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  1. #1
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    Curious case of semi-selected text

    I am using Word 2003 (with Win 7x64, but I don't suppose that matters). I have been working on a document for some weeks and yesterday I copied it to a USB drive to open it on a friend's Mac, which was running the latest version of Word. I was concerned that this might cause a compatibility problem, but he assured me that his Mac could run Win 7 (virtual Win 7), and that there would be no problem. Today when I opened it on my own machine I got a pop-up warning: "This document contains one or more links to other files. Do you want to update this document with data from the other files?" The choices were Yes or No. Since I didn't have any other files, at least as far as I knew at that point, I chose No. And to my relief the document opened normally. I then selected a large block of text, about 3 pages, from a 22 page .doc file and dragged it to another part of the document. That seemed to work as expected, except that the moved text was not deselected after the move, nor was it still selected either, it was on a gray background, not black. If I place the cursor outside the section that was moved the gray disappears, the whole document looks normal, but click anywhere in the moved text and it goes gray again, I can add text to this section and it too is grayed. If I drag the sursor the whole section is reselected, i.e. black background.

    So I looked at the file in Explorer and there were a number of files that weren't there before using the Mac. ".Spotlight-V100" was one ".Trashes" another. Clearly something to do with the Mac, so I deleted them and then reopened the document. Still got the pop-up, and the moved text was still gray. There is a backup .wkb file, but because I closed and reopened the file the backup has the same problem. I've been using Word since Word 6, never saw this before. Anyone know what's going on?

    Thanks,

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2015-04-09 at 13:40. Reason: Addiitional info

  2. #2
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    David

    From your description it sounds like the grey shading is an indication that the text is contained in a field. The field is most likely a pasted link to the source document where it was copied from by your friend. You can remove (unlink) a field by selecting it and pressing Ctrl-Shift-F9.

    The other 'hidden' files that have appeared on your USB were added by the MacOS. They are not necessary on Windows machines and can be ignored and/or deleted but are used by Macs to provide additional information about the files stored on that media. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_fork for further info.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Rhinoceros (2015-04-11)

  4. #3
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Just a note. Be very careful using flashdrives.

    • Do not manipulate any document on them from within Word.

    • Do not save a document to a flashdrive from within Word.

    • Do not print a document on a flash drive from within Word.

    • Do not open a document on a flashdrive from within Word.

    Doing any of these -- from within Word -- can cause document corruption.

    Instead, use the flashdrive to transport documents but do any work on them with a copy on your hard disk drive.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2015-04-10 at 10:06.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Rhinoceros (2015-04-11)

  6. #4
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    Thank you both for the clear and concise answers. I had forgotten all about fields, and how to unlink them, so that's resolved the problem. And I must admit that I had no idea that opening/printing etc. from a flashdrive could cause problems. In future I'll do as you say, just take the document on the drive, but not work on it. And there's a lot of useful info on that link that you sent. Will bookmark that.

    David
    Last edited by Rhinoceros; 2015-04-11 at 14:47. Reason: Added info

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