Autocorrect SEQ fields disappeared?

Subject: Autocorrect SEQ fields disappeared?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l List <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 09:57:54 -0500

Nancy Allison wondered: <<Over the past few months, I have carefully
created a set of templates, all of which use the SEQ technique to
create "unbreakable" numbered lists. They were unbreakable . . .
until all trace of the SEQ field autocorrect entries mysteriously
dropped out of my templates. All of them.>>

Hope you have good backups! This isn't something I've ever seen
before, so I can only speculate about the causes. Hopefully some of
the speculation will lead someone else to a solution. I suspect my
last suggestion (scroll down) is most likely to be correct, but I'll
provide suggestions in the order of your original message.

The first question is one of clarification: Do you mean that the SEQ
field codes have disappeared from the files, or that Autocorrect no
longer inserts them when you type the shortcut? In the former case,
that suggests someone has carefully deleted them from your files, and
you'll need to track down the malefactor and stake them out over an
anthill to encourage them to not do this ever again. <evil grin> In
the latter case, you'll need to do some spelunking to find the
autocorrect entry file to see if you can reconstruct it. The
Microsoft article <> may
help you do this, though details undoubtedly vary if you're using a
more recent version of Word.

<<AND, when I try to recreate them using the identical SEQ entries, I
get "Error! Bookmark not defined!" in place of the numbers. I cannot
seem to recreate them successfully in the templates that had them

This suggests that one of the previous field codes has been corrupted
somehow. One way this might happen is if one of your colleagues has
their copy of Word set to display the field codes as {field code}
instead of concealing the codes and displaying only the resulting
text (here, a number). In that case, it's reasonably easy to scroll
the cursor into the middle of the brackets and delete a character,
thereby trashing the field code. Alternatively, if the field codes
are concealed, someone might have inadvertently deleted the first
field code in each sequence by trying to manually renumber a
paragraph, and all subsequent codes that refer back to that original
code would then be pointing to a nonexistent reference. It's also
possible that both have happened.

To find out whether this is the case, toggle Word's settings so that
it displays the codes as {field code}, then check each numbered list
to see what happened.

<<The docs I create are going to a Sharepoint directory and being
edited by others, if that has anything to do with it. Undoubtedly
they use different versions of Word and different operating systems.>>

No idea whether Sharepoint could do this, but using different Word
versions could explain it. For example, Word XP/2002 and earlier
versions have this glitch in which comments inserted while revision
tracking is enabled are accepted when you move between versions.
They're still present in the file, but are no longer tracked as
revisions. If possible, you should all be using the same version of
Word. That eliminates a great many problems.

<<However, no one touches the .dot files on my hard drive . . yet the
SEQ autocorrect entries have disappeared from them as well.>>

If you or anyone else inadvertently defined the paragraph styles to
"update automatically", then any changes made to a paragraph defined
using one of those styles will be transferred into the original
template as soon as you open the changed file on your computer. That
would certainly trash all your elaborate customizations. This feature
should be disabled by default, since it does exactly the opposite of
what you expect it to do (i.e., it does not reapply the template
styles to a document when you reopen the document) and you should
explain this in painstaking detail to your colleagues. If not, the
problem will recur again soon.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Autocorrect SEQ fields disappeared: From: Nancy Allison

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