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Why does Word always swith to 'Print View' when I format a table?

MitchellVII
MitchellVII asked
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Last Modified: 2010-03-28
Hi,

I do a lot of work with tables on my Word Docs.  One thing I've noticed that is truly a major PAIN is that if I want to format my tables at all (change border colors etc...), Word always goes from Normal View to Print View automatically.  I HATE this!  I always have to switch back to Normal View before I proceed as I can see my tables better in Normal View.

Is there some way to turn off this behavior or is it yet one more 'feature' some idiot engineer at M$ decided that they should ram down our throats whether we like it or not?  Kind of like the stupid 'modal' MailMerge Field Dialog box for instance that you have to close and reopen every time you add a field (whose 'idea' was that? - that has to be the worst piece of 'user-hating' programming I've ever seen!)

Anyway, lol, anyone know this one?

M
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Commented:
M
What version are you running?
I currently have 2003 and can't duplicate the problem.  I didn't noticed this problem in previous version either.
Can you describe specifically step by step what you do that causes this to happen?

Author

Commented:
I am on Word 2003.  If the documnet is in Normal View and I select a table, then select a change border color from the toolbar, the window automatically goes to print view.  As far as I can recall, Word has always done this.


M

Commented:
Ah, I see. I've never used the toolbar to edit a table.
I do everything from the right-click context menu.
From the toolbar, it would seem to me that clicking the Border Color button that Word puts me in a WYSIWYG edit mode and the Normal view mode probably doesn't support that.
Manager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004
Commented:
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Author

Commented:
JOrzech,

>This is common behavior for Word.  It's a "feature"

Much as I suspected.  Yet another incredibly stupid feature that M$ deems to be so wonderful that they have hardcoded it in and we can't write a macro to change it.

Considering that visually with tables it is MUCH easier to design in Normal view, I find it truly unbelieveable that M$ would have decided this way was 'better'.  This is sort of along the same lines that they decided for 'some' reason we could't possibly wish to view pictures in Normal mode (unless of course we have them in frames, THEN we would want to see them...).  They even coded in blank 'image boxes' so I can see where my pictures would be if I could ACTUALLY SEE THEM!

But as I said before, this is the SAME company that took a mailmerge that worked pretty well and TOTALLY DESTROYED it in a new release.  It's like they had a meeting on 'hey this works, how can we make it suck?...'

I just want to sit down with the moron in charge of 'user friendliness' at M$ and say 'dude, what the **** were you thinking!?"

Lol.

M
Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
I agree wholeheartedly with you, especially on the merge feature..... it's dreadful!

Author

Commented:
JO,

>I agree wholeheartedly with you, especially on the merge feature..... it's dreadful!

The thing that amazes me most on the Merge feature is the way they have forced the 'fields' dialog box to be 'modal'.  If it wasn't I could click where I want a field, select it from the box, then click where I want the next field, select it from the box, etc.  That would be the 'intuitive' solution.  But the way they have it set up, you have to close and open the darn thing every time you want to add a new field.  And when it reopens it starts back at the top so you have to find your place again.

Heck I assumed when the dialog box first popped up that it would have 'drag n' drop' functionality - it doesn't even do THAT!  It's a NEW feature and it doesn't do anything NEW.  It's even less new than the OLD version - lol.

Really really really stupid programming.

If it is obvious to ALL of us, why can't they see it?

M
Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Better write to their wish list LOL!
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2004/apr04/04-20OneNote.mspx


But just try to FIND the wish list................

Author

Commented:
My first wish on the list would be that they would stop ignoring the wishlist.

You know, I think the biggest problem M$ faces is that, after all is said and done, it is STILL basically pretty pictures put on top of DOS to imitate (steal) the MacOS.  So much stuff within the M$ OS is just 'ghost code' from the old days and it limits the functionality they can use now.

For once, I wish M$ would just take a step back and create a new Office version from whole cloth.  Something that is truly an interactive office, not just 5 programs glued together with spit and chewing gum.

Really, M$ products are crap but the are very commonly accepted crap so we have to live with them.  If Bill Gates was as good at writing software as he is at selling snake oil, we would all be happier little monkeys :)

*** edited by Netminder 22 July 2005 ***

M
Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Ah yes -- again I agree wholeheartedly.  

Thanks for the very interesting conversation Mitchell.  Will keep in mind for the future.

Joanne
Anne TroyManager
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
To Jo and Mitchell....

