AutoFormat feature that can't be turned off


L

Larry

In Word 97, even if you want to use AutoFormat for just one feature, you
cannot turn off the feature that turns dotted lines into a solid
paragraph border. Even if you uncheck all the features in AutoFormat,
and then run AutoFormat, it will still turn a dotted line into a solid
border. So if you don't want dotted lines changed to solid, you can't
use AutoFormat.

This automatic line feature, judging from the newsgroups, has caused
more hassle to more users that just about any thing else in Word. Why
is Microsoft so attached to it that they won't let it be turned off?
Couldn't they have had a simple built-in command that would enable the
user to create a solid line when he wants to create it? What is this
obsession MS has with tricking people with automatic features they don't
even want?

Larry
 
Ad

Advertisements

C

Charles Kenyon

It can be turned off. There are _two_ sets of AutoFormat options. One is for
AutoFormat as you type and the second is for AutoFormat. You have to turn it
off in the second set if you are going to use AutoFormat and don't want it
to happen then.

Uncheck the "border lines" option.
--

Charles Kenyon

See the MVP FAQ: <URL: http://www.mvps.org/word/> which is awesome!
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
This message is posted to a newsgroup. Please post replies
and questions to the newsgroup so that others can learn
from my ignorance and your wisdom.
 
S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

And in case that post wasn't crystal clear to you, what Charles meant to say
was "One is for AutoFormat as you type and the second is for AutoFormat As
You Type." The second is the one you want. See
http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Formatting/TameAutoFormat.htm

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
G

Guest

Ah, but - I tried this in word 2002 and the OP is correct

even if you turn off the 'replace hyphens with Dash' on both dialogues (AF AYT and AF) AND un-check the 'borders' you still get a dotted line replaced with a solid line when you run format/autoformat - which you can of course reject - but the point stands

Reg
 
S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

I don't believe anyone thought the dash was what the OP was talking about.
We assumed he was talking about automatic borders. It's also unclear what is
meant by "a dotted line."

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.

RegUK said:
Ah, but - I tried this in word 2002 and the OP is correct:

even if you turn off the 'replace hyphens with Dash' on both dialogues (AF
AYT and AF) AND un-check the 'borders' you still get a dotted line replaced
with a solid line when you run format/autoformat - which you can of course
reject - but the point stands?
 
C

Charles Kenyon

Just checked it in Word 2003 and you and OP are correct. Sorry. There isn't
the option for borders in the AC options.

If you type a space at the end of the row of dashes, it will prevent the
conversion.
--

Charles Kenyon

See the MVP FAQ: <URL: http://www.mvps.org/word/> which is awesome!
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
This message is posted to a newsgroup. Please post replies
and questions to the newsgroup so that others can learn
from my ignorance and your wisdom.


RegUK said:
I accept what your saying but I do think OP has a sort of valid point,
albeit expressed in a confrontational way.
Many, perhaps most, non-power users who want to put a line under a
paragraph would simply type a line of dashes, or if they were really clever
Underline Chars. Autoformat will turn that into a solid para border
regardless of what's checked in the dialogues.
Personally I prefer that but I can see how someone would get wound up if
it was changed without reference and whilst I can accept that such a person
probably should avoid anything with the word 'automatic' in the title I do
think that the autoformat options could be better exposed and more turn on
and offable.
 
Ad

Advertisements

G

Guest

But can you *autoformat* (see OP) without it changing the underline/dashes to a paragraph border? certainly changes it in 2002 regardless of this box' statu

Reg
 
D

Dayo Mitchell

Hi Suzanne,
I think they're saying when you manually run AutoFormat, not AutoFormat as
You Type. I found too that running AutoFormat added borders despite
instructions not to (MacWord 2001)--all that was checked was "preserve
styles". The AutoFormat dialog doesn't have the Borders option, although
AutoFormat As You Type does.

