Word 2011 changes my layout

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Kashika, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Kashika, Nov 21, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    Kashika macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    So I have this weird problem in Microsoft Word 2011.

    I create a word document with a certain layout. Just the right amount of tabs (pressing the actual button) to get my text lined up nicely.

    The problem is when I try and send it. Any other device that opens it gets a different lay out. Some of the tabs or spaces are different (one more or less than in my document). Enough to make it look like a mess obviously.
    Even preview when selecting the document shows it in a different layout.

    Of course I tried saving it in other Word formats. Didn't help.
    Also tried retyping the whole thing from scratch, different lettertype, smaller and larger lettertype, holding my MPB upside down, etc.
    Nothing worked.

    Is there anyone who has a clue why this happens? Or what I can do to prevent it. Aside from saving my file as PDF of course, which is my next best plan.
  2. ArchiMark macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Are you sending files to other people, ie, using other computers?

    If so, then what version of MS Word are they opening files in? and on what platform; OSX or Windows?

    So, could relate to their using other versions of Word or if they're using Word on Windows, etc....
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Lest there be any confusion, different versions of Word can definitely be an issue. A different version will change the layout if the layout is not done properly in the first place or if the two systems do not have all of the used fonts installed. My reading of the OP leads me to believe that the OP is relying on spaces to format his document.
  4. ArchiMark macrumors 6502

    Feb 2, 2003
    Silicon Valley
    Good point, OP says he uses the 'Tab' button to line things up....
  5. Kashika thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2010
    Like I said, it shows the difference even in preview (when selecting the document).
    Opening it on my iPhone, Windows PC, iPad or any other device than my mac gives me same problem.
  6. AlanShutko macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    Microsoft Word has a tendency to reformat things according to printer metrics. I know it does this on Windows, not sure about Mac, but the upshot is that when different people open documents, things can be different.

    Exactly how different things turn out depend a lot on how you created the document. Sounds like you've happened on one of the more likely problems. Whenever you have text intermixed with the default tabs, if the width of the text changes, it can mess up the whole layout by pushing things out an extra tab.

    Couple ways you can fix this. Creating tables for your layout are usually less sensitive to different computers. Another option is to set tab stops specifically where you want them, instead of using the default tabs every half inch. That way, you only press tab once to go to the next stop, and it's less likely that changing metrics will break things.

    Finally, you only really need to worry about this if multiple people need to edit the document on different machines. If you're sharing documents that people only need to read, saving it as PDF will mean nobody has to worry about the layout changing.

    For some more info, check out http://word.mvps.org/faqs/formatting/textreflow.htm
  7. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Don't use tabs to line up text, tables etc - use styles...

    meanwhile, you can 'print' as PDF and send the PDf which will be exactly how you had it presented.

    Go here :-

    Download the large word document "Bend Word to your Will" - truly excellent guide to how to use Word properly... huge amount of info in it, but you can easily skip to the styles and templates section to finally get a grip on controlling Word and using it efficiently.


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