sstatic.net/Js/wmd.js?v=438bf97578da

Here is my re-hydration of the function the above refers to from the wmd.js file:-

this.setInputAreaSelectionStartEnd= function ()
    if (p.selectionStart || p.selectionStart === 0)
        q.start = p.selectionStart;
        q.end = p.selectionEnd
        if (d.selection)
            q.text = h.fixEolChars(p.value);
            var s;
            if (k.ieRetardedClick && k.ieCachedRange)
                s = k.ieCachedRange;
                k.ieRetardedClick = false
                s = d.selection.createRange()
            var r = h.fixEolChars(s.text);
            var u = "\x07";
            var v = u+r+u;

            s.text = v;  // Error happens here

            var w = h.fixEolChars(p.value);
            s.text = r;
            q.start = w.indexOf(u);
            q.end = w.lastIndexOf(u) - u.length;
            var t = q.text.length - h.fixEolChars(p.value).length;
           if (t)
                s.moveStart("character", -r.length);
                    r += "\n";
                    q.end += 1
                s.text = r

This answer was composed in IE8. I am now pressing tab.

Nothing bad happened, but the Post Your Answer button does have some extraneous bullets in it now..

  • 1
    I forgot to mention that it does not happen every single time. But I have experienced it before. I have a feeling that it happens when the answer includes indented code. I will try to investigate further and see if I can come up with the steps to reproduce. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 11:17
  • I have updated the answer with steps to reproduce. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 11:44
  • 1
    @Klaus: I'm experiencing this but a lot pretty much 50:50 each time I've accidently pressed tab (which I also do a lot) IE8 will freeze. Even with draft saving you still stand to lose quite a lot of effort Commented Dec 18, 2010 at 15:08
  • See also my "answer" here. Commented Dec 18, 2010 at 18:12

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