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MSWord anomoly

Posted on 2014-01-22
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Last Modified: 2014-01-22
I have a simple MSWord docx that has some kind of strange behavior.  If you look at the attached docx and try putting a couple of spaces in front of the second line, you see that you cannot.   Other movement or inserting spaces works fine, but not at the start of a line after the first.

If you narrow the margins, the behavior still persists, always at the start of a new line, you cannot add spaces.  You can add other characters.

If you add more to the first line, you will see that some kind of extra spacing happens at the word that used to start the second line.  I have tried deleting this to no avail.

Can anyone tell me what is happening here and how to fix it?
Now-is-the-time-to-try-men.docx
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Question by:yodercm
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39800090
The sentence is a paragraph and when you insert a space at the beginning of the second line it goes to end of the word in the first line.

It is a paragraph, it is wrapping the text, and the behaviour you see is entirely normal. Word has always done this.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:pcelba
ID: 39800118
Yes, that's correct.

If you need to enter  hard space at the beginning of the second line then press CTRL+SHIFT+Space

Of course, to use proper paragraph formatting is better approach in this case.
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Assisted Solution

by:Rob Henson
Rob Henson earned 100 total points
ID: 39800236
On the tool bar there is a button in the Paragraph group that when clicked will show all the non-printing characters.

The button looks like a back to front uppercase P with two verticals and the curved bit filled in, similar to the symbol for Pi.

Keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Shift + 8 or Ctrl + * will enable the function.

Spaces show as a dot and carriage returns show with the same symbol as the button.

In your scenario when inserting the spaces at the start of line 2 you will see them appear at the end of line 1.
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Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 39800357
As far as I can see there is no paragraph symbol at the end of the first line or the beginning of the second line.  There are a couple after the end of the second line, but deleting them had no effect.

So I still don't see what you all mean about having a paragraph.  It appears to me that both lines are in one paragraph.

To me it seems like the problem is that those spaces going on the end of the first line just seem to keep going forever off the edge of the page.   I have normal margins set, so why doesn't it wrap normally?
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39800363
You may be wanting a hanging imdent. Look at the buttons in the ruler at the top of the document. Leave the down pointing button at the left. Go to the second lone and pull the up pointing button to the right. Line two and all the next lines as you type will indent but not line one.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39800375
If you keep adding spaced that will throw line one off . Go to the front of the first character of line two and backspace until the first word of line two joins the last word of line one. Now insert just one space.

.... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 39801041
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by:pcelba
ID: 39801361
Wow.  Some questions is sufficient to answer by the link posting. The link is the only possible solution sometimes.

Should we copy and paste? It sounds like a nonsense...
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 39801465
Don't take the link as the answer and don't award any points for it. Previous answers have been more to the point. I just thought that the questioner needed a bit of fundamental tuition.
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by:yodercm
ID: 39801511
Sorry, Graham, I've been using MSWord since Windows 3.0, I don't need a tutorial on it.   I have never seen this situation before and still don't see how it happened or how to fix it.

thinkpaduser, your suggestions don't fix anything.  I tried the backspace and insert a space long ago, and that didn't change anything.  No matter what word gets to the start of line two, the same problem persists.  Perhaps you could try that yourself in my file, and then try to put 2 spaces at the front of the second line.

And by the way, I now seem to have this mess in every new document that I create.
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 400 total points
ID: 39801530
@yodercm - I downloaded and tried your file at the beginning of this thread.

You cannot insert spaces at the beginning of any line in a paragraph. It cannot be done.

If you want to indent the second (and succeeding) line, then use hanging indent. That will align the second and succeeding lines indented and with the appearance of a space.

If you really want a space at the beginning of a line, you have to make it a paragraph on its own..

I have your file and what I am describing is completely normal. I cannot understand why you haven't seen it before.

... Thinkpads_User
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 39801550
Perhaps if you tell us why you need a space at the beginning of a line within a paragraph, it would be helpful. What you would get is a hanging indent (I think).

... Thinkpads_User
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 39801567
My apologies.

I'm mortified. I'm going to leave this question to the experts with the level of sympathy that previously I thought that I had.
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Author Comment

by:yodercm
ID: 39801767
OK, Thinkpad, I've played around with ending paragraphs, basically by using Enter to end the line, and I can get rid of the problem, so I suppose what you say is the solution.  It seems like I've done this many times in the past, so all I can figure is that when I wanted to put a couple of spaces on a line, it happened to be after a line ended with an Enter.  

Thanks for your explanation.  At least I was able to get what I wanted.

Graham, I appreciate your attempt to help, it just wasn't what I needed.

Thanks to the rest of you for your contributions as well.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 39801772
Thanks for the follow up and I was happy to help.

... Thinkpads_User
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