OS and MS Word conflict?

Subject: OS and MS Word conflict?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, chad -at- architext-usa -dot- com
Date: Thu, 05 Jan 2006 10:09:30 -0500

Chad LaCroix wonders: <<I have been lead to believe that when working with MS Word in the Dari and Urdu languages that a document will not necessarily display correctly if you are working on an English OS... We are trying to detail check translated MS Word documents (1 Dari and 1 Urdu document) for formatting issues against the original English. When we get the translated document back from our translators the formatting looks awful on our machines.>>

I don't know a single thing about either language, but do know that this is also a problem for Japanese and Chinese--one that I encounter every month or two in my own work. Here's the problem and solution for those languages, which may lead you to a solution for your languags:

Some Asian languages can be defined by the authors of a document to use a grid-based layout rather than a free-flowing layout. What this means (very superficially and simplistically) is that Word aligns the characters in rows and columns rather than using the continuously flexible spacing you'll see in English. When you try to display this information in an English-only version of Word, the software has no idea how to handle the grid information, and flails about, pretending it knows what to do. The display becomes appalling... what you see (where you click) is definitely not what you get.

Fortunately, the solution is relatively simple: install support for these languages. How to do this in Word varies from version to version, but consulting the online help under "Asian language support" will provide full details, plus an explanation of the grid-based formatting options that become available once that support is installed. The last time I tried this, it was simply a question of running a hidden installer (in the Proofreading Tools directory on the installer disk) and selecting the desired languages.

Something like that will probably work for you too.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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OS and MS Word conflict: From: Chad LaCroix

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