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  1. #1
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    AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Help! I have a user who creates long (25+ pages) documents. The problem is that the document consists of one (and only one) table! The format of the table is four columns of differing widths, with one column not used as all (it's put in there just for a space) and each cell will have different amounts of text - from one word to lengthy paragraphs.

    This tends to lead to a huge amount of problems such as freezing, slowness, Dr. Watson's, etc., etc.

    Does anyone know of a way to create a table like format that's not in a table?

    I am attaching a sample.

    I would REALLY REALLY appreciate any advice you can give me!!
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    It's not the prettiest solution, but you could use columns. It would be very hard to create them so that they lined up, but it could be done. You could also use text boxes, but that might be even worse. The other things I would suggest are to double check that you don't have fast saves on, and try putting a few table breaks in the document so that you have several tables instead of one long one.

    You could also use excel, but that might be even messier.

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    That size is not big and there must be other reasons why you are having so many problems with your document. I regularly deal with tables spanning over a hundred pages (specification compliance tables) and don't experience too many difficulties.

    Other formatting options are going to be way harder to handle so I would suggest sticking with tables but reducing complexity where possible.

    Ways to reduce the file overheads might be:
    Remove the column there just for spacing. Use the Table alignments instead.
    Fix the paragraph numbers that are disappearing off to the left of the column. Either remove them if they are not needed or show them.
    Work in Normal View so the document isn't forced to repaginate so often
    Stop the table cells from breaking across page breaks. This will improve readability but may need to be turned off on some isolated table rows with huge sections.
    Use styles instead of local formatting. This will save file space, increase consistency and speed formatting.
    Check out the paragraph pagination settings. You can embed the ability of "Keep with Next" or "Page break Before". Sometimes this can give a funny result if there is a conflict when the document tries to paginate.

    Good luck.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    I second Andrew's suggestions -- large multi-page tables (over a hundred pages) don't slow me down at all. Use proper formatting and don't split or merge cells in the middle of your table (for heading row, sometimes you have to) and all should be fine.

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    If you can get someone to spring for more RAM, that probably will help, too. Table processing does seem to gobble the memory.

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    I was doing a search and came up with this post. We are having a terrible time with a document that is mostly tables.
    <hr>Use styles instead of local formatting. This will save file space, increase consistency and speed formatting<hr>

    After reading this I noticed that there is a lot of direct formatting within the tables. So maybe that's why it's so large (8 mb). Can someone point me to a source that will explain the difference between direct and character formatting so that we can explain to users that it is best not to use direct formatting? TIA
    Patricia

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Microsoft has a tutorial about styles: http://officeupdate.microsoft.com/legal/Styles.asp.

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Don't expect much from changing manual formatting to style formatting.

    Even if it's definitely worth it for other reasons, both speed and file size will be hardly affected.

    The reason is that Word treats manual formatting much the same as styles behind the scenes.

    If you apply the same manual formatting (say style "Heading 1" + Arial 12 pt + space before 48 pt + ...) 100 times, Word will save that formatting just once, and apply it in much the same way it would apply a style.


    The reason for your speed problems is almost certainly the one big table. Split it in two equal-sized parts, and the speed (for typing, macros and everything else) will about double. If you split both in two again, the speed will about double once more ...


    The legal user's style guide from MS that Hans recommended is my favourite, too (Charles Kenyon has a good annotated version). It has a link to another tutorial by Microsystems Engineering.

    Or, if you'd like a tutorial with pictures of the involved dialogs, see Dian Chapman's "Getting Started with Styles". None of the tutorials treats the additional features of Word2002 yet, though: The new version makes the "styles" that Word applies behind the scenes (see above; "Char styles" ...) a bit more transparent .

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    I just had a look at your sample.

    The "speed" depends heavily on the number of cells in the largest table.

    You could get rid of all those empty cells. That should make a big difference.

    If you need to check if a column contains any text, select it (hold Alt and click into it), then search for ^? (= any character). If that doesn't find anything, you can safely delete the column.

    You can set the left indent from "Table > Table properties", or by choosing different page margins for the section or the whole document in "File > Page setup...". The right indent comes automatically from choosing the column widths, and left/right indents inside a column can be either applied as cell padding (again in "Table > Table properties", "Table" tab for the whole table, or "Cell" tab for individual cells), or as paragraph/style formatting ("Format > Paragraph").

    <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Klaus

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Thanks HansV & Klaus. Yes, I like the MS site. I am knowledgeable when it comes to styles but not char.styles but from what you've said, Klaus, it doesn't sound as if changing the formatting to styles is going to help. The document consists of fairly small tables but there are approximately 350 of them! Most tables do not exceed 1/2 page - I think two are 1 page long. Found an item on tables in Word 2000 that is of some interest http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q220564. Microsystems now have a Publications page http://linkhttp://www.microsystems.com/publications.htm - some good stuff there.
    Patricia

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    I often work on documents with 200+ pages consisting only of tables (most of them

  12. #12
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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    ... and thank you for the new link to the Microsystems site.

    One thing I don't understand in their tutorial

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Yes - Although I like Microsystems I do concur with you with reference to this portion of their tutorial ...
    <blockquote><hr>[...] your end user will have no way of knowing that these styles are defined the way the firm wants them to be. Also, including the firm
    Patricia

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Two other example of magical properties of the built-in styles:

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    Re: AGH! Tables in Word 2000 (MS Word 2000/SR1)

    Just an FYI: I have repaired documents with tables by saving as RTF, closing, and opening back up and saving as DOC again.

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