Tag Archives: Word 2007

How Do I Hate Thee, Word 2007

I’ve been formatting my book for printing at Createspace, due out this month. Since Embers Amongst the Fallen was already formatted for an ebook, the copy was clean, the headings matched, the front and back copy were done  and everything looked hunky dory.  But I needed to add a few elements that are different from an ebook.

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Word 2007 is a relationship that would end in a messy divorce. Creative Commons Stuartpilbrow

First, the ebook files had been  set with 1.5 spacing. For print, you want single spaced. That’s simple enough to do. I also wanted to drop cap the first letter of each story. That’s easy too, but don’t drop-cap quotation marks. Just remove them because you’ll never get them to look right.  Next is changing the table of contents to reflect no hyperlinks but page numbers. So page numbers are needed but here’s where it gets to be fun I’m an expert at Word but have found Word 2007 defies logic an intuition (Don’t let that pretty “ribbon” with all its graphics fool you–it’s an energy suck and they change everything around.)

Any copy that comes before the main body of text tends to be numbered with i, ii, vi, ix, etc. Roman numerals of the uncapitalized variety. This shouldn’t be a problem and didn’t used to be in the older versions of Word, or at least not as big of a problem. You start with i, ii, iii and then when you get to the front matter you switch to pages 1, 2, 3 by entering a break.  Consider these preliminary steps the part of a relationship where everything is new and fresh and you get to learn of the person’s interests and personality. Putting in the numbering is when you get to a firm commitment.

However, Microsoft figured out that they could give people more meaningful moments if they expanded the time-to-search ratio and placed things such as  breaks in two different areas, segregating “page breaks” from continuous, odd, even, section and other breaks. Except that you can find page breaks in this section as well but of course it takes more hunting. Already, one thinks, gosh I’m so glad I got to spend such long quality time within Microsoft Word. Just to help in developing a complex and deep relationship, they set these pages to link automatically to the previous section and should you have found the philosopher’s stone that tells you actually which type of break lets you move on to new numbering, as opposed to it wanting to continue the one you don’t want, then you might be in luck of getting it to work right. Because of course they work different and are linked to headers and footers as well.

Now, remember, I’m formatting a print book. This means there are recto (right hand) and verso (left hand) pages. You

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Windows 2007 and I doubt Vista is better. It’s a broken relationship. Creative Commons: Deviantart LarsEliasNielsen

want your book (in Western countries at least) to start on the recto side, which are the odd-numbered pages as we all start reading at page 1. This means such things as dedication, acknowledgements, introduction, afterword, credits, contents and stories all should start on the recto page. You may have to add a blank page from time to time but keep the numbering going correctly. That’s no problem,  just as a page break shouldn’t be, but don’t make it a section break or some other unfathomed system because your numbering might just decide to start over. I believe it involves esoteric rituals and words of endearment to actually work correctly.

And let’s say you want to try something nice, like flowers to make your relationship better, or perhaps a header that says Colleen Anderson on the recto page but says Embers Amongst the Fallen on the verso page. Easy, right? All you do is click on the tab that says Different Odd & Even Pages. Voila, so simple, you don’t have to even work at this relationship. Oh, but wait. When you go back to look at your title and copyright pages the headers are showing. Insert a section break, but wait, the numbering now starts at page three. Delete the numbers, unlink from the previous section and go again. Okay, the numbers are going right, but now both headers say Colleen Anderson. Okay, fiddle back and forth and that should be good. Looking good.

Upload the file to Createspace and review it. What? All the numbers are lower case Roman. Go back, tinker with section and page breaks. Restart or continue numbering and run through it again. But now the text body shows the two different headers but the front matter shows only one header for both pages. But I entered them differently and everything is checked as different odd and even pages. Fix and go again. What? Now some of the headers missing. We’ve got to the point in the relationship where one says, “Where were you last night?” And you say, “I was working late.” This isn’t believed and you go around in circles rehashing the old info and even offering to call the office to verify. Back and forth and forth and back, and finally out of exhaustion the argument dies and the page numbers and headers look right. Please don’t find a typo at the stage or it could all flare up again, as it has before.

After counseling, many apologies, attempts to make things work a different way and finally a clean copy that comes through with everything on the correct side of the page, the numbering in the right order and the headers where they should be. The final is  up at Createspace and my designer is finishing the back cover and we’ll have copies in about 10-12 days, in time for arriving in Toronto.