Of course, if you let AutoFormat run wild in your doc, you're asking for
trouble, :) but it still seems a pretty definite bug. All who are following
this thread, if it's not already been mentioned, you can email
(e-mail address removed) to complain (put Word in the subject line and be sure
your statement of the problem is coherent).

Dayo

Suzanne S. Barnhill said:
I beg to differ (again). The new setting is "Border lines," between
"Automatic numbered lists" and "Tables" (see attached screen shot). I have
all of those disabled, and I can type hyphens or underlines in Word 2003 ad
libitum and press Enter without getting a border.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
C

Charles Kenyon

Hi Suzanne,

It is necessary to distinguish between AutoFormat corrections applied as the
person types and AutoFormat applied under the Format menu.

My AutoCorrect Options => AutoFormat dialog has the following choices:
Apply--
Built-in Heading Styles Automatic bulleted lists
List styles Other paragraph styles

Replace --
Straight quotes with smart quotes
Ordinals (1st) with superscript
Fractions (1/2) with fraction character (1/2)
Hyphens (--) with dash (-)
*Bold* and _italic_ with real formatting
Internet and network paths with hyperlinks

Preserve --
Styles

Always AutoFormat --
Plain text WordMail documents

-------------
And when I have a line of dashes (without the suggested space at the end)
and apply AutoFormat under the Format menu, it changes to a line. Word 97,
Word 2000, Word 2003. I haven't figured out which of these choices I should
change to alter this behavior.

Like you, I disable all of the "Apply as you type" options on the
"AutoFormat as you type" dialog.
--

Charles Kenyon

See the MVP FAQ: <URL: http://www.mvps.org/word/> which is awesome!
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
This message is posted to a newsgroup. Please post replies
and questions to the newsgroup so that others can learn
from my ignorance and your wisdom.

Suzanne S. Barnhill said:
I beg to differ (again). The new setting is "Border lines," between
"Automatic numbered lists" and "Tables" (see attached screen shot). I have
all of those disabled, and I can type hyphens or underlines in Word 2003 ad
libitum and press Enter without getting a border.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

Okay, I'm seeing that now, too. I use AutoFormat very sparingly (mostly for
converting URLs to active hyperlinks since I have that feature enabled in AT
but disabled in AFAYT), and I always select text before running it.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.

Dayo Mitchell said:
Hi Suzanne,
I think they're saying when you manually run AutoFormat, not AutoFormat as
You Type. I found too that running AutoFormat added borders despite
instructions not to (MacWord 2001)--all that was checked was "preserve
styles". The AutoFormat dialog doesn't have the Borders option, although
AutoFormat As You Type does.

Of course, if you let AutoFormat run wild in your doc, you're asking for
trouble, :) but it still seems a pretty definite bug. All who are following
this thread, if it's not already been mentioned, you can email
(e-mail address removed) to complain (put Word in the subject line and be sure
your statement of the problem is coherent).

Dayo
 
Ad

Advertisements

L

Larry

My point remains valid, as this entire thread has demonstrated. There
is no way to prevent AutoFormat from turning a series of hyphens into a
solid line. This is prime evidence for Microsoft's commitment to
pushing unwanted automatic features on its users.

Larry
 
L

Larry

As I discussed with Dayo and Suzanne last August, the Microsoft Wish program seems to have been suspended. Suzanne acknowledged the problem and said she would look into it, but I haven't heard anything about it since.

As of last August, in order to make a suggestion , you had to find a certain page at the MS site and fill in all kinds of information prior to making your suggestion. This is a real disincentive to making suggestions.

Also, if you send them a suggestion, they wrote back to you with all kinds of gibberish. Below is something Dayo wrote about this at the time, followed by something I wrote about it:

Dayo said:
I also tried to make a suggestion to MS Wish, in June, and got an
irrelevant answer, although more relevant than Larry's. My
correspondence is below.

I got no answer to my last message, asking what they were talking
about.

