The Disappearing Text Bug is a common bug in the Windows version of Scratch, first documented in Scratch 1.3, and was found in 2.0 by some users. The Scratch Team seemed to believe that the problem has been fixed, but on May 3, 2018, a user has reported this.
How it Appears
The bug appears at random. Programs running outside of Scratch can have an effect and make this process quicker. It only makes variable (not to be confused with Variable) text disappear. This means that any numbers or strings Scratchers have typed in, broadcast names, variables/lists, dropdown menus, and the project name are immediately affected (but the project name won't be blank when refreshed).
What it Does
Once the bug arrives, text in thumbnail images, block names, buttons, and more vanishes. The order of disappearances is random, but is usually caused by attempts to edit or move possible victims of the bug.
The most common method of bringing the text back is to do the following:
- Save the project (the save button is third down and the save as button is fourth)
- Exit Scratch
- Load the project. All text will be restored, except for those inside costumes or backgrounds.
- In Scratch 1.4, enter the Paint Editor by clicking the Edit button on each costume/background. Do not alter the image — simply click OK and move on. Occasionally, "editing" a few costumes, saving, and reopening the project can work.
- In Scratch 2.0, for each sprite, click on the "Costumes" tab, then click on the thumbnails of each costume.
All text will be restored, but this method takes time if the project contains many items of text.
In some controlled tests where the Disappearing Text Bug has been replicated, simply saving your project, closing it, then reopening it, will restore all text. In some cases this must be done twice.
Another method is to repeatedly save the project instead of editing the costumes. This has to be done after the project has been reloaded, however.
Avoiding the Bug
The bug cannot be completely avoided, but it is possible to lower the chance of it appearing.
The following can be done:
- Use no or little text in costumes/backgrounds — simply paint the text with the required tools.
- Save the project often if writing a large amount of text.
- Do not have too many background programs running.
- Only put in large audio files when finished the rest of the project.
- Use lots of little scripts rather than one large script.
- Save your project before opening presentation mode.
The above will lower the chance or reduce the impact of the glitch, but will not stop it completely.
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