|This article or section documents a feature not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.|
The Disappearing Text Bug was 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. It was fixed in Scratch 3.0.
How it Appears
The bug appeared at random. Programs running outside of Scratch could have an effect and make this process quicker. It only made variable (not to be confused with Variable) text disappear. This means that any numbers or strings Scratchers had typed in, broadcast names, variables/lists, dropdown menus, and the project name were immediately affected (but the project name won't be blank when refreshed).
What it Does
Once the bug arrived, text in thumbnail images, Block names, buttons, and more vanished. The order of disappearances was random, but was usually caused by attempts to edit or move possible victims of the bug.
The most common method of bringing the text back was 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 had been replicated, simply saving your project, closing it, then reopening it, would restore all text. In some cases this had to be done twice.
Another method was to repeatedly save the project instead of editing the costumes. This had to be done after the project has been reloaded, however.
Avoiding the Bug
The bug could not be completely avoided, but it was 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 would lower the chance or reduce the impact of the glitch, but would not stop it completely.
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