Four hours. Yes, folks. As an experienced Word user it took me four hours on Word 2007, partly because I don’t use different headers and numbering all the time, but also  because this relationship is sadistic and malicious, and I would toss it out a high window if I could. As it is, I want a divorce and a big cash settlement.

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The Worst Word of Malfunctioning Microsoft

I have used Word for years and years, through many version. Before that I had Word Perfect and WordStar, so I know my word processing. I’m fairly advance with word. I’ve used it for editing as well as writing. I can put in borders, graphics, tables (and create them), tables of contents, and do labels and envelopes. I can do a lot and figure out the bits I can’t do.

I tend to use shortcuts. Ctrl C for copying and Ctrl P for printing. I can go to a dropdown menu and I know what is in each section. Some has been annoying, such as when Microsoft decided to change the “Track Changes” feature, something that editors use a lot. Instead of just inserting text into the document and when you ran your cursor over it, it gave you the deleted text in a box, they changed it to balloons off to the side. Once you get too many of these on a page it pops open a window at the bottom of your screen. And if you’re editing a multi page document like a novel, it starts to slow down and then won’t always show the changes. It takes opening and closing the document or changing the view options from Final to Final With Changes and back and forth in hopes to see the changes. Add comments on top of this and it’s a hopeless mire.

That change was highly annoying and a function I used a lot. So then Microsoft’s brain children decided they needed to figure out ways to keep themselves employed longer. Let’s redesign Word and make it bigger, better, bolder, brighter. Oh and all those three letter extensions like .doc, .rtf, .xls, why don’t we make them better and add a letter so people will have .docx and .xlsx, because then they can’t open files unless they have the new software and we can all get raises. And they’ll need more memory to run a program with extra graphics. Yay, more jobs.

Yes, Word 2007 and up has this hyper aggravating extension, which means asking people to save their files into a .doc file if you have an earlier version. A great way to perpetuate continual sales and irritation. So at work and at home I updated in the attempt to be able to open all files. Word 2007. To name this the scourge of civilization would not be an exaggeration. To call it a bloated behemoth would be absolutely accurate.

I’ve been trying it for a month now and I’m ready to kill. Microsoft Outlook has several exasperating features and one disastrous one. Now if you want to attach a file to your email, you click on the paperclip as before, but oh no, it doesn’t go to your files right away. Instead you get to click a second time for the most popular option of attach a file. “Attach an item” is there as it always was but not common and just an extra step to go through now. Should you want to adjust your distribution lists, be very careful. There is a button that says delete item. If you highlight one name in your list and click delete item, it deletes your entire distribution list. I’ve done this twice now. Thanks, Microsoft.

But that’s all minor to the catastrophe that is Word 2007. This program is so bloated that we had to add more memory to my computer at work because it was taking forever to do anything. But Word is now a new, modified version of all the Words before. One menu bar at the top was not enough so there are two. screen

Notice the double menu, where the top menu is not quite the same as the second menu but there are some tabs like Insert and View which are but in different spots.You just get to decide which Insert menu you need and if you’re used to knowing where everything was, well you won’t anymore. It’s less intuitive. And then there is the Table Tools menu, which shows up if you press buttons in the right order. It seems that it is most likely activated in Excel or with any tables but don’t count on it. And if you go to Microsoft Help it will be less useful than usual, where it just tells you to go to the Table Tools menu but doesn’t tell you how to get there.

Fun? You betcha, if you want to waste hours of time looking for what you used to find in seconds. There are some cool features such as if you highlight text and then scroll through fonts or styles it will show you what they look like, but that coolness does not outweigh the aggravation. And instead of a dropdown menu where you can choose, now if you click on something as simple as the new document button, it opens up to a host of options. Of course most of the time all you want is another blank Word document, but instead you get a variety of options every time. More ways to waste your day.

The final straw for me has been trying to print landscape, four pages to a sheet. No matter how many settings I change or if I tried it as labels (index card size) or as separate pages, there is no way it will print landscape on the paper. I’m sure I could go on with the lumbering zombie that is Word 2007 but I don’t see why. I’ve gone through the usual learning curve period (a week or less) and I’m still getting pissed off so it’s being booted back to the primordial code it once was. Microsoft might do better to leave some things well enough alone and not create increasingly ungainly leviathans that use more memory and take longer to get to the same place. If I had to rate this out of ten I’d give it a three.

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