(If I have sent other suggestions to MS Wish (I can't remember, often
I use the Mac website), I've gotten no answer at all).

DM

----- Original Message -----
From: Larry
Newsgroups: microsoft.public.word.newusers
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2003 2:58 p.m.
Subject: Re: what's happened with Microsoft Wish?


Hi Dayo,

I just looked again at the message I got, and it's worse than I remembered. Here it is, with some comments by me:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.

I am Geraldine and I appreciate that you have taken the time to write
us. [She already said thank you once, so now she says it a second time. Does she feel that I need to be reassured?. And do they think really need to know that she "appreciates" my writing to MS? Do they feel that will make me feel good, in place of her giving me a relevant response to my message?. She also unnecessarily gives me her name, as though we were about to embark on a personal conversation instead of what actually happens, which is her sending me on a wild goose chase. In fact, when I wrote back to her, I never heard from her again. So why give me her name?]

[Now she asks me to provide more information on my request:] However, kindly assist us in discerning the nature of your issue by providing additional information.

[But now, instead of asking me for information, she changes the subject and starts telling me about lots of different options I can pursue:] There are several support options for you to choose from. [Now she changes tack again and tells me to go to a web site, a site with lots of confusing information and all of it irrelevant to my concerns:] If you have not already visited our support site, it is a great place to start. You can review your support options, find support phone numbers, or create a support case within a few simple steps at: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=fh;[ln];oasoem

I'll stop there, but you get the point. What kind of people would design this mess and impose it on their customers?

Larry





Dayo Mitchell said:
Hi Suzanne,
I think they're saying when you manually run AutoFormat, not AutoFormat as
You Type. I found too that running AutoFormat added borders despite
instructions not to (MacWord 2001)--all that was checked was "preserve
styles". The AutoFormat dialog doesn't have the Borders option, although
AutoFormat As You Type does.

Of course, if you let AutoFormat run wild in your doc, you're asking for
trouble, :) but it still seems a pretty definite bug. All who are following
this thread, if it's not already been mentioned, you can email
(e-mail address removed) to complain (put Word in the subject line and be sure
your statement of the problem is coherent).

Dayo
 
C

Charles Kenyon

There is a way to prevent AutoFormat from turning a series of hyphens into a
solid line. Put a space at the end of it before the carriage return.

This is not an elegant way. It may not be a sensible way. But, it is a way.

I agree that you should be able to turn this off. It may be part of the
reason why I don't trigger those automatic features by asking AutoCorrect to
mess with my documents. I do use some of the AutoFormat as you type features
and like them. Those I don't like, I don't use.

You, OTOH are asking Word to automatically change your document, but not
that part. Then you are complaining that you are being forced to use it. You
are not being forced, but you do have to accept unnecessary changes as a
part of the package (unless you insert the space) if you ask for the
package.

I understand your frustration with Word. It seems overly complex. A large
part of this problem seems to be that marketing wants features that really
mess up regular users because some other product has such features.
--

Charles Kenyon

See the MVP FAQ: <URL: http://www.mvps.org/word/> which is awesome!
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
This message is posted to a newsgroup. Please post replies
and questions to the newsgroup so that others can learn
from my ignorance and your wisdom.
 
L

Larry

Well, I feel Charles' arguments are somewhat besides the point. The
question is not whether he or I like to use AutoFormat. The point is
that there is a feature in Word, AutoFormat, that may be useful to
users, but that they can't use this feature without triggering a
specific function that they may not want and which there is no reason
for. Why should someone have to figure out this obscure workaround,
that you can prevent the hyphenated line from becoming a border IF you
add an extra space? Why should people have to know such a thing? How
many people in the millions of people that use Word are ever going to
know that? Wouldn't it make more sense for MS just to remove this
stupid automated feature?

Of all the million features in Word, why did MS make this
hyphens-to-border feature an intrinsic part of AutoFormat? Who needs
it? Who wants it? It just got stuck in their at some point, and
thousands upon thousands of users ever since have had to post at
newsgroups wondering how the heck to get rid of it, and it never
occurred to MS to change it. It's indefensible. And Charles's response
is to say, well, it's not THAT bad.

