Word X: Getting lost in documents with large tables

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
April 21st, 2003 • 8:35 pm

Further to my previous item on Word’s annoyances when tables are used for page-layout purposes, the problem appears to be even worse when using the Find/Replace dialog in such documents.

Today, I am editing a document that contains 2-column tables spanning several pages. I need to do a large amount of cross-referencing because many items are repeated throughout the document. So I have a second window containing the same document, which I use to search through the document, without losing my current position in the first window, where I am doing the editing.

The trouble is that, when Word finds an occurrence of the phrase I am looking for in a table cell in this table-based document layout, its attempts at displaying the occurrence in question fail miserably. Word does scroll down the document, but it fails to actually display the location within the table cell where the occurrence is. Instead, it shows me the top or bottom of the cell — which, in cases where a single cell contains several paragraphs of text, can be pretty far from the actual occurrence of the found phrase.

In other words, Word does select the occurrence, but the portion of the document that is visible in the document window does not include the selection, which is somewhere above or below what is visible.

Normally, the workaround to actually get to see the selection is to hit one of the cursor keys, which will cause Word to actually make the location where the cursor is visible by scrolling down or up the document.

But even that doesn’t work every time. I just experienced a case where hitting the cursor keys didn’t change anything: the cursor (and the text around it) still remained invisible.


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