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Windows 7: Strange Word 2010 paragrph formatting behavior

01 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 x64 Pro
Strange Word 2010 paragrph formatting behavior


While working on a document the other day (the original of which came from a colleague who uses a bibliographic management system), I stumbled across a very weird issue with paragraph formatting (see the attached file).

When you open the document, the paragraph looks just fine. Now, change the lines spacing from 'single' to 'exactly 12 pt' and observe what happens! The text 'disappears'. If you increase the value to ~60 pt, all of the text appears, but obviously, the spacing is silly.

The only solution I can up with was to copy and pasted (text only), then reformat appropriately. However, I would like to learn what setting is causing this weird behavior. Thanks for looking into this.

Attached Files
File Type: docx StrangeParagraphFormatting.docx (19.0 KB, 8 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2013   #2

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)

This paragraph has a setting, which is called CHARACTER SPACING:Font Alignment. And it is set to TOP.
It took me a while to find it out, because it is used in Asian typography normally for mixed asian+latin text and your text was latin only. I have Office 2013, but I guess this feature should be pretty much the same for Office 2010.

To fix the issue, you can simply apply Normal style to that paragraph.

If you are curious about actual settings in the menu, there are two options.
Easy one: Activate any Asian keyboard layout (Korean, Japanese, Chinese should work) in Control Panel.
Restart Word. Now if you right click that text - Paragraph, there will an Asian Typography tab and setting will be called Text alignment. Change it to Auto. If you do not have any Asian keyboard layouts, that tab is hidden.

More complicated option without activating extra layout: on the Office ribbon find a tile for Styles. Click on a little icon at its right bottom corner for more options. Styles task pane should pop up. Click style inspector button at the bottom. In Style Inspector click on Reveal Formatting. In Reveal Formatting pane go to subsection Paragraph to find a setting CHARACTER SPACING. Click on it, it will bring you to that hidden tab. Change Text alignment to Auto.

Voilà! Mystery solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 7 x64 Pro


Awesome answer! I had never before tried the Style Inspector, nor had I known about the hidden tab. Very cool! I assume there is some related trick for simply removing the Asian typography 'feature' from a document? I suspect these appear when sharing document with colleagues who are from the far east.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Feb 2013   #4

Windows 8.1 ; Windows 7 x86 (Dec2008-Jan2013)

GRoston, you are welcome!
Other than those 3 tricks I have mentioned, I can offer you a macro for your* template.
Sub Macro1()
' Macro1 Macro
    With Selection.ParagraphFormat
        .BaseLineAlignment = wdBaselineAlignAuto
    End With
End Sub
You can assign a keyboard shortcut or button for its execution.

Another possibility would be to use separate macro-enabled Word file with this macro (to avoid editing Normal.dotx template).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Strange Word 2010 paragrph formatting behavior

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