Saturday, January 10, 2009

Microsoft Word 2007 (One part question/one part rant)

To begin with, I don't want to hear how other software is superior to Word. I've used Open Office, Word Perfect, and a host of others, but return to Word simply because of its compatibility and familiar layout. That and because when I beta tested 2007 I got a pretty good deal on the price. Additionally, I don't have to convert documents to send them to agents who don't have WP or Open Office, which are less popular. And while I'm sure Mac is a superior product, I don't have one of those, I have a PC and can't afford to purchase a Mac this morning (or any other when it gets right down to it). So please don't rub my nose in how superior your Mac is. I won't argue with you, but I probably won't invite you to my birthday party where all the cool kids will be riding ponies and taking home custom made balloon animals either.

I simply want to know how to solve this problem, right now, this morning.

Boy that was a grumpy opening wasn't it? Sorry. I've just spent the last thirty minutes trying to convince Word that the obscure formatting I used on one section of one document a year ago does not apply to the new one I'm cutting and pasting to this morning. I have a fresh letter ready to go out to several agents--all of whom also want a separate synopsis and the first few pages of the manuscript (thus why I left them all until last). The letter was easy enough (the best so far, I think), but I wanted to use a section of an older query letter as the opening to my new synopsis and Word thinks it would look just great if I would indent the text of each paragraph, but not the first line (do not ask me why--ask the guys at Microsoft who clearly never use their own software to write lengthy documents with).

I've unchecked just almost everything under Options/automatic formatting/formatting as you type. I've already tried turning off the "copy and paste text only" feature. Unfortunately the only time this seems to work is if I actually want to copy and paste a chart from one document to another. Then all I get is the text and not the chart. On the other hand, it doesn't affect the text at all. It's only too happy to indent all of that.

So if anyone out there has any knowledge in this area, would you tell me what feature it is that I've not turned off yet?

As for me, I'm going to go take a breather, and thus protect my computer and boys ears from further abusive language.

9 comments:

jeanie said...

Okay Mary - when you copy, can you do so without copying the paragraph mark at the end?

Another option is after you paste (and it does is varminty change to the format) hit "Ctrl-Z" which undoes the last thing - in this case, its automatic formatting.

If all else fails, do you want to email me the doc and I can try and edit it up for you?

Its what I do...

Scotty said...

It's hard to tell without seeing it, Mary, but maybe these links will help a bit...

Indenting

Paragraphs

Mike said...

"I've unchecked just almost everything under Options/automatic formatting/formatting as you type." Join the club. This version of Word makes me say lots of bad ones.

Big Plain V said...

Try messing with your computer. Sometimes they act funny. In case you never noticed.

Hal Johnson said...

I just replaced my old Mac laptop with a new--well, refurb new--one. I was really happy with the old Word for Mac program, but reading the reviews on Amazon on the newest version, I'm kind of worried.

Sorry I can't be of more help; all I can do is sympathize.

Mary Paddock said...

The problem appeared to be hidden in the Paragraph settings--reached by right-clicking on the blank page and then telling it to indent the first line only.

Jeanie-You are a sweetheart for offering. You might want to be careful--offering something like that to a writer could get you in trouble. :) Thanks for the cool tips. They helped me spot the problem.

Scotty--The links were a big help, thank you.

Mike--It exasperates me on a regular basis. They've "fixed" some things that weren't broken and we all know where that gets you.

Ray--Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just because a girl crashes her computer a couple of times while experimenting with beta software is no reason to ridicule her in her hour of need. What are you? Somebody's brother?

Hal--I hear Macs are amazing and I've never used Word on one (my experience with Mac dates back to the early 90s: pre-internet. PCs are simply cheaper and easier to fix yourself.

rhubarbwhine said...

Oh gosh, even reading this confused me. Sorry, I am no good with these things :(

Bush Babe said...

I was going to send Jeanie over... but you're sorted. She arrives here shortly so email me if you are still in trouble. Honestly, the woman is a whiz.
:-)
BB

Mary Paddock said...

RH--Don't worry about it. It confused me too.

Hey BB! Jeanie is quite the whiz at this! Just tell her thanks for me.