Here's a workaround for at least one of your gripes. :)

http://www.officearticles.com/word/insert_merge_fields_in_microsoft_word.htm

Author

Commented:
gripes-r-us

M

Author

Commented:
hey dreamboat, thanks.

you know, it should have occured to me to try that.

would M$ actually be so diabolical to actually screw up a feature of a program on purpose in order to force us to buy another program?  yes, i believe so, they are masters of 'planned lameness' in order to create additional revenue, lol.

M
Anne TroyManager
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Yes. I believe it, too.

Author

Commented:
well you have to assume the arent really dumb enough to do the bonehead things they do, so it must be on purpose.  if its on purpose we have to ask why.

Hi, we're Microsoft and we suck...on purpose!

lol

M

Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Thanks Dreamie....I've got to get that disclaimer to you this afternoon too!  (After I get my nails cut down :)

Author

Commented:
you know, the problem with this 'old' solution is that it still doesn't 'save your place' after you've selected a field to add.  You still have to scroll down every time.

they have to have made it this bad on purpose, although it really is hard to understand why.  i can't imagine an engineer with any brains at all designing it this way and thinking it was great - no less a big committee thinking it was great.  scary to imagine that people who have MS in Computer Science actually created this.

I personally could have written the code to have a dialog pop-up, select the field i want, drag it where i want it and drop it.  Heck, I'm a headhunter not a programmer and I can write that code in about 20 minutes! (in access anyway) lol.

it is so lame that calling it lame is an insult to other lame things everywhere :)

M
Anne TroyManager
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
Well, if it's any consolation, my next VB project is a compound mail merge application (Yes, to finally be able to "group" records onto a single merge document.), and we'll make sure it's easy to use. :)

Author

Commented:
>I personally could have written the code to have a dialog pop-up, select the field i want, drag it where i want it and drop it...

I should write one and sell it online as an ActiveX Control.  Might not be a bad idea for a few hours work.

M
Anne TroyManager
CERTIFIED EXPERT

Commented:
:D
I have noticed that if I display the Tables and Borders toolbar, the view
switches to Print Layout and the Draw Table button is activated. But I
ordinarily deal with tables in Normal view, and I am able to format borders
using the Borders palette on the Formatting toolbar (and do anything else in
regard to sizing, etc.) without a view switch.

Author

Commented:
ah thanks, allen, I'll try that :)

M
Re the comment (07/22/2005 06:54AM PDT) about not being able to view pictures in Normal mode, in my version this is controlled by the Options tab; I can't view pictures if the "Picture Placeholders" option on the "view" tab is checked, but can if it is unchecked.

Author

Commented:
hmm, i tried that and it doesnt work, i'll try it again.

Author

Commented:
trevor, the problem is that if you set any wrap setting at all for the pictures, they dont show up on normal mode.  it seems its the wrap setting that mess things up in normal which is weird, and makes no sense.  why would they program to turn off pictures only if wrap setting were used?  that makes no sense and as far as I can tell is no benefit to anyone.

M

Author

Commented:
another useless idiotic 'feature' i suppose.

M
I always have my pictures "in line with text" which works!

I can't believe that the problem is a "feature" there on purpose. It looks more like sloppy design or coding along with a lack of testing of different options in different view settings. Nothing new there then.

Sorry to have raised your hopes of a solution (if I did)

Author

Commented:
trevor,

the point is that MS Office in general is so FULL of sloppy design and 'lack of review' for user friendliness that I have to believe it is intentional.  No corporation with as many committees going over and over this stuff as M$ does could possibly be this incompetent.

I don't think M$ does anything accidentally.

I refer to this all as 'planned lameness' as compared to 'planned obsolescence' in other products.  Think of it this way, If M$ ever released a version that really was great, that did everything we wanted, what would be the motivation to upgrade in the future?

By making their product generally good but 'specifically' lame, we continue to upgrade in hopes it will finally improve.  They throw us a bone and fix a few things while leaving others unrepaired (on purpose).

This lameness also helps the developer market as 'Suzy Homemaker' and 'Joe the Jackhammer Operator' can't make these products do much 'out of the box'.  They need to pay us (and M$) to do it.  This also feeds M$ more money as we seek M$ certifications, education and customer support.

It's not sloppiness, actually, from a business standpoint, it is brilliant.  Bottom line, M$ is a business whose goal is to make money (that also happens to make software).

M$ is kind of like that employee that works just hard enough not to get fired.  They make their product just good enough so we don't abandon it (after years invested), but not so good we don't need to continually upgrade.

