If you use Microsoft Word, you’ve encountered a document like the one I just received (along with a desperate plea to fix it):
- adding a page break caused it to add two blank pages
- removing a page break deleted not just the break but also the following page
- the text was in Calibri (a font I can’t even replicate on this website), and while I was able to change it to Garamond, it often reverted back to Calibri
And I’m not even going to mention the quirks with the headers and footers.
I gave myself 15 minutes to fix the problem. As expected, I failed. Miserably.
So I gave up on that file and opened a new blank document.
I copied and pasted the text page by page from the original document into the new one. Going a page at a time allowed me to isolate the problems—and there were problems—and address them one at a time rather than trying to fix dozens of issues at a time.
All told, formatting the 68-page report (including reviewing it to ensure the author’s concerns were addressed and that I didn’t create any new ones) took three hours.
Sure that’s more time than it should have taken to format a simple document (looking at you Microsoft), but a lot less than the eight hours someone else already had spent–unsuccessfully–trying to fix it.
When fighting with a Microsoft Word document, sometimes it’s best to surrender and pick a new battle.