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  1. #1
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    Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    Hi everyone,

    Having a weird and unpredictable problem. In 3 different documents (from 3 different authors I support), I've recently had several styles have their line spacing suddenly change to "At least 18 points" and the alignment to "Justified". I thought maybe the authors were copying from the same document, but yesterday a friend at another company reported the same problem in a brand-new document, and today a different department at my company also reported it.

    This all started a few weeks ago. My suspicion is that it's somehow related to recently-deployed Microsoft patches, but that's just an assumption. Is anyone else seeing this problem? Does anyone know the cause? Does anyone have a fix?

    TIA for any help,

    Beej

  2. #2
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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    I have Word 2002 at home, fully patched, and I haven't noticed anything unusual.
    Check the following:
    1) Look at the definition of the problem styles in the Styles and Formatting task pane. Has the 'Automatically update' check box been ticked? If so, clear it. If the check box is ticked, editing a paragraph will update the style in the entire document.
    2) Select Tools | Templates and Add-Ins... Has the 'Automatically update document styles' been ticked? If so, the style definitions in the template the document is based on will replace the styles in the document each time it is opened.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    Hi Hans,

    First things I thought of too. I checked on the 2 machines I could and both had these settings turned off, and our installation of Word specifically turns off both of them to prevent this kind of problem. Furthermore, the people who report this say their formatting is fine, and then suddenly it will appear--they're not changing style definitions, which would be the trigger. I might still be willing to think the style definitions were being changed by the users, except it would be extremely strange that ALL of the users would re-define the styles the same way--it's always Line spacing 18 and justified.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    I'm afraid I can't explain the behavior you describe. I assume you've also checked for rogue macros in Normal.dot or in global templates (add-ins) that might cause it.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    What style is the offending style based on?
    Also, check the compatability under Tools>Options>Compatability.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    I have seen the same problem in the last month or so also. Nothing is checked that shouldn't be, compatibility is the same, etc. It didn't happen to me, but happened to different users in different offices on different documents based on different templates. Nobody has let me know in the last couple of weeks if it is still a problem and I couldn't get it to reproduce on my machine.

    Someone did post the same question on the MS board, but as of yet, nobody has responded, so at least I'm not the only one who's seen it happen.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    My company's IT got on the horn to Microsoft. I'll spare you the story of all Microsoft's denials. They have admitted that their patch was the cause of the problem. Here's what our IT guy wrote:

    "Microsoft has been able to reproduce the formatting issue with Word in their lab using the current patch version- there have been two other confirmed cases at other companies. The issue can be reproduced by selecting text within an existing document, applying several styles and then clicking on the Undo button in the standard toolbar one or more times.

    The apparent cause of this issue was Microsoft Word patch MS07-014 that went out as part of the MS07-015 Office patch bundle after March 2nd (Note: these dates may be just for my company, as we usually wait a while before rolling patches out). This patch is being replaced with Microsoft Word patch MS07-024 to be released after May 25th which should resolve this issue.

    Workaround:
    This issue does not appear to occur when using the ctrl-z keyboard shortcut versus the Undo button in the standard toolbar. It is recommended to use this shortcut keyboard combination whenever possible.

    If still in the document when the corruption occurs, it may be possible to click Undo or Redo one or more times again to restore the formatting (Note: additional changes will be lost). " (my note: my users have reported that undoing once the corruption appears didn't fix the problem)

    For those affected, what I've been doing to fix it is modifying the Normal style to be aligned and spaced the way it should be (in my case, left-aligned and single-spaced). This fixed all the instances except those inside tables, so I did a Find and Replace. I searched for any instances of Line Spacing being "At least 18 points" and told it to Replace All with a Line Spacing of "Single" (or, whatever spacing you want). This fixed all the other instances--strangely enough, I DIDN'T have to also fix the alignment--that fixed itself when I fixed the spacing. Weird.

    I hope this helps everyone.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    I figured it had something to do with all the patches that were coming out but I didn't think MS would actually put something out that screwed up things so badly. Thanks for the info. I, too, would just modify the normal style and fix the problem, but try to explain to that to users whose documents just went haywire.

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    Re: Line spacing and justification suddenly changing (Word XP)

    Just another update concerning this bug. An alternative fix to the problem is to copy back in the original styles using the Organizer, if you have a template or document with the correct styles available. This seems to have not only fixed the problem, but in my limited testing also prevented it form recurring.

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