Believe me, its all by design.

M

Sounds like a good business plan to me.

Now I know what to do to keep in a job for a bit longer.

Instead of the planning, reviews & testing that we do to try & make things work, make things a bit better in some places & a bit worse in another...

Thanks for the tip!

Author

Commented:
well it helps to be a giant like MS when you want to play that game.  so many people have so much time, effort and money invested in MS products that they can afford to play some games with us without worrying we will leave.

If ur small they can just bail on you and find someone else.

helps to be the first guy on the block.

for eample, the Mac OS has always been far superior to the Windows OS yet Windows is far more popular - go figure.
Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Hey Bill - did you see our post was put in the EE newsletter this month?
The idea that Microsoft deliberately screws up Word so that we keep buying upgrades in hopes that things will be fixed is horse-pucky. I happen to personally know several of the programmers who word on MS Office for the Mac, and believe me, they are doing their best to fix things. They do test, extensively, but with millions of lines of code, some of it going back to the Stone Age, and literally millions of possible scenarios with all the commands and options, you just cannot test everything. They tell me they are very reluctant to change anything unless it is seriously broken, because one seemingly innocent change can break a half-dozen other things.

They try to evaluate the impact of each change or improvement. How many people are affected? How many people even care? Is the problem merely an inconvenience, such as the one we have been discussing, or does it damage data or keep people from getting their work done. And they focus on the most serious problems (such as the infamous "no disk space" problem that prevented us from saving files) or the ones with the largest group of users who need it.

Why is it people need to invent conspiracies? I'm a Mac user, and no lover of Microsoft, but IMO the idea that they are engaged in some convoluted plot to bilk the public is idiocy.

Author

Commented:
>Hey Bill - did you see our post was put in the EE newsletter this month?

Lol, no way!  Was it under the "If you post like this you'll be banned!" section?

M

Author

Commented:
allen,

>They try to evaluate the impact of each change or improvement. How many people are affected?

So I guess the absolute disaster that they made of the Word MailMerge was simply an oversight?  I guess they were worried that having an intuitive mailmerge that is actually user friendly would negatively affect too many people?

>I happen to personally know several of the programmers who word on MS Office for the Mac, and believe me, they are doing their best to fix things.

If this is the BEST they can do, they need to find new work.

>They do test, extensively, but with millions of lines of code, some of it going back to the Stone Age...

Why, pray tell does Word still have millions of lines of code from the stone age in it?  That's the big problem with M$ products, they look pretty on the surface, but under the skin they are just bloated pigs based upon DOS 6.0.

If fixing something makes 100 other things no longer work, that software is SERIOUSLY flawed and the people that wrote and maintain it are seriously flawed.

Anyway alan, I was trying to give M$ the benefit of the doubt saying that their software is lame on purpose as part of a brilliant business strategy.  However, according to you it is just pure incompetence on their part.

Sometimes it makes sense to tear the house down and rebuild it rather than slapping new coats of paint on an old house infested with termites.

M
I will agree with one thing you say:"Sometimes it makes sense to tear the house down and rebuild it rather than slapping new coats of paint on an old house infested with termites."

I do think that Microsoft would be well-advised to rewrite Word from the ground up. I have no doubt that, in doing so, we'd lose some of the features that now work, but imperfectly, and we'd probably scream bloody murder because of it.

I disagree entirely, however, that Word's problems reflect incompetence on the part of the programming team.

Word for the Mac was one of the very first Macintosh programs back in 1984. When software is 21 years old (and I imagine WinWord is even older, don't know), and the programming team has probably gone through a dozen generations, it's small wonder that it has become a nightmare to maintain. To me, I'm astonished that it works as well as it does, rather than being surprised by what does not work.
I have nothing but profound respect for the team who work on it and keep it limping along.

Author

Commented:
allen

>I do think that Microsoft would be well-advised to rewrite Word from the ground up...

This proves my point.  We need to ask the question, if this is obvious to you and me, it must be obvious to M$.  But they ask themselves, if we redo this and make it really terrific, would #1) that many more people buy it and #2) it kill future sales of upgrades because this version is so great? (#1. No, #2. Yes)

Anyone that manufactures anything doesn't make it as good as they could because they don't 'want' it to last forever.  That's why we have expressions like 'planned obsolescence' in our lexicon.  Why sell it to me once when they can sell it to me 10 times?  It makes me think of the 'engineers' that work for toothbrush companies - I mean heck, how many 'eureka - I've got it!' moments are there in toothbrush design?  They probably thought of all this stuff years ago and give it to us in bits and drabs so we'll keep buying toothbrushes.  I laugh every time I see a commercial about a 'New Toothbrush Breakthough!'...

