Word 2007 Copy and Paste Weirdness

I have to use MS Word as part of my job. I am currently building a substantial document from three other documents. One of the major parts of this is to grab text and JPEG images from one of the documents (which is another document created with Word 2007) and paste it into the right place on the document I am working on. I then have to edit the document.

So there is a lot of extra work here. I can not make Word keep the formatting right. Both documents are in Arial. The source is 11 pt and the destination is 12 pt. Given that, Word insists on changing the font when the paste is done to Times New Roman. Yes, I know about the option to keep source or destination formatting. Word, it seems, doesn’t. Word also will randomly place the copied text in front of or under the numbers that are started in the destination.

All of this can be overcome with more editing. But here is a weird one. Check out this document (it’s a screen capture):

So notice that the right half of the page is blank; the Cloak of Word Invisibility goes right over two pictures that are embedded in the document. Word knows they are there (from the image outline), but it won’t tell me at all what is covering up half the page. I can’t delete it. This happened because I pasted a single sentence from one document into this one. The original document doesn’t have a huge blocker there.

So Word, after being around since about 1993 or something like this, is still very buggy where basic functionality is concerned. I wish it was not. I opened this document in OpenOffice 3.1, and it does not have the big block. I closed the document and reopened it up in Word again, still there. What a pain.

01 Aug 2011 update: check the second comment on this post for a fix.

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2 Responses to “Word 2007 Copy and Paste Weirdness”

  1. Tom Says:

    Two things:

    I was using Word 1.0 in the mid-80’s.

    When I paste from another Word doc, i’m given an option to retain the original formatting.

    As for the bug, yep, I’ve seen it a few times. This is the kind of thing that happens when individual developers are given the authority to change existing features without a review process. Microslop is notorious for changing features radically from release to release, and pictures and frames are frequently abused.

    As for Open Office, it’s ok if you have to use it, but it doesn’t like large complex docs. My students routines try it, then abandon it when it chokes of their docs.

  2. Bill Hensley Says:

    This problem happened again just now. I was mildly annoyed at having to re-create the page, and stumbled on a fix. There was a floater called “Table Tools” in the title bar for the window. I clicked on it, and as I moved the mouse towards the File menu, the mysterious cloak of invisibility temporarily cleared.

    Moving the mouse around a bit showed that as the mouse passed over the “Table Grid” option, Word tries to preview what would happen if you press that option button. Clicking it removed the cloak of invisibility.

    So that’s the fix, apparently. Kind of odd.

    Here is a screen shot of this:

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