June 26th, 2004 • 6:12 am
This is a long-standing problem with Word, and Microsoft hasn’t done anything to improve it in Word 2004.
For example, if you use Word’s automatic table of contents feature to create an automatic table of contents for a document, the page numbers in the table of contents are actually clickable. When you click on a page number in a table of contents created by Word, Word jumps to the corresponding page in the document.
This has absolutely nothing to do with browsing the web, right?
Yet each time I click on a page number in a table of contents, Word persists in making its built-in “Web” toolbar visible, as if I wanted to use Word to browse the web. (Now here is a preposterous idea if I ever saw one.)
This is a completely idiotic behaviour. Obviously it is due to the way that Word was designed by its developers. For Microsoft’s engineers, a link from a table of contents to a page in the same document is a HyperText link, and so is a link to a web page in a Word document. So it treats both of them equally and assumes that, because you are clicking on a link (regardless of the type of link it is), you want to have access to the “Web” toolbar.
In other words, in Word (as in other Microsoft products), the user is constantly and unnecessarily exposed to the inner workings of the program, because its developers were too sloppy to design things so that they would not intrude into people’s work.
How many times in my entire life have I ever used the “Web” toolbar in Word? Not a single time. So of course it’s always hidden by default in my configuration. Yet Word insists on opening it each and every time I click on a page number in a table of contents. Grrr!
(A couple of years ago, I remember hearing about some kind of hidden feature that could be used to actually disable such toolbars, and I even remember trying it out. But it was only a temporary fix. Sooner or later, Word would start adding toolbars to my environment again without my consent.)