Re: Question about MSWord (longish)

Subject: Re: Question about MSWord (longish)
From: "Ridder, Fred" <F -dot- Ridder -at- DIALOGIC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Apr 1997 17:54:11 -0400

Paula Puffer's original question about inserted page breaks
and section breaks messing up her professor's headers
prompted a lot of responses, most of which are basically
correct as far as they go. But I think it would be helpful
to try to put the whole story together.

First, it's important to know whether we're talking about
headers or headings. Manual page breaks and section breaks
can mess up both types of entites, but for different reasons.

If we're talking about headers, I heartily agree with both
Louise O'Donald and L. Burnham O'Donnell that headers & footers
should be entered and edited in the Header/Footer view, and
*not* by formatting body paragraphs as Header style. Having
said that, I have to disagree with L. Burnham O'Donnell, who
said "I haven't known true headers/footers to be affected by
page or section breaks." One of the most important specific
functions of a _section_ break is to allow changes in the
header and/or footer; the only time a section break _doesn't_
affect headers & footers is when you select the "Same as
previous" option. And page breaks certainly have an effect
on the specific header/footer text that appear on a page if
you are using the "different odd and even" option.

Jane Bergen observed that "Word tries to make the breaks and
the headings all the same paragraph," but this is only strictly
true for page breaks. In most ways, manual page breaks are
treated as the first character of the following paragraph; but
in _some_ ways they behave as a separate paragraph as of Word 7,
and this "multiple personality" is the root of much odd behavior.
For example, if you have a heading that is formatted with
space before, inserting a manual page break before the heading
paragraph can double the white space. Another idiosyncracy
is that a page break immediately before a heading paragraph
gives rise to an additional, empty entry in the table of contents.
The solution to this odd behavior is to avoid the Insert>Break
operation, and instead use Format>Paragraph>Text flow>Page break
before option to hard-code page breaks. Page breaks inserted
this will always show up on-screen as a "soft" break, but you
will also see the little square bullet marking next to the
following paragraph to indicate that it has some type of flow
control formatting applied to it. BTW, adding an empty,
Normal style paragraph in between a hard page break and a
following heading paragraph does stop most of the wierdness,
but is an inelegant workaround that can cause other problems
with text flow.

As opposed to the schizoprenic manual page breaks, section
breaks seem to always behave as a separate paragraph, and to
be handled properly during ToC generation. I have never had
a problem with extra whitespace when I've manually formatted
the section break character (by itself) as Normal style
rather than Heading 1 (or whatever). But the thing to watch
out for with section breaks is that they do affect headers
and footers by design. BTW, if you have more than one section
on the same page (i.e. if you have one or more "continuous"
or "new column" section breaks on a page), the header & footer
that are printed will be the ones associated with the _first_
section on the page.

One final peripheral point about section breaks is that the
page/column layout of the section, the text and formatting
of the header and footer, the page numbering, etc. are all
embedded in the section break character at the _end_ of the
section. (This is basically the same paradigm as embedding
paragraph formatting in the non-printing paragraph symbol
at the end of each paragraph.) This fact can be useful when
you are reorganizing a document by cutting and pasting; but
it's critical to remember this when you are reorganizing in
outline view because the section breaks don't move with the
text and headings.

I hope this was helpful to list members.

Fred Ridder
f -dot- ridder -at- dialogic -dot- com
Senior Technical Writer
Dialogic Corporation

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