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I think I broke MS Word!


Amethyst
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I copied some material (text from a message board which included hyperlinks and graphics) from a web page and pasted it to a msword document. From then on, my format is all messed up in all of my word documents now. At the cursor, there is an odd little symbol which looks like 2 vertical lines with a little bubble at the top right. Every time I hit enter, it starts a new line with this symbol. There are symbols all over the place on all my other documents interspersed with the text.

I don't know what I did or how to undo it. I've tried rebooting. MS word is now unusable. I'll try a repair and post results, but just wonder, in the meantime, if there's anything else I can do. This is from Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003.

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It's 2003.

Anyway, I ran the repair tool once, didn't work. Ran it again but had it go back to default settings and that worked. Whew!

I was able to access all the tools and help, it's just that I wouldn't have even known how to try to explain what happened. The whole thing was very strange and I don't know why it happened. Must have been something in what I copied and pasted, maybe some scripting in that page. I had tried deleting what I had copied and pasted and it didn't work to fix the problem. So I won't be doing that with that particular page again. Or maybe I'll just do text only, and not the entire page.

Anyway, thanks for answering so quickly, I was in a real panic, but it looks like things are OK. (For anyone else seeing this, in the help section there's a 'detect and repair' option. Mountaintree, I really appreciate that you're always so quick to try to help everyone. :) Thanks again.

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Amethyst I wonder if you inadvertently activated the option to show paragraphing and formatting symbols - because two vertical lined with a black bubble at the top is what you'd see at the start of each line and between paragraphs if you did that. Was there a signgle dot between each word also? (i.e. one dot per space between words). If it was that there is a button you can press to de-activate it (should be that symboll - two lines with a black bubble at the top). Pressing Ctrl + * will also activate showing those symbols.

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Amethyst I wonder if you inadvertently activated the option to show paragraphing and formatting symbols - because two vertical lines with a black bubble at the top is what you'd see at the start of each line and between paragraphs if you did that. Was there a single dot between each word also? (i.e. one dot per space between words). If it was that there is a button you can press to activate/de-activate it (should be that symbol - two lines with a black bubble at the top). Pressing Ctrl + * will also activate showing those symbols (in Word 2007 - I assume also in 2003 but not 100% sure).

EDIT - the comment posted twice for some reason, sorry about that! Typos tidied up in this comment too. Hopefully someone can delete the other one.

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I'm glad that the repair tool worked for you, Amethyst :)

Word can be a funny thing. I've messed up stuff before too on Word but not the way you did accidentally.

Yeah, I wouldn't recommend copying the entire page. I'm sure the formatting, and any tables, etc, threw it off. Just copy the parts you really want/need.

You're very welcome! I try to be as helpful as I can be :)

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Catscomputer,

Yes, it was as you described. There were also curved arrows in previously created documents at the beginning of lines as well. I don't know what I did or how I did it. Sometimes if I'm pasting I use the Ctrl +V command, but V is a long way from the asterisk on the keyboard, so I don't think I did that. In Word, I see when I go to Format I see there's the word "Paragraph" with that symbol and some lines beside it. Also, if I look at the window next to the one that shows the font style, this window says 'normal', but I can look at a drop down menu with other styles which shows other formatting, and that symbol is there as well.

Yes, Mountaintree, Word can be strange. It's hard to know how to undo something when you have no idea what you did in the first place.

Gave myself a scare, but fortunately the repair and restoring default settings fixed it. I had only changed one thing from the default anyway, I think, so it wasn't too painful.

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Yup, sounds like you somehow activated show paragraphs and formatting. I actually find that quite a useful tool to use at the end of creating a document to check it is 'perfect' - i.e. no extra spaces and everything is how it should be. It's a bit in your face to have on all the time though I find.

Glad you're winning again there. :)

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Oh...I finally found the paragraph symbol on the toolbar. It was hidden and I've never actually seen it before. Didn't know there was such a thing. I moved part of the toolbar over by sliding a divider, and the paragraph mark was hiding there. To remove formatting marks, if I ever need to again, I went to Tools-Options-View, and there's a section there to select or de-select formatting symbols.

Thanks, Catscomputer. You helped me to ask the right questions in the help section so I was able to find where these things are in MS Word 2003. I wouldn't have known what to ask since I had no idea what these symbols were. So if it happens again, at least I'll know what to do, rather than having to repair the thing. :)

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