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  1. #1
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    Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    Today I observed some really weird behavior in a Word document I was trying to edit. Someone else created this one-page document weeks or months ago; I just tried to modify it. First, I tried to change the title...the first line. The author had built the entire document in "Normal" style and applied manual formatting as she saw fit. The title was in Times New Roman, 14pt bold, flush left I selected the title and tried to change the style to the one called "Title," which on my system is something like 18 pt Arial bold and centered. Any change I made to this line of text, however, also appeared in the first paragraph of the body of the document! That paragraph lies two "MS-Word paragraphs" below the title line--why on earth should the body of the document pick up the formatting changes I apply to the title? I even tried just centering the title--nothing more--but when I centered the title line, the text in that first paragraph below became centered too! So I gave up on that effort and went to the end of the document to add a paragraph. I hit Enter a couple of times, then selected the last paragraph mark to change that paragraph to the style I wanted to use...but the instant I tried to make the style selection, Word froze. Crashed. Not once, but three times! I finally just gave up on making any changes. Anybody out there got any explanations for this behavior?

  2. #2
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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    You might want to try replacing ^13 with ^p and see if this doesn't give you back your paragraphs. This sounds like a document where the text was pasted in -- even though you see "paragraph marks", they aren't really paragraph marks. If you don't have the style width area visible, turn that on, too. You will likely only see one style, even though there are "paragraphs", there's no style associated with them.

    SJ Miller

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    A-ha! Yes! I forgot to mention that when I tried to change a style, the "Normal" style persisted in the style box! I'd never seen such behavior before. I'm not sure I follow what you wrote about replacing ^13.... Huh? I feel the water rising above my waders, if you know what I mean. Can you elaborate, please. Where would I see "^13," for example? Are we talking about doing a routine "find and replace"?

    Thank you very much!

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    Lucas:

    Yes, it's a find and replace. ^13 is for a line break and ^p is for the paragraph mark. It's possible, of course, that what I think is wrong, isn't really what's wrong, but this will do no harm and if it is what's wrong, you'll get paragraphs back!

    SJ Miller

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    This behaviour is most likely the result of both these paragraphs sharing some style attributes and the style in the first paragraph having the "Update Style Automatically" attribute set on.

    This means that whenever this paragraph's attributes are modified, then the style definition is automatically changed - and therefore any other paragraphs using the same or descendent styles will also be modified.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    SJ:

    There's good news and bad news. First, the good news: You were right on-target with the ^13 thing--I performed a find-and-replace and made 27 replacements in that little 1-page document! Afterward, in the view style area, I could see "Normal" as the style for every paragraph. I selected the title (first) line, changed the style to "Title" and smiled when I saw the results.

    Now for the bad news. I tried to add some text to the end of the document. I entered a line of text, then selected the line to change the style. I clicked on the style box, clicked on my style of choice, pressed Enter and the system immediately froze. That is, MS-Word froze ("not responding"). I went to the Task Manager's performance tab and saw that CPU usage was 100%, and Word was not responding. This same thing happened before I applied the find-and-replace fix. Any suggestions?

    By the way: In the Find and Replace box, under "special," I did not find ^13 or "line break" in the list. I found "^l" (manual line break), but not ^13. It worked fine when I entered ^13 manually, of course, but...where does one find the catalog of these special characters? Thanks again!

  7. #7
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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    Lucas:

    The ^13 comes from my memory of overhearing someone in our office doing something in VBA code. Unfortunately, I am not at work right now so I can't ask the person (but I will!). It's one of those little pieces of information that just gets "tucked away".

    At this point, I would copy out everything but the last paragraph marker and put that into a new blank document. If there is corruption in the document, it may be living in that last paragraph mark, and this should allow you to move forward -- and happily apply styles to your paragraphs.

    I'll repost when I get the history of the ^13 info.

    Suellen

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    Just a guess, but ASCII code 13 is a Carriage Return.

    Sounds like ^nn may search for ASCII character nn.

    StuartR

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    Re: Strange behavior in Word (Word 2000)

    That's it -- carriage return! Apparently vacation mode set it faster than I expected. Thanks.

    So Lucas -- those "paragraph marks" that don't really mark the end of a paragraph are carriage returns. Rather like Word on a typewriter.

    Hope that helps.

    Suellen

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