Category Archives: Word

Tables: MS Word vs CSS

Here’s why I like CSS.

Here’s a table created in Microsoft Word and pasted into a CMS:


<table border="1" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="MsoNormalTable" style="border-collapse: collapse; border: medium none"><tbody><tr><td width="64" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: windowtext 2.25pt solid; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #4bacc6 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 47.65pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial"><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></span></strong></td><td width="170" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: windowtext 2.25pt solid; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #4bacc6 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial"><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Description</font></span></strong><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></span></strong></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: windowtext 2.25pt solid; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #4bacc6 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial"><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></span></strong></td></tr><tr style="height: 36.85pt; page-break-inside: avoid"><td rowspan="7" width="64" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #4bacc6 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 47.65pt; padding-top: 0cm; height: 36.85pt; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Benefits</font></span></strong></td><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; height: 36.85pt; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; height: 36.85pt; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">No up-front hardware or software costs</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Significantly less work effort to set-up a B2B integration solution since it involves&nbsp;mostly configuration tasks rather than programming</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Free use of online development interface&nbsp;for developers&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Data processing rates for usage&nbsp;are world&rsquo;s best</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Best Return on Investment (ROI)</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">ROI achieved sooner due to low up-front and on-going costs </span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Optimizes work effort since tasks removed or simplified</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Higher ROI due to removal of costs</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Speed of Delivery</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Solutions delivered in days and weeks rather than months and years</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">No requirement to establish and maintain hardware and software</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Support for standards reduces need for specialists and training</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Control and Flexibility</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Developers have full control over tenancies, design data and administration</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Development can be done anywhere at anytime</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Guaranteed Service </font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Secure and reliable infrastructure </span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Guaranteed service level</span></p><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Data-back-up and disaster recovery provided </span></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Market Leading Service</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; background-color: transparent; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Most advanced functionality</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">First remotely configurable Integration, BPM and BI service</span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Wide support for industry standards and customizations</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="170" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Future Proof</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="padding-right: 5.4pt; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #d8d8d8 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; border: #f0f0f0"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Quarterly releases ensure up-to-date functionality </span></p><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Upgrades are our responsibility</span></p></td></tr><tr><td width="64" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: #f0f0f0; padding-left: 5.4pt; background: #4bacc6 0% 50%; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 47.65pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; -moz-background-clip: -moz-initial; -moz-background-origin: -moz-initial; -moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial"><strong><span style="color: white; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">&nbsp;</font></span></strong></td><td width="170" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: #f0f0f0; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 127.85pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; background-color: transparent"><span style="font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;"><font size="2">Expert Assistance</font></span></td><td width="335" valign="top" style="border-right: #f0f0f0; padding-right: 5.4pt; border-top: #f0f0f0; padding-left: 5.4pt; padding-bottom: 0cm; border-left: #f0f0f0; width: 250.95pt; padding-top: 0cm; border-bottom: windowtext 2.25pt solid; background-color: transparent"><p style="margin: 0cm 0cm 4pt" class="MsoBodyText"><span style="font-size: 8pt; font-family: &#39;Calibri&#39;,&#39;sans-serif&#39;">Expertise and knowledge available for support, development, consulting and training</span></p></td></tr></tbody></table>

With a little CSS coding (held in an external file), it has become this:


