Word 2004: Bug when customizing ‘Work’ menu

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 16th, 2004 • 5:02 am

I want to customize Word 2004’s “Work” menu by adding some of my macro commands to it for quick menu-based access.

So I go to the “Tools” menu, choose the “Customize Toolbars/Menus” command (under “Customize“) and do just that. And I end up with the following menu layout:

Work menu customization

The default commands already available in the “Work” menu are at the top, then there is a menu divider, and then there are four of my own macro commands.

The trouble is that, when I leave the “Customize Toolbars/Menus” dialog box and return to Word and check out my newly customized “Work” menu, here’s what I see:

Work menu customization result

In other words, everything is screwed up. Why? I have absolutely no idea. I did exactly what I was supposed to do, i.e. checked the “Begin a new group” checkbox in the “Properties” dialog box for the first of my four commands, i.e. the command “Open Template ‘Normal’“. Irritating, isn’t it?

As a matter of fact, the problem is that, even though this “Work” menu looks like any other menu and this “(List of Work Files)” menu item looks like any other menu item, they are not. In reality, unlike other menu items, the “(List of Work Files)” menu item cannot be deleted or moved in the menu. If you try to move it just like any other menu item, Word just closes the “Work” menu without any warning or explanation. You’re just supposed to know that things are not what they appear to be.

I ended up giving up on the “Work” menu altogether and creating a new menu called “Macros“. I placed my four macros in there and now things work fine. And I’ve deleted the “Work” menu altogether. (You cannot delete the “(List of Work Files)” menu item, but you can delete the whole menu.) I have no idea whether I’ll ever be able to restore it if I need it, but I don’t really care. I don’t want a non-standard menu that behaves in an unpredictable fashion and is only partly customizable.

The bottom-line is that, even within the very particular realm of its own non-standard Macintosh user interface, Word manages to be inconsistent. If you want to customize Word (and to me it’s pretty much a requirement), be warned. Wonders never cease.

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