Friday, April 10, 2009

Invisible formatting

Does anybody else hate MS Word's invisible formatting? Where if you accidentally delete one then suddenly a big chunk of your file goes wonky? Does anyone know if there's a way to reveal them?

Specifically I'm trying to post a story to a critique forum and just one phrase disappears though it's formatting is totally identical to every other word in the document as far as I can tell. It's the following sentence:

My jet touched down in Des Moines at eleven, and I walked into the diner at eleven thirty.

The "eleven thirty" at the end of the sentence disappears when I copy it to a particular forum. Blogger wouldn't even allow the post because of HTML tags it didn't like, so this is a retyping of it c(I'm not saying it's Blogger's fault, just further annoyance). That one sentence had about 100 lines of HTML formatting crammed around it.

A quick Google search reveals this is a common complaint about Word. Other word processors have an optional "reveal" that allows you to edit this stuff. *sigh* Why do I use Word again?


Anthony said...

Haha! I totally hear ya Dave.

Before I post anything on a forum I do two things. First I save the document in RTF format. RTF is a widely accepted format that should be free of most of the crap Word throws in there. I then open that document in a more gentle word processor such as word pad and copy it from there.

I tend to have more success this way. In the event that this doesn't produce the results I want I will copy the document and paste it into notepad before posting. This will strip out all formatting except regular ANSI characters such as carriage returns and whatnot.

Good Luck!

Juliette Wade said...

Yeah, totally. Except when you save to .rtf, check to make sure the fonts haven't gone crazy before you just send it anywhere. Eek.

Juliette Wade said...

I should add: thanks for mentioning me again! (at WoTF forum)

David Steffen said...

Thanks, Anthony! I hadn't thought of trying RTF format.

And thanks Juliette, you sound like you're speaking from experience regarding the crazy fonts?