>I have nothing but profound respect for the team who work on it and keep it limping along...

Why do you think M$ Management keeps their Development Teams trying to fix holes in a leaky boat rather than build a new boat when they have more money than God with which to do it?  That's right, they don't want it fixed.  There is an entire service industry based upon software inefficiences.

Face it, no M$ Office (and I use that term loosely) Programs work nearly as well as they should.  We have two choices on why:

1. M$ is full of idiots.
2. M$ is a brilliant marketing company and does it on purpose.

I vote for #2 and I'm willing to bet one of B. Gates' houses on it :)

M

Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Hey Bill:

Here's the newsletter I mentioned.

http://www.cityofangels.com/Experts/Newsletter/072605newsletter.htm

Author

Commented:
I am not sure if they are holding that up as an example of a bad post or a good post.  One thing that concerns me is that right after that they have a commentary on why flaming scares aware our best experts.  I hope they don't think my comments were intended to 'flame' an expert (unless you consider M$ an expert :)

I am suprised you submitted that post as one that stuck out for you.  It seemed like we didn't really solve anything, just had a good b**** session at M$'s expense.

Oh well, I guess I'm now famous for being very grumpy :)

M

Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Actually, they're very impressed with this post and want me to synopsize for the next newsletter....nothing negative intended by any means.  They want me to share it with the other experts in other TAs....

Author

Commented:
Lol, really?  I guess they have a thing for whiners (that would be me :)

Seriously, I am flattered but what did they find impressive about it?  We didn't really solve anything.

M

Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Really Bill!  I mean it!

There are so many forums here at EE and so many intelligent people that enjoy hearing opinions (they seem to LOVE debates :), and you have a very strong opinion on this subject as well as a good way of verbalizing it.  And I certainly wouldn't categorize you as a whiner as we all have major complaints with the Big M.

It's simply an interesting discussion and as Page Editor, I am requested to submit articles for the EE Newsletter.  We thought it would be nice to share this thread with others on the site.

Best regards,
Joanne

Author

Commented:
Joanne,

Hey, nobody complains with more flair than me :)  You know, its funny, but I do many things that I think are quite brilliant and no one ever notices, then occasionally I do something that seems like nothing to me and everyone goes 'wow'!

M
Joanne M. OrzechManager, Document Services Center
Top Expert 2004

Commented:
Hey Bill

I understand exactly what you're saying and have kind of gotten used to it.  I think no one ever notices when you do something you consider to be brilliant because they probably don't comprehend either the complexity of it or the shear simplicity of it.  But I sure do get a lot of self-satisfaction from it :)

Joanne


Author

Commented:
Joanne,

I am always amazed at how simple we really need to keep things for people.  I have a very simple form (in my opinion anyway) that I have candidates complete.  It is called an Executive Summary and works as sort of a 'header' to their resume.  The idea is to create bullet points of critical information that can be reviewed at a glance and works as a sort of 'primer' for the resume.  Anyway, it's a very effective tool.

Point of the story is I send this via email to my candidates.  Most of it has been completed by my people but we leave the 'Skills Matrix" part to be completed by the candidate as it requires some thought and would take too long on the phone.  It is a simple table where we want them to list various skills, industries, etc and years of experience with each.  The form includes clear instructions along with examples.

All that being said, I am always amazed at how I get professionals with Harvard MBA's and 20 years of business experience who complete the form totally wrong.  I have five lines for the candidate to put in industries, one per line.  I just got a Summary back from a Partner with a Big 4 Consulting firm.  He put all 5 Industries on the first line and ignored the other lines altogether.  I was like, "Ok how hard is this?  Isn't it obvious from the examples that we wanted them to use the 5 lines and not cram it all on one line?" My other pet peeve is how they will completely ignore certain sections that we need completed and send back the form as if it is done.  I'm like, "if it wasn't important we wouldn't have asked for it..."

Perfect example of the power of simplicity is Google.com.  Look at their website, the opening page is one line with a box.  That's it and their stock trades at $300 a share!  The greatest challange we all face as business people, developers or whatever is providing just enough information but never too much.  When I am working on a deal I always have to ask myself, what is the least amount of information I can provide that will result in positive action being taken?

M
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