Word not behaving?

Subject: Word not behaving?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L Whirlers <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Holly Steele <hsteele1 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 17:25:32 -0400

Holly Steele reports: <<In my Word document, I used to be able to use
it normally. Now, for some reason it won't let me cut text or select
a chunk of text and delete en mass.>>

I think we need more details here. First, what version of Word are
you using and what version of Windows? Next, define "won't let me"
etc. Do you mean that you can no longer select a chunk of text? (Is
this true both using the mouse and using the keyboard?) That you can
select a chunk of text but can't delete it by pressing Delete or
Backspace? That you can select the text, but cannot cut it or copy
it, or that you can only copy it but not cut it? That you cannot
select a chunk of text and type over top of it, thereby replacing the
selected text -- or that you cannot do this?

Next, tell us what you have done to solve the problem. Have you shut
down Word and rebooted your computer? That fixes a great many Word
problems. Have you tried moving Normal.dot somewhere safe and letting
Word create a new Normal.dot? (If the problem goes away, that tells
you that Normal.dot is corrupted. If not, move the old Normal.dot
back where it originated; it's probably not the cause of your problem.)

All different problems, with different solutions.

<<This is a subdocument BUT the master document is not open so Word
shouldn't be thinking that the document is locked or something.>>

fwiw, you should stay far away from Word's Master Document feature.
Consensus, including that of the Word MVPs (http://word.mvps.org/fAQs/
General/WhyMasterDocsCorrupt.htm), is that this feature is
dangerously unreliable, and I have heard no reliable reports that the
situation has improved in Word 2003 or 2007. Former techwhirler Steve
Hudson used to claim he could use the feature reliably, but he's the
only mortal who can make that claim*, and Steve was able to make Word
do things even Microsoft didn't think was possible**. (The article I
cited links to his advice on how to use Master Documents.)

* To be more precise: Not even Steve can state definitively what will
suddenly cause a master document to corrupt. Without that knowledge
(i.e., without knowing what to avoid), why risk it?

** It's also worth noting that even Steve finally reached his
tolerance limit and gave up on computers a few years ago. Last I
heard, he was teaching English as a second language in China.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
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Word not behaving: From: Holly Steele

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