Work Avoidance: Scroll Wheel Problems in Word 2007

I am experiencing a bit of writer’s block so I am fixing a new hardware problem while I try to break out! We migrated to Microsoft Office 2007 last Friday at work, and I’m experiencing the new applications in all their glory. It’s been an easy transition, although I’m still hunting some times for the commands I want. Then I noticed my scrollwheel wasn’t working on my IBM optical mouse. When you move your pointer over the scroll bar in Word 2007 and move the wheel, it scrolls fine. When you move it back over the text of the document, it won’t scroll! How weird is that? Fortunately, as in most technical difficulties, someone else has had this problem. But I had to come up with my own solution, which was not as easy as you might think.

The mouse is a black IBM optical mouse, model MO28OU.  But it appears to be a pre-Lenovo accessory, so neither site gives you any useful information when you search on that.  A Google search on the model number also failed to retrieve anything, other than other people with the same problem.

The first concern I had was whether the fact it was using a generic Microsoft HID driver was the problem.  It turns out it’s not.  The problem is with the scroll mouse wheel software, which I first twigged to on one of the posts I read.  The trick is Word 2007 is looking for something special from the scrolling software and wasn’t getting it.  The person on the post was able to create an exception to Universal Scrolling, which seems counterintuitive, and in any event, didn’t work for me because my mouse control panel in Windows XP didn’t have that option.

Until … I downloaded a generic Lenovo optical mouse driver.  I wasn’t sure what it would do, but it was an update to the mouse control panel, the “mouse suite”.  You can download it from Lenovo here and it is not FOR laptops, but I have a bit of a devil-may-care attitude about that sort of thing.  In any event, I installed the software, rebooted, and went back into my mouse control panel.  Now there were many new options relating to the scroll wheel.  In particular was the one that said Use Microsoft Office 97 Scrolling Emulation Only which was immediately below the Enable Universal Scrolling option.  In this case, the latter option made no difference.  But when I toggled the former on, and switched back over to Word 2007, my problem was solved.

Who knows what other problems I’ve created!!