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  1. #1
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    Word character styles: "underlying properties" doesn't apply to color

    My basic template has several character formats that rely heavily on the text's underlying properties. For example, TT changes the font to Courier New without changing anything else. (If you know HTML you'll recognize the name.) If I use it in a body paragraph, composed in 11 point Times New Roman, it gives me 11 point Courier New. If I use it in a table cell, composed in 10 point Arial, it gives me 10 point Courier New. And so forth.

    Today I realized that these character styles compose text in the Automatic color (which, as far as I can tell, is a Microsoft synonym for black). If I apply TT to text in a Comment paragraph, where the underlying properties are brown 11 point Comic Sans, I get black 11 point Courier New.

    I looked at the font dialog and realized that there's no way to set "color" to an empty value, as for "font" and "size." Thus there's apparently no way to preserve the text's underlying color property.

    Is this another one of Word's stupid limitations, or... is it another one Word's stupid inconsistencies? Is there some way to preserve the text's underlying color that just isn't the same as the technique for preserving the underlying font and size?

  2. #2
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    I figured out what happened here. The case was one where the underlying paragraph style used black type. I applied a character style to the paragraph which gave it brown type. Then I applied another character style to a word in the paragraph which replaced the character style, and it specified the "Automatic" color, making that word revert to the paragraph's color.

    In other words, Word styles are working the way they're designed to: applying a new style on top of an old style replaces the old with the new. They don't cascade as HTML styles do. But it's darned inconvenient.

    Does anyone know a way to get around this?

  3. #3
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    As far as I know you can only have one character style and one paragraph style applied at a time. The styles do 'cascade' but you can't 'nest' paragraph styles inside paragraph styles, nor can you nest character styles inside character styles.

    Automatic colour is usually black, but if the text is sitting on a very dark background then automatic coloured text becomes white. This doesn't happen if the text is actually coloured 'black'
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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