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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    I write novels and ignore Word's styles. I insert chapter headings and a hatchmark character for story breaks where needed in their own fonts and centered.

    Periodically, I'll open Word and all those special fonts and centering has disappeared and I have to spend half an hour going through the book and replacing them.
    Right now, it's Word 2007 but I remember it happening in previous versions as well.

    I save documents as Word 97-2003 documents (.doc files) but show no compatibility issues.
    Is there any solution to this longstanding aggravation?

  2. #2
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    I don't suppose there could be any correllation between ignoring the single greatest feature of Word (styles) and having problems with formatting The easy fix would definitely be to use styles for your special formatting but if you don't want to take the easy way then this problem becomes much trickier to solve.

    If this happens on odd occasions rather than every time you open the document then we are going to need more information to work out what is going on. Is there anything that could point to a cause? For instance do you sometimes get a copy back from editors or access the document on another computer? Do you ever use keyboard commands in Word like Ctrl-Q, or Ctrl-Space? Do you ever copy and Paste Special as text only?
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
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    Okay, you've shamed me into looking at Styles.
    My doubts are that I expect them to demand that I know what parts of a document are as I'm writing and I'm just making it up as I go along.
    But if they really are simpler and will solve the problem, then that's the answer, I suppose. Let me look at that and I'll come back if it's not the solution.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liblit View Post
    Periodically, I'll open Word and all those special fonts and centering has disappeared and I have to spend half an hour going through the book and replacing them.
    Barring document corruption, there are only a handful of ways to completely wipe out all formatting in a document.

    One is to select all and press Ctrl+Spacebar. This will return the font settings back to those in your underlying (probably Normal) style. But that wouldn't undo the centering. To remove the centering, you'd have to press Ctrl+L (left justify) or Ctrl+Q (reset to underlying style). Or if you press Ctrl+Shift+N to re-apply Normal style, that might override the styling (I'd have to test).

    One way to open a document as plain text is to change the format drop-down in the File > Open dialog to "Recover Text from Any File (*.*)". As long as you close without saving, your original still should be intact. Change the format drop-down back to Word documents before re-opening.

  5. #5
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    Styles shouldn't be onerous to apply at all. Novels typically use only one style anyway apart from the Headings that you are using for the Chapter

    Assuming your entire content is styled using Normal, you only need to put your cursor into the paragraph that is the heading and press Shift-Alt-Left Arrow and you will turn that paragraph into a 'Heading 1' style. Pressing Ctrl-Shift-N gives you Normal back again but this probably happens automatically (a default style setting) when you press Enter at the end of a Heading style.

    At the very least, you can then do a search for Headings or use the outline view to rapidly navigate your document.

    I'm not sure what your 'hatchmark character' is but it could also be done using a style to make it more consistent and easy to find.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  6. #6
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    I've seen similar behavior when I've had a template attached and have accidently left "Automatically update document styles" checked on. Next time anybody opens the document everything has reverted to -- I'm not even sure what it reverts to, but justification is changed, fonts are changed, and there's a scream echoing in the hall (mine).

    It doesn't sound like you have a template attached, but if you want to check this out, look here:
    --Developer tab*
    --Templates grouping
    --Document template button

    * The Developer tab only shows if you've set it to do so:
    -----Microsoft Office Button (the round button, upper left of screen)
    -----Word Options button
    -----"Popular" subgroup
    -----The checkbox ("Show Developer tab in ribbon") is the third selection under "Top options for working with Word"

    Judy

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