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  1. #1
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    Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    I'm placing arrows in a long Master document that's composed of tables. Most of my arrows are behaving just fine, but in one file I am having a lot of trouble placing the arrows. When I try to move them they disappear off the page, or move out of control and I can't place them on the page. I've tried to troubleshoot this by choosing different layout positions ("in front of text", "square". "tight") but no luck. Other tables in the document handle the arrows just fine but this one is a problem. Any thoughts about what could be causing this?
    Thanks for any insight you might be able to give me here.
    Jerry Marino

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    Re: Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    Your problems are probably related to the object anchor being used by the arrows.

    Essentially an arrow is a floating object that knows where it is to position itself by referring to an object anchor and then being offset xx points to the left/right and yy points up or down from this object anchor. If you drag the arrow around then the position of the object anchor may change as well as the relative offset from the anchor. The object anchor is typically located at the start of a paragraph nearby the graphic - when that paragraph moves, so does the object.

    To understand why it jumps around, you need to see the anchor (optionally visible under Tools > Options > View) and examine the position settings by right clicking the arrow and choosing Format Autoshape > Layout > Advanced > Picture Position (or something similar in your version of Word). Sometimes locking the anchor is a good idea to ensure the graphic is positioned relative to the correct paragraph mark.

    If the problems are confined to a particular table in Word 2003, you might want to check whether the table is floating object itself in which case the anchor may be attached to a paragraph outside of the table rather than the table itself.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    Thank you Andrew,

    This is very helpful. When I look at the arrow's anchor and lock it the arrow still moves uncontrollably. As I try to move it on the page it disappears. Another curious thing I notice is that there seems to be a duplicate arrow outside of the table where I placed the original arrow. This arrow moves with the one I placed and they both disappear as I try to move either one. I'd like to simply delete these arrows and place new ones but any arrow I place in this table acts similarly. Any thoughts on why this happens and how to correct?

    Thank you again for your expert advice.

    Jerry Marino

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    Re: Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    Jerry, the fact that you now have two arrows working in tandem is odd - could they be grouped together? Are you able to post a cutdown version of the file with the problem table and arrows. You should remove any sensitive data from the file before posting it. Just leave some empty paragraphs along with the empty table.

    I've got the feeling that this table is floating (which is one of the new features we never realised we needed) and that this is part of the problem.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    Thank you again Andrew,

    I seem to be unable to post an appropriate version of this file. I'm wondering if the file is corrupt? Tje duplicate arrows are odd...if I select one the other is also selected...then when I try to move it they both disappear off the page. How would I correct a floating table if this is the cause?

    Thanks again for your input.

    Jerry Marino

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    Re: Problems with arrows (Word 2003)

    > How would I correct a floating table if this is the cause?

    I'm not sure that there is such a thing as a truly non-floating table in Word 2000+. You can turn off text wrapping (Table>Table Properties..., Table tab) to make it behave more like an inline object, and of course if it is in a textbox, you should be able to copy it out and paste it into the main body of the document. But it's hard to guarantee that strange things won't happen with tables in more recent versions of Word.

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