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Computer Weirdness

The title pretty much describes my day at work.

I finished off the last two little assignments I had as well as making up the weekly status reports that didn't get turned in on Friday because I was here babysitting the appraiser. Poured myself a second cup of coffee and prepared to hit one of the big assignments I have staring at me.

And that's when my friend, Mr. Microsoft Word, began acting up on me again.

First off, the headings styles were acting up. I went into the style formatting, set up the numbering system exactly the way I wanted it and what happened? Word numbered my headings the way IT wanted them to look. It didn't matter if I set the numbers, if I went in and told it to restart the numbering, if I went in and manually set the numbers . . . Microsoft Word blithely ignored me and did whatever the hell it wanted.

But, that was only the beginning of its tricks.

After I finally got the headings almost exactly where I wanted them . . . I got the infamous, "Microsoft Word has encountered an unexpected error and will be shutting down" box.

Not once.

Not twice.

Six times . . .

. . . in a row.

I finally had to shut down my machine and restart it, hoping it would clear whatever was making the persnickety Word program so upset. At least when it came back up, I got a little smarter. I grabbed the document that I did have set up the way I wanted and carefully cut and pasted the words from the body of the offending document into the clean version and then just re-wrote the heading titles by hand rather than importing any bad formatting into the good document.

So far, so good.

But by then, I had squandered a lot of the afternoon and damn near all my desire to work on this particular document any more today. I have a meeting with the team leader about this tomorrow and hopefully when I return to my desk, armed with clearer guidance (I hope), I'll give it another try. However, if it keeps screwing up, I'll probably have to call our IT guys and see if they have any suggestions besides mine, which would be to wipe Word off my machine and give me a fresh reload. (I have to use Word, it's on the baseline and the government is unlikely to spring for a Word Perfect X3 license to make a lowly contractor happy.)

Still, even with the frustrations at work today, I still was in a better mood tonight than I have been in a while. Spent some good time with my family and then wandered upstairs to write. I may have piddled around on some blogs and web sites longer than I needed to, but I still added 1027 words to Childhood's Tears tonight. I'm happy with what I wrote and I hope to add quite a bit more tomorrow night.

And not a crash in sight. Thank you, WP X3. *grin*

Oh, and I also worked on a pitch for a possible ghostwriting project. I'm not adding the words tonight since they're still in pencil and not on the computer, but hopefully I'll be typing them up tomorrow night before my regular writing session. And I do need to start to work on my slides for the Writer Beware presentation I'm giving to the Maryland Writer's Association in May.


Words for Today

1027 / 1000 words. 103%

Progress on Childhood's Tears

25826 / 90000 words. 29%

Words for 2008

81991 / 366000 words. 22%


( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )
Mar. 18th, 2008 11:49 am (UTC)
MS Turd
At the risk of telling you what you already know:

What you describe is all horribly familiar to me.

Word is a memory hog. If you haven't already, you might want to try maxing the memory on your PC, and bumping up the swap file as well. If you have track changes on, switch it off. It might also be worth deleting Normal.dot - when you restart Word, it get's recreated.

The exploding headings - the trick is to define the numbering from within the Styles definition, making sure the right style is tied to each level.
Do any indenting using the Numbering, rather than the Paragraph style. Word somehow averages them out. See http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Numbering.htm

However, to be honest, I tend to make my heading levels in the template by running a VBA script, just to be sure.
Mar. 18th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC)
...ewwww. I've had computers do that before. You have my sympathy.
( 2 howls — Howl with the Pack )

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