<table class="featuretable">
  <tbody>
    <tr>
      <td class="ftop"></td>
      <td class="ftop">Description</td>
      <td class="ftop"></td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside">Benefits</td>
      <td class="fd0">Low Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)</td>
      <td class="fd0">No up-front hardware or software
costs<br>
Significantly less work effort to set-up a B2B integration solution
since it involves mostly configuration tasks rather than programming<br>
Free use of online development interface for developers <br>
Data processing rates for usage are world’s best</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd1">Best Return on Investment (ROI)</td>
      <td class="fd1">ROI achieved sooner due to low
up-front and on-going costs<br>
Optimizes work effort since tasks removed or simplified<br>
Higher ROI due to removal of costs</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd0">Speed of Delivery</td>
      <td class="fd0">Solutions delivered in days and
weeks rather than months and years<br>
No requirement to establish and maintain hardware and software<br>
Support for standards reduces need for specialists and training</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd1">Control and Flexibility</td>
      <td class="fd1">Developers have full control over
tenancies, design data and administration<br>
Development can be done anywhere at anytime</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd0">Guaranteed Service</td>
      <td class="fd0">Secure and reliable infrastructure<br>
Guaranteed service level<br>
Data-back-up and disaster recovery provided</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd1">Market Leading Service</td>
      <td class="fd1">Most advanced functionality<br>
First remotely configurable Integration, BPM and BI service<br>
Wide support for industry standards and customizations</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd0">Future Proof</td>
      <td class="fd0">Quarterly releases ensure up-to-date
functionality<br>
Upgrades are our responsibility</td>
    </tr>
    <tr>
      <td class="fside"></td>
      <td class="fd0">Expert Assistance</td>
      <td class="fd0">Expertise and knowledge available
for support, development, consulting and training</td>
    </tr>
  </tbody>
</table>

Old version: 12250 bytes.

New version: 2490 bytes + 605 bytes of CSS. And much more maintainable, and it’ll be easier to change the table styles later.

OK, the new looks slightly different to the old (this was on purpose to enlarge the fonts a bit), but jeez.

Quicktime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture

Of all the useless error messages, this one would have to take the cake. I found it in a Word document tonight.

Quicktime and a decompressor are needed to see this picture

It appears to be caused by the author using Mac Word, and having pasted a picture into the document in some weird and wonderful way.

The error is useless, because I already have Quicktime installed on this machine. (I didn’t particularly want it; it came with iTunes.) And if it wants a particular decompressor, it would be very helpful if it gave me a hint as to which one, and where I should get it from.

I couldn’t even see a way of extracting the picture so I could try and throw it at another viewer program.

In this age of standards, when the vast majority of pictures flying about the place are either GIF, JPEG or PNG, and even proprietary standards like MS Word are almost universal, why on earth should I be getting an error message like this?

Evidently the only fix is to go back to the source (on the Mac) and change the picture to something more universal. Thankfully the document’s author was around, so I could do that. But who knows why Mac Word lets people insert pictures in this way in the first place. (Powerpoint is susceptible too.)

Conclusion? Blame Microsoft!

Word styles

Word StylesHow is it that otherwise competent people still don’t know how to use style sheets in Word? How long’s Word had styles? Well over a decade.

You load up some document to do some work on it, and some idiot has created a zillion different styles, by virtue of editing the entire document manually (and therefore inconsistently) and Word happily making every little variation a separate style.

Half the headings have numbering, half don’t, the default paragraph type after a heading has a bullet, the bullets are mis-aligned, some bright spark has decided a standard text paragraph isn’t “Normal” but has its own special name, and the whole thing’s a mess.

I remember a few years ago I painstakingly set up a document with about 15 styles, to cover any eventuality expected, then wrote tons of text for it, and passed it to someone else for review. It came back with all the styles removed. All the text was just formatted independently, and had been changed around to be inconsistent. To this day I don’t know how he did that. Grrr.

And even last week a document came my way that had a ludicrous number of styles in it. Possibly 200 or more. You had to scroll through the list for ages to find what you wanted.

Oh, some people can’t use the Language features, either. I know it’s common for Aussies to accidentally set their documents to US English and then wonder why it complains about “colour”, but the other day someone sent me a document which had half its text set to French (even though it was in English).

Microsoft: please stop using Word

There’s a Zero-Day attack targeting MS-Word. This is the work-around:

Do not open or save Word files that you receive from untrusted sources or that you receive unexpectedly from trusted sources. This vulnerability could be exploited when a user opens a specially crafted Word file.

Don’t open Word files, not even in the Word viewer.

Nice.

I think I’ll just keep using Open Office.

Word’s insistence on US English

Word: Formatted - US EnglishAnybody who lives outside the US will know that Microsoft Word does evil things, with little bits of text changing unaccountably into US English at seemingly random times. Suddenly a perfectly spelt word like… well, spelt could be a contender actually, will get that curly red line underneath it.

