Word 2011: Constant repagination while typing in footer

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 7th, 2013 • 4:37 pm

If there is one thing about Microsoft Word for OS X that you can say, it is that it is never boring. For sheer entertainment value, no other piece of OS X software will ever give you a scene such as this one:

Here’s the context: I am working on a Word document created by someone else, which contains a mix of formatted text and various graphics. Nothing too stupendously complex, but not your average two-page letter either — which is apparently the only kind of document that Microsoft Word is actually able to handle competently (although even then…).

Then I go to the footer of the document (in page layout view, called “Print Layout” in Word), I select a phrase that I want to replace and I start typing “Version provisoire”…

As the movie clip above demonstrates, Word has somehow decided that, for this particular document, in the footer, it needs to repaginate the entire document each time I type another character… Of course, repagination is supposed to be a background task, but as you can see, when the document is a few dozen pages, even if the repagination is fast, it has a very real impact on the application’s responsiveness, to the point that Word eventually gives up and even ignores a few of the letters that I’ve typed (in the first word).

How we got to this point, I have absolutely no idea. But the very fact that this scenario is possible, that it indeed happened in front of my very eyes, as this recording proves, is rather representative of how broken Word 2011 is as a piece of OS X software.

Given that Microsoft clearly has no interest in fixing its software, I have absolutely no interest in solving this particular problem. All I can do is work around it and then try to forget that it ever happened… because, as far as entertainment goes, the experience of using Word 2011 for OS X can be pretty haunting. You just never know what might happen next. It is a proper thriller alright!

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