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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    This is a bit of a Rant. Sorry. I lost a lot of time on it and I wonder if it's been changed with newer Word versions.
    The topic at hand is yet another irritating "auto-correct" style feature in Microsoft Word (2002). I thought I had turned off all "auto-correct"/smart style features but I was wrong - sneaky ones are hiding everywhere. I was struggling mightily to copy and paste a Table from one Word document to another. It kept getting resized. I fiddled around with styles for 1/2 hour without success. I was starting to consider remaking the damn table, but I can see lots of work ahead of the same style ahead and I wanted to figure out WHY. Finally, from trial and error I determined that the problem had to do with a question of portrait vs landscape - it turns out the table would get resized no matter what, if the document changed layout. Now, why, oh why, would you want that turned on by default?!?! It took me another 15 minutes of very careful detective work to discover a way to turn this off. You have to go select your entire Table, do /Table/TableProperties and under Size, change it from Preferred Width "Measured in" "percent" to "Measured in "inches", aka "Relative to Page Width" vs "Absolute Size". This is idiotic. I had specifically designed the Table to have Columns of a certain size. Clearly this means I was happy with the absolute size of the table and columns. That SHOULD BE the DEFAULT behavior of Tables. Fonts work that way - you don't pick Font 12 Times relative to the width of the damn page. It's Font 12 size, absolute. For some reason the developers of Word think that people prefer the relative behavior to be the default - is this supposed to be easier?! Quite the contrary, I find this to be much less intuitive. Furthermore, it's also not clear how to turn it off. This relative behavior should perhaps be an option in Preferences labelled something like "Automatically Resize Table To Page Width", so that one can easily turn it off.
    Ok, that's the end of the Rant. Thanks for listening!
    -Alex

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    Welcome to the lounge.

    We all come across things that we find frustrating when using software products, and I guess we just need to express our frustations sometimes. I hope that made you feel better.

    Replying to the specific question that you asked "I wonder if it's been changed with newer Word versions" I just created a table in Word 2003 and adjusted the column widths with the mouse. A visit to Table Properties showed that these columns had a preferred width set in Centimetres, the alternative measurement of Percent was not selected. I don't know if this is the installation default or something about my particular configuration.

    StuartR

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    It doesn't work that way for me. Preferred width is set to centimeters by default for me, as for Stuart (I use Word 2002 SP3)

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    Wow, my apologies, I may have mis-spoken. I just created a new table in a brand new document and the "preferred width" is not set at all - not percent width, not cm, not inches. That's precisely how it should be. How odd. I really don't know how that other Table could have picked up that weird behavior. Moderately strange too that you guys have yet a different default setup (preferred width set to cm). Well, either way, this is fine. This is how it should work. My apologies for the rant. Next time i'll try to duplicate what I perceive to be an "error" before I go on a rant! I'm usually much more cautious than this. In any case, let me say this looks like a great forum. I was directed here from annoyances.org and I am very happy to have found your website. Who knows how many other complications I will bother you guys with as I continue to write my thesis!
    Thanks,Alex

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    Your questions are welcome! All the best with your thesis.

  6. #6
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Tables - Auto-Resize Confusion (2002)

    I may have confused you, it is not the table width that is set to Centimeters, but the widths of each column. My default table width is also not set.

    StuartR

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