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Another ‘What the …?’ from Microsoft Word 

Many people know I believe to have been concocted by skinheads, the writers of the Michael Fish hurricane gag and William Shatner’s toupée.
   I am one of the last remaining people using because on WordPerfect, I can set the and point size (i.e. ) and margins, and type away. Miracle of miracles: the text stays in that font and with those margins until I tell it otherwise! I know, it’s radical.
   Every time I use Word the margins can change, the font can change, even the entire formatting (I will be doing a bulleted list, for example, and it decides for me that I no longer am doing one) will change.
   Sometimes I want to enter my own paragraph indents but Word adds them for me, which I can see would be helpful to some—but not when that text gets imported into InDesign or some other program. It totally warps the layout. And if it adds indents, why doesn’t it add one to the paragraph before? No: it leaves that one with the manually inserted indent so you can’t do a global search-and-replace.
   Of course, since people send me Word files I have no choice but to do the odd piece of work on the Microsoft program.
    trainers look at me like I am a completely helpless incompetent and swear black and blue this never happens to them, but I think this is part of the skinhead–Fish–Shatner conspiracy.
   I can show any of these experts that this crap happens to me every time I use the program. Set typeface. Set point size. Set margins. Type. Word decides after one or two paragraphs that it does not approve of my style and that Times New Roman 12 pt with one-inch margins is superior.
   There is no freaking way on God’s great earth that Microsoft Word is the most efficient way to (we used to say compose or type).
   And answer me this, Word-trainers, what heck is going on here?

   Here I am, responding to some interview questions. Each time I type magazine (I did it a few times to be sure), the I is capitalized! (They’re the two redlined words. No s***, I know it’s wrong. But I typed it correctly.)
   And no, I did not feed in an automatic replace setting. There is nothing in there (that I can see) that would suggest that the word magazine should be replaced by magazIne. Yes, Word buffs, I have gone in to the Autocorrect menus.
   I am going to import this text into WordPerfect, answering it, then exporting it back into Word format.
   I guess no one has ever had to type the word magazine in Word in the history of word processing for this not to be picked up.
   For all those pedants (like me) complaining about young people and all their weird capitalization, trying to make things look “trendy”, don’t blame them. It’s the software doing it.
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Entries from 2006 to the end of 2009 were done on the Blogger service. As of January 1, 2010, this blog has shifted to a Wordpress installation, with the latest posts here.
   With Blogger ceasing to support FTP publishing on May 1, I have decided to turn these older pages in to an archive, so you will no longer be able to enter comments. However, you can comment on entries posted after January 1, 2010.

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