Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Removing the paragraph mark from before an linked table object in Word

Another aide-mémoire. I needed to format two columns of a larger Excel spreadsheet in a way that Excel 2000 wouldn't easily accommodate, but Word 2000 would. To save on data processing I chose to Paste Special|HTML Format|Linked. That means if I edit the original spreadsheet the document changes.

I added my two columns and then formatted the page to landscape with four columns (so four columns each holding two columns of data). They didn't line up at the top. Showing the hidden characters there was a paragraph mark sitting at the top of my table pushing that column down by one 'row'.

I positioned the cursor before it and hit delete; nothing. I tried to select it and it selected the entire table. I tried setting the "Text wrapping" of the table, but as soon as I changed it it wouldn't adhere to the document columns and would disappear off the end of the table.

After much messing about the paragraph mark jumped down to join its comrade at the bottom. Great how did I do that?

By being insane.

Rather than select and reposition the table using the "Table properties" dialogue box; I grabbed the square selection icon top-left and then moved it slightly. This automatically sets the table to being "Around" rather than "None" in the dialogue box; I then set it back to "None".

Still not removable from the bottom, but at least everything aligns now.

So changing it in the actual dialogue box doesn't do it; but getting it to change itself does. Excellent!

[Update - Oh FFS as soon as you move the linked table; it converts to being an unlinked table]

[Update - It's possible to alter it using section breaks, but as soon as I save the linked spreadsheet Word removes the section break; seriously Word just deletes it. Any text entered before them remains, but is now bunched up in the first of the four columns rather than across the whole page]


Orphi said...

Word does do some insane things when a document's internal structure becomes corrupted. Typically certain operations work just fine, but other, equally valid operations start doing bizarre things.

This is why I hate Word. And yet, apparently I am the only person on Earth that this happens to, if the forums are to be believed. :-P

FlipC said...

I couldn't find this on any forums either. I'd ask, but I'd expect the answer to be either "Yeah it does that" or "Word 2000! You should upgrade".

Software and electronics - can you imagine that working for any other product? "Hey my windscreen wiper doesn't clear the driver side properly" "Oh yeah they've fixed that in the latest model you should buy a new car" heh!