And I’ve seen proof. Yesterday I was working on a document with revision marking turned on, and low-and-behold, in the middle of editing, it claimed I’d reformatted a table cell to be US English. But I hadn’t. Tried to undo it, and couldn’t.

Evil, that’s what it is. Evil. Particularly since my Word default is EN-AU, which also matches my Windows regional settings.

Next thing you know, it’ll be switching my A4 paper to Letter, as well.

MS Word footers are buggy

I thought I was going crazy the other week. I had a Word document, overdue for sending to a professional printers, with an incorrect footer on pages 7 and 8.

So I tried to fix it. Double-click on the footer. Amend “September” to “December”, like this:

Editing the page footer in Word

Click the Close button on the header/footer toolbar… and it changed back to “September”.

Page footer in Word

I swear, I must have messed with the thing for about half an hour, trying it over and over, even trying to blank out the footer completely. The change just would not stick. Turning on and off the “Same as previous section” didn’t seem to help either. I tried it on my main machine (Office 2003) and the other one (Office XP). Same result. Somehow, somewhere, it was remembering September.

Possibly it’s something to do with all the sections I have in this document. It’s a newsletter, and has a mix of 3 column (article) and 1 column (heading) sections. Not that it’s any excuse. But perhaps it’s a fairly obscure problem; there’s certainly nothing about it that I could find in the KB.

Eventually I somehow managed to get it fixed on page 7. Page 8 wouldn’t stick though. Given it was past the deadline, I gave up and sent it off to the printers as it was. Hopefully nobody would notice.

A couple of it got shot through to Tony. He found the same thing. He got Rae to try, and… she fixed it. And couldn’t understand what the fuss was about.

Later on I figured it out. If you double-click on the footer, things can go wrong. But if you go via the menus: View / Header and Footer, you’ll be okay. Bizarre.

Mind you, when you change it this way, it temporarily throws the page count and repagination right out. In this case, it suddenly thought it was on page 10 (when actually there were only 8 pages).

Editing the page footer in Word

Still, the document was finally fixed, and the superb people at Flash Print in Collingwood (Melbourne), used the fixed version on the job, even though the file was 24 hours late.

But my conclusion? Page headers and footers are buggy when using lots of sections. Another item for the MS Word bug bucket.

Irritating things in Word templates

I’ve been working with somebody else’s template. Irritating things have included:

  • Use of mirror margins — these have a marginal (ha!) effect on the presentation when printed double-sided on paper, but are really annoying when editing on screen. As your eye passes down the page, at each page-break everything moves over a little way, left-to-right, right-to-left. Particularly jarring when looking at columns or tables that go over two or more pages. To turn it off: File / Page Setup / Set Multiple Pages to Normal.
  • Default font size 12 point — is anybody that blind or in that much need to use up trees that they use 12 point for a default? Fortunately one can change the Normal style to another size, and provided the other styles are based on it, everything follows.
  • Trying to decypher and fill-in confusing bits in the template. But that’s not a Word problem, per se.

Disabling the Insert key

MS Office 2003: Customise keyboardI can’t tell you how much I hate Windows’ overtype mode. Accidentally tap the Insert key, and you suddenly find your typing overwriting old text. Who would use such a pointless thing?

And it’s doubly worse in products such as Word, where the only clue that you’re in this stupid mode is the almost-invisible ungreying of the letters “OVR” on the status bar.

Even worse in other apps: Excel has it, invisibly, only when you’re editing cells. Powerpoint doesn’t have it. Thankfully Ultraedit noticably changes the cursor when it’s invoked.

It’s there, but invisible, in Outlook. If you set Outlook to use Word for editing messages, it does it invisibly because the Word email window has no status bar, but if you have a Word window sitting in the background, you can see the OVR status light up on that!

At least it can be disabled in Word:

  • Tools -> Customize -> click Keyboard
  • In the Categories, choose All Commands
  • In the Commands list, scroll down and find Overtype
  • In the Current Keys box, the word “Insert” should appear. Click on this, then click the Remove button. Then close the dialog boxes, and you’re done.

