Word 97 problems?

Subject: Word 97 problems?
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "Techwr-L (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>, "'Cathy De Rubeis'" <de_rubeis -at- hotmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 27 Jul 2000 09:12:23 -0400

Cathy De Rubeis is trying to resolve a few persistent Word problems:

<<My first Word problem involves inserting Visio drawings. I copied the
drawing from the first draft of a Hardware Installation Guide and pasted it
into the updated version of the Guide. It pasted into the document fine, it
saved alright but after I closed it and reopened the document the Visio
drawings were replaced by big red "X"s.>>

It's generally a better idea to "insert" objects into Word (using the
various options under the Insert menu) rather than pasting them, but the
behavior you report represents a known bug with earlier versions of Word,
and it probably means you're using an earlier version of the software. The
problem was fixed by "service releases" 1 and 2, and the second one is
available free of charge from Microsoft; order the full SR-2 CD-ROM, and
don't waste your time with the patch. (If you're outside North America, you
may have problems persuading them that it's free, even though it is; head to
the Woody's Office Watch site, www.wopr.com, and search the newsletter
archives for details.) It's also possible that you're only copying a
thumbnail of the graphic or the link to a graphic and pasting that, rather
than the actual graphic; if that's the case, then Word won't know where to
find the real graphic. Get a copy of the actual graphic file and insert that
instead.

<<My second Word problem involves setting styles that include bullets and
numbering. I created a comprehensive list of styles before beginning the
new version of the above Guide. However, in creating my "procedure" style,
when I added the numbering to the style setup, I would lose my margin
settings. I tried setting the numbering and then changing the margins. This
seemed to work until I reopened the document and found strange
numbering/margins occurring.>>

Word has a helpful feature that can be incredibly annoying if you don't know
about it. There's a setting in the styles manager that lets you
"automatically update styles", so that if a template changes or a style
changes compared to how it was originally defined in the template, Word
resets the style to its "correct" state when you reopen the document. That's
a great idea unless you don't want it to do that. <g> You can find this
setting by opening the Format menu, selecting "Style...", and clicking the
Modify button. (Make sure the document that's causing the problems is open
when you do this.) At the bottom right of the dialog box, you'll see a
checkbox labeled "Automatically update". Deselect this.

<<Third problem is my numbering is all over the place. It continues where
it should restart and vice versa. Again, I set the renumbering in the
different sections, looked created, saved and reopened to find a nightmarish
hodgepodge of numbering.>>

Another known bug in Word, and sadly, not one that has ever been fixed.
Microsoft knows that their autonumbering feature hasn't worked reliably for
the past 5 years, but evidently doesn't consider it to be worth fixing.
Depending on your needs, you can either give up and number things manually
(tedious and error-prone), or use the elegant fix provided by David Knopf, a
techwhirler. Head over to www.knopf.com/tips and have a look at the latest
version of the solution.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer




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