And you know what? I'll bet in Word 2015, in Word 2025, that stupid
annoying feature will still be there. Because MS DOESN'T CARE.

Larry
 
G

Guest

Larry

Whilst I agree with and support your original post - the feature should be optional - I can't understand why this particular bug causes you so much stress

I imagine the original reason for including it was (probably) someone said 'wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to underscore paragraphs by typing hyphens all the way across a page ' and some coder thought 'why not'. The fact that it never got turned into an option is cr*p coding but with so many other Word features causing document corruption, etc. I can quite understand why this one gets ignored from release to release.

Where I don't agree with you is painting MS as some big, bad organisation out to upset everyone, they are no better and no worse than any other group who produces mass market software (or any other item). What package worth using doesn't have bugs or features that people would like to change and get ignored from release to release. IBM used to issue (mainframe) OS releases with 20,000+ known bugs and I'm sure that many users felt that some of those bugs where particularly significant to them compared to others that were fixed in the same release

From your post I guess your response might be that MS add these features without reference and then don't respond when there are complaints but again - what manufactured item (including sofware) has exactly the features a given individual wants and presents them in a way that person intuitively understands and provides them the option to remove or add or change them at will.

I'll bet there are things about your car that could have been done better some of which will go back to the original model and design (the hood catch on mine is in a stupid position thats difficult, for me, to reach and its the same on three other models I've looked at) but, presumably, the designers had a reason for putting it there and don't give a rats ass that I don't like it. That doesn't make BMW a maverick manufacturer who are trying to make my life hell, just a car maker with a tricky catch. My wife on the other hand finds the catch easy to use and would no doubt complain if they changed it, do i request two models or an option on the boot catch or do I just accept it and move on?

Thats why forums like this exist - if everything worked perfectly, for everyone, first time, without training then they would be pointless (and a lot of people posting here would be out of a job)

Re
 
Ad

Advertisements

S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

Have you reported this as a bug? It will certainly never be fixed if no one
knows about it.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 
N

Name

My point remains valid, as this entire thread has demonstrated. There
is no way to prevent AutoFormat from turning a series of hyphens into a
solid line. This is prime evidence for Microsoft's commitment to
pushing unwanted automatic features on its users.

Larry
Apologies for being so late to the thread and probably repeating
something already noted.
For clarification... "hyphens" refers to the character just to the right
of the zero on the keyboard? The key that if shift is pressed you get
an underline, and if under non-shift conditions you get the hyphen?
"A series of..." How many is that? I can type one "hyphen", five, ten,
twenty... then press the Enter/Return key and I don't get any solid
line. What is it you're referring to?
I'm working with Word 2002 (aka Word XP) on a system running XP
Professional, in case that makes any difference.
 
G

Guest

Hi, glad you could join us :

You've got the right key but it sounds as though you have turned off the 'border' option under tools, autocorrect,autoformat as you type (very sensibly too, as this thread proves

basically, way back in the mists of time, MS decided it would be really good if just typing a few hyphens or underscores was converted into a line under the paragraph - presumably as a replacement for the typewriter version of creating a line

What larry (OP) complained about was that even if you turn this off (as above) but then used 'tools, autoformat' the hyphens still get replaced, so if you don't want that you can't use 'tools, autoformat

Re
 
Ad

Advertisements

S

Suzanne S. Barnhill

You won't get them while typing if you have the Automatic Borders option
disabled on the AutoFormat As You Type tab of Tools | AutoCorrect. This is
true in all versions of Word. In addition to the AutoFormat As You Type
settings, there are duplicate ones for AutoFormat. These are invoked when
you manually AutoFormat a document. The problem is that even if you have
automatic borders disabled on that tab in Word 2003, you still get these
borders.

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA

Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top