RE: word 98 text phoenix (the text that won't go away)

Subject: RE: word 98 text phoenix (the text that won't go away)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 Jan 2001 09:05:01 -0500

Jeff Morris reports: <<Using Word 98 for Mac (Power Mac G3, OS 8.5), I find
text I have previously deleted (not cut, cmd-X, or copied) reappearing
sporadically as a new text insert, either at a point or in place of text
selection when replacing text. It doesn't happen every time or under
specific conditions. Deleted text that reappears may be anything from a
single word to an entire paragraph. Sometimes the text reappears in its
original location. I'm using the "track changes" tool (but with on-screen
highlighing toggled off), and have set edit preferences "typing replaces
selection," "drag-and-drop text
editing," and "use smart cut and paste." How can I stop this unwanted text
from returning?>>

Intermittent problems are a pain to troubleshoot. First, I assume that
you've turned off "Fast save" in the preferences (Save tab); if not, do so
immediately, then resave the file under another name to clean up any
creeping corruption that has occurred. Second, there's a known bug with Word
in which fragments from previous documents or versions of documents reappear
because they remain on the Clipboard: I'm fuzzy on the details, since this
hasn't yet happened to me, but you can find the details in Microsoft's
online knowledgebase, along with the solution (I believe a free software
patch is required). Third, "track changes" often gets confused if you aren't
displaying changes as you edit; in effect, the deleted text remains part of
the document until you accept the deletion, Word must remember to deal with
the invisible text, and Word (being a bear of very small brain) often gets
confused. I'd bet that the combination of concealed changes and "typing
replaces selection"* are at the root of your problem. I've seen enough
problems with editing without the changes highlighted that I recommend
always highlighting the changes as you edit, and concealing the changes only
when you want to do a final read-through of the edited document to catch any
glitches you missed because of the onscreen carnage. This approach avoids a
multitude of problems.

* In general, I recommend disabling "insert key toggles typeover mode"; it's
just as fast to select entire words or sentences from the keyboard (e.g.,
Command-Shift-Right Arrow key to select the entire word to the right of the
cursor position in a single step) and overtype it. This also makes the
author's job of reviewing your edits incomparably faster than having to
review dozens of single-character deletions. I've remapped my Insert key to
"Paste" instead (one of Word's preferences), which provides a far more
useful tool for the type of editing I do.

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