Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Troubleshooting Word X

Unfortunately, Microsoft Word X is a complex piece of software, and such complexity has a tendency to increase the possibility of odd behavior. When faced with a recurring problem, one possible solution may be to use Microsoft Word 2004 instead of Microsoft Word X. Word 2004 is installed on all the IRC machines, and can be launched from the dark blue W located in the dock. Other problems may have to be dealt with via more obscure methods. If you run into something that this page does not cover, feel free to contact CUS or drop by the Help Desk for further assistance.

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How do I disable Automatic Formatting

To disable Word's automatic formatting feature, click the Tools, then click Autocorrect. Under the AutoFormat As You Type, uncheck all the options which you wish not to use. Then click OK to apply the new settings.

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Remove Endnote Separators

To remove the separators above your endnotes, go to the View menu and select Normal. Then, go to View again and select Endnotes. This should open a small drawer at the bottom of your window containing Endnotes. From the menu to the right of Endnotes, select Endnote Separator or Endnote Continuation Separator depending on what type of separator you wish to remove. This will display the separator in the text field underneath. You can then select the separator and press delete to remove it.

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Moving Endnotes

There is currently no known way to position endnotes anywhere other than at the end of a document.

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To move footnotes, select the footnote reference mark in your main text. Select Cut from the Edit menu or press Apple + x to cut the footnote. Then click the location within the document which you wish the footnote to be moved and from the Edit menu, select Paste or press Apple + v. See our page on footnotes for more information on how to use and manipulate them.

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Fixing Footnote Numbering

If you are having issues deleting a footnote and your numbering has become messed up, convert the offending footnote into an endnote. It should disappear and your numbering should be restored. Make sure to back up your document before doing this however.

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Changing the Format for Citations

To change the format for certain citations (especially the ones that escape your parentheses),

  1. Insert and format the citation.
  2. Click on the formatted citation.
  3. From the Tools menu, go to the Endnote submenu and click Edit Citation(s).
  4. If the citation is part of a multiple citation, several references will be listed in the left column of the dialog. Make sure the citation you want to customize is highlighted.
  5. Customize the citations as needed. For tips on formatting, read the Endnote manual, which should be in your Endnote application folder.

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Modify Your Page Numbering Scheme

Find yourself in need of starting to number your pages from the fourth on?

You can use section breaks to create sections with particular numbering schemes. For each section break you can tell it to either start from a specified number, e.g., 1, or continue numbering from the previous section. In Word X and Word 2001 an easy way to get to the dialog box for this is through View > Header and Footer and then click on the Format Page Numbering button in the resulting toolbar.

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Reduce the Size of Your Document

In some cases, you may notice that the size of your Microsoft Word document inflates dramatically - what used to be a 200KB file turns into several megabytes. This issue arises from the way in which Word saves your changes automatically, and the solution is to use the File > Save As command and save your document in a new file. Other causes of large file sizes include images or other objects within the document. In cases where dozens of images are inflating a document file size, there is not much to be done, but compressing the file (in ZIP or similar format) may help shrink the size if you intend to send it via e-mail.

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Formatting a Thesis

For advice on formatting a thesis that you have not written yet, please refer to our thesis page. In the event that you've written a considerable portion of your thesis without using the template guidelines however, feel free to set aside 30 minutes to an hour to spend at the ETC, where we will be happy to help you sort out your formatting issues. To help speed up the process, you may even consider downloading the thesis template and familiarizing yourself with the formatting guidelines.

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What are Macros?

Macros are useful for performing a series of repetitive tasks, however, they often also serve as a launchbed for numerous viruses and other malicious software. It is recommended not to allow macros to run unless you explicitly know what they will do, i.e, you wrote it yourself.

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Inserting Images and Other Objects

We recommend inserting images and other objects as they are necessary in the document (as opposed to waiting until the rest of your content is in place). This is because inserting objects will shift the layout of your document, and so it is generally easier to fix the layout as you go, rather than going back and revising it later on. If you need any assistance with placing objects into your document layout beyond what is covered in our guide, feel free to drop by the ETC and we will help get you started.

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Error: The Disk is Full

In some cases, after several hours of working and saving frequently, Word will produce an error stating that your disk is full, or that too many files are open at once. The save will fail and slight mental anguish will ensue. This issue is typically caused by the way Word saves a history of undos and redoes. To fix this issue, you may try downloading, which will delete all the undo/redo temporary files (you will lose all your undo/redos prior to executing this file), but it will allow you to save your work. To use the fix:

  1. Download the file. In the Word menus, select Tools, then Templates and Add-ins.
  2. Under Global templates and add-ins, select Add.
  3. From the Enable dropdown menu (Word Templates is selected by default), select All Documents.
  4. Navigate to the file and select Open.
  5. should now appear in the list of loaded items.
  6. Click OK to dismiss the Templates and Add-ins dialog.
  7. From the File menu, click Disk Full Error?. You will be warned about deleting your undo/redo temporary files - select OK if you wish to save your document.
Due to the particular way this bug works, it is much more likely to encounter it when working in Page Layout mode. To help prevent these errors from appearing in the first place, you can edit your documents in Normal viewing mode by clicking the View menu and selecting Normal. For more information on this bug, see Microsoft MVP Workarounds.

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Error: VMError Offending Command

This particular error message may instruct you to look at the Print Manager. The problem lies in the font being used - by default, your font may be set to Times New Roman, which does not work well with the printers in the IRC. In addition, Times New Roman is not installed on the IRC machines. To resolve the issue, you can select all the text (using Edit > Select All or pressing Apple + a), and changing the font to something like Times.

Be aware that selecting all elements in the page and changing the font will also eliminate any special font instances you've used, such as Greek letters in the Symbol font. Be careful when applying a large sweeping change to everything (save a backup copy just in case).

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