Word 2007 Changes Format of Random Characters when Deleting Bulleted Point with Track Changes On

Posted on 2011-04-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I am having problems with unwanted format changes when track changes is turned on in Word 2007. So far it has been on several machines, in all documents, including brand new documents. I've tried different styles, deleting Normal, different printer drivers...

To reproduce:

*Open a new Word document - Create a bulleted list with the following:
- Sentence with red font
- Sentence with green font
- Sentence with blue font

*Turn on track changes - place cursor at beginning of first bulleted sentence and use Delete to erase through the paragraph mark at the end of the first line.

At this point in our documents, the format of the second line changes and two or three characters in the third line also change font format. This does not happen when you perform the same edits without track changes turned on.

Does anyone know why this happens and how to work around it? Is my only option to tell the users to stop using the Delete key and only use Backspace? In working documents, the changes are more subtle - random italicized or bolded characters - and it takes forever to visually check every paragraph for these changes. Turning off track changes while editing is not an option at the moment.

Question by:HELFIT
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

Brian Gee earned 2000 total points
ID: 35473231
Interesting how I ran your test using Word 2010 and no issues came about but the same in Word 2007, well... it appears that things are handled differently in the 2007 version.

Three lines of The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog in a bulleted list with the first line in red, the second in green, and the third in blue. Turned on paragraph markers and Track Changes afterward. Insertion point is at the first letter of the first word on the first sentence. Press Delete key repeatedly to the paragraph marker at the end of the sentence (the insertion point jumps to the next line). At that point, you can see from the picture below that the entire second line turns red, and the third line turns green, yet the bullet points remain as they should

 Test by Delete key to end of sentence
Yet performing the same test with the insertion point at the beginning of the first sentence, performing a Shift + End, then pressing the Delete key, the results differ (and the insertion point jumps to the next line as well like in the first test).

 Test with Shift + End then Delete key
I know this isn't an answer so much as I can verify that that there is an oddity within Word 2007, but if your users can perform the same Shift + End and then Delete with success, then this might be the way they should proceed until your org moves to Word 2010.....?

Note: I ran this test on a Word 2007 installation that was used for the first time just for this test. No customizations have been added to the Normal template.

Author Comment

ID: 35487296
Yobri - thanks for the feedback. I'm glad that it's not something that is just specific to our users. I appreciate the workaround advice as well. I noticed that if you use Shift + End from anywhere except the beginning of the sentence, it still has the same problem. I think I'll advise them to use Shift+End when deleting whole lines and just work with show/hide turned on to avoid deleting paragraph markers at the end of the line if they are deleting just a word or two.

Thanks for your response!

Expert Comment

ID: 35702555
I was able to confirm it as well, and during my testing when I followed your instructions about 3 times and undid the changes, Word 2007 crashed. and is now having trouble restarting.  So, it is not you.

Has this been happening long or since an update or patch?

This appears to be a bug in Word 2007, as it should not cause it to crash with Internal Data Integrity errors.

My guess is that is has something to do with the way Word stores its formatting in the paragraph markers,  so I've allowed Word to send a crash report.  Whether we get a fix is anyone's guess.

Another option as a workaround would be to turn track changes off, and save the documents with version numbers.  Then when each set of changes is completed, run a Compare from the Review ribbon.  The only problem with this is that if one person always runs the compare and merges the changes, I'm not sure the Track Changes will show which changes were made by each person.  If that is not critical, this is an option for you.

I would think that this needs a ticket to Microsoft's support to fix.  @Yobri, do you agree?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Brian Gee
ID: 35702696
I agree, it should most definitely make its way on to MS' radar.

Author Comment

ID: 35749209
I'll contact Microsoft and update if they are able to provide a useful workaround. Thank you both!

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