Wouldn’t you know it, this setting isn’t global throughout Office. So the Insert key will still do stupid things in Excel and Outlook. (Using Word for writing Outlook messages will get around it, but that might be too big a price to pay.)

See also: MS KB 198148

How to embed a Word document in another Word document

How to embed a Word document (or other file) in another Word document

Sometimes it makes sense to embed one Microsoft Word document in another, rather than include a link to it, or paste the contents in. This is especially useful when sending multiple documents to people who can’t access your shared files. (Though only, of course, in environments where you can be sure everybody has Microsoft Word. If that’s not assured, you should be using something more universal, such as PDF.)

For some reason Word makes it quite tricky to do, its interface preferring to send you down the path of taking the contents of your second document and pasting them into the first.

The easiest way I’ve found:

  1. Find your second file (the one to be embedded) in Windows Explorer. Copy it (Ctrl-C)
  2. Go to the spot in the document you want to embed it in
  3. On the menu: Edit, Paste special, paste as Word document (or as file), then turn on Display as icon. (Ignore the gibberish where it claims to be pasting as a bitmap picture.) (Note in the screen grab below how short filenames live on in WinXP/Word 2003, ten years after long filenames were introduced into Windows)
  4. Click Change icon
  5. Change the caption to something meaningful, as Word’s default behaviour is to give it the incredibly useless caption “Microsoft Word Document”
  6. If you want you can change the icon, though unless you’re deliberately trying to confuse people, the default is probably fine.
  7. OK, OK. It should be done. Test by double-clicking on the icon

Microsoft today started previewing the next version of Office. Ten bucks says it won’t make this process any easier than it is now.

Dialog box for embedding documents

How to get rid of the damn change tracking in MS Word

MS Word's change trackingI don’t like Word’s change tracking. Never have. I suppose it’s useful in some circumstances, but almost every document I’ve come across that had it turned on proved it to be a symptom of self-importance on the part of the author.

Maybe my dislike of it is partially fuelled by the fact that I don’t know how to work it properly. It’s irritating to open a document and have to continually turn off the View Markup just to hide all the colourful lines and balloons that otherwise display. And it bloody turns itself back on every time you open the document again.

The way to permanently hide it all is to approve all the changes, something that can apparently only be done by showing the Reviewer toolbar. And my problem is that on the occasions I encounter markup all over the place and I want to get rid of it, I can never remember how it’s done.

This article goes into plenty of detail. But in summary:

  • View / Toolbars / Reviewing: turn it on
  • On the toolbar look for tick icon (Accept change)
  • On its dropdown, choose Accept All Changes In Document

There, finally got rid of the bastards.

Word options

Word 2003: Tools menuDumb things in Word 2003 that they should have fixed 3 versions ago, number 473: Not being able to get into the Options when you don’t have an open document.

Pointless dialog

Digging out an old Word97 document at work, I loaded it up into Word 2K. It displayed fine, but I noticed an embedded Draw98 diagram in it that needed updating. Double-clicked, it produced an error to the effect that it wasn’t going to happen ‘cos Draw98 wasn’t on the machine. Okay. Right-click… ah… it can convert it to something else… choose that, and what do I see but this:

Convert Draw98 to Draw98?

Very handy, eh? And if you’re wondering, clicking OK got the error again. Pretty sloppy from a coding point of view.

I did a bit of digging and found an MSKB article which said no problem, just install Draw98 again… and even a handily placed link to it.

Click, download, run. Nup. It wants an Office 97 application on the machine to install! Triffic. And all this recommended in a KB article purporting to apply to Word 2K.

The article also suggests digging into your archive for Word 2, for a copy of Draw (that’d be 16 bit, surely? Eugh!)

If you don’t have 10 year old floppies hanging about, you can also get at the picture and edit it in Word’s Picture Editor. Not as good for this particular drawing, but it might have to do if I can’t do it any other way.

Or else re-do it from scratch in Visio…