TIP - more about Word anchors, para spacing

Subject: TIP - more about Word anchors, para spacing
From: "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "TechWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 14:20:14 -0700

Hello, writers,

So yesterday I did solve my migrating anchored callouts problem (lock the anchor), but I just wasnât satisfied because I still didnât quite understand why things were behaving the way they were.

(Yes, I know itâs Word, but usually if you dig deep enough there is a repeatable, predictable behavior. And while itâs not always logical to my mind, I really donât care because if itâs predictable I can work with it and accept it as Wordâs Way.)

So after much after-hours research, hereâre a couple of tidbits that might interest some of you:

1. Iâd earlier pondered why one would ever want an anchor to not be locked. I still donât understand what use case there is for not locking it, but at least I now know what Word does with the anchors!

As found on Allen Wyattâs WordTips site, http://word.tips.net/T001743_Pictures_Move_on_their_Own.html, âThe other important check box is Lock Anchor. This check box controls whether the anchor can move or not. Normally, if you click on a picture and drag it to a new location, THE ANCHOR FOR THAT PICTURE IS CHANGED TO THE PARAGRAPH NEAREST THE NEW LOCATION FOR THE PICTURE. If you lock the anchor, the anchor stays put, even though you moved the picture.â (all caps emphasis mine)

So that explains why even though I was sure then when Iâd been copying a callout shape and anchoring it to the caption paragraph, the callouts kept ending up anchored to the figure paragraph. And the space above the figure paragraph varies depending on whether itâs at the top of the page (because Word does suppress the space above paragraphs when theyâre at the top so that thereâs not a bunch of extra space).

2. While I was still working things out, I noticed that switching between the top of the page and not wasnât the only time that the callouts moved. If I changed the style of paragraph that preceded the Figure paragraph, *sometimes* the callouts would shift. I did realize that the anchor was at the figure paragraph, but since that paraâs space-above setting didnât change in this case, I couldnât understand why things would shift just based on the fact that the new preceding paragraphâs style had a different space-after setting.

Hereâs the deal: By default Word does NOT add the preceding paraâs space-below value to the next paraâs space-above value and use the total. Instead, it just uses the maximum of those two settings. But you CAN change that behavior so that the two values get added, which is what Iâd intended all along anyway and now have better spaced pages, especially when Iâve got two figures in a row.

(I found this tidbit here: http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.word.formatting.longdocs/browse_thread/thread/3608f776f292b970?pli=1.)

-Monique


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