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Word 2003: Can one disable table styles?



 
 
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  #1  
Old March 23rd 05, 02:04 PM
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Default Word 2003: Can one disable table styles?

Is it possible to disable table styles in Word 2003?

I have my own hierarchies of paragraph and character styles that I want
to be able to use consistently and predictably both outside and inside
tables, without having to maintain a second set specifically for
tables.

The "consistently and predictably" bit is the problem. Sometimes the
font characteristics in my paragraph styles (used in tables) take
precedence; sometimes they are overridden by an unwanted table style.
Styles applied are often selectively and strangely removed from
paragraphs inside table cells when they are cut/copied and pasted
elsewhere too: sometimes the first paragraph in each cell loses its
paragraph style while others retain them; sometimes only the last
paragraph in each cell, sometimes the first and last but not
intervening paragraphs in each cell, and sometimes all paragraphs in
each cell. Occasionally all paragraphs retain their paragraph styles,
which is what I want, but this is by far the least common behaviour,
worse luck! This is all within the one document on the one machine, by
the way, and in case it's relevant, all the automatic formatting and
automatic resizing options I can find in the entire application are
disabled (I'm a control freak).

(Oh, and the multiple paragraphs per cell are necessary, as each cell
is restricted to a single logical element already. I'm not doing the
typical horrible "manually managed rows" thing within a proper table
row. So avoiding multple paragraphs per cell isn't going to help me get
around the second problem described above.)

Help!

Thanks in advance,

SF

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  #2  
Old March 26th 05, 11:05 AM
Cindy M -WordMVP-
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Default

Is it possible to disable table styles in Word 2003?

No. But you can set a particular table style as the default.

FWIW, any paragraph style other than Normal should override table-style
specific formatting. But by the same token, you should always create the
table in a paragraph foramtted with the Normal style.

If I guessed that the tables exhibiting the "bizarre" behavior you
describe were created in paragraphs formatted with a different stlye, and
that this is the style that shows up when your paragraph styles change,
would I be on the right track?

I have my own hierarchies of paragraph and character styles that I want
to be able to use consistently and predictably both outside and inside
tables, without having to maintain a second set specifically for
tables.

The "consistently and predictably" bit is the problem. Sometimes the
font characteristics in my paragraph styles (used in tables) take
precedence; sometimes they are overridden by an unwanted table style.
Styles applied are often selectively and strangely removed from
paragraphs inside table cells when they are cut/copied and pasted
elsewhere too: sometimes the first paragraph in each cell loses its
paragraph style while others retain them; sometimes only the last
paragraph in each cell, sometimes the first and last but not
intervening paragraphs in each cell, and sometimes all paragraphs in
each cell. Occasionally all paragraphs retain their paragraph styles,
which is what I want, but this is by far the least common behaviour,
worse luck! This is all within the one document on the one machine, by
the way, and in case it's relevant, all the automatic formatting and
automatic resizing options I can find in the entire application are
disabled (I'm a control freak).


Cindy Meister
INTER-Solutions, Switzerland
http://homepage.swissonline.ch/cindymeister (last update Jun 8 2004)
http://www.word.mvps.org

This reply is posted in the Newsgroup; please post any follow question or
reply in the newsgroup and not by e-mail :-)

  #3  
Old March 29th 05, 02:41 PM
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Default

Hi Cindy,

Thanks for your reply! (and please excuse this long-winded one)

If I guessed that the tables exhibiting the "bizarre" behavior
you describe were created in paragraphs formatted with a different
stlye, and that this is the style that shows up when your
paragraph styles change, would I be on the right track?


Only a little bit, unfortunately!

Some of the tables exhibiting bizarre behaviour were created in
paragraphs formatted with a style other than Normal, but others were
created in paragraphs formatted with Normal but then changed to a style
other than Normal (more on that below). They actually *all* exhibit the
same bizarre behaviour: it's just not predictable (more on that below
too).

Also, the non-Normal style was *not* the one that showed up when my
paragraph style changed... if it had been, all would have been OK!

Here's a more detailed description of what happened...

The document I was setting up was originally going to be a simple,
standalone questionnaire. This is not the sort of document I usually
do, so I didn't have a suitable existing template. I started with a
blank document, and immediately inserted a table (i.e. the paragraph
style at the place where I insert the table was Normal). The
just-created table's cells were formatted with the Table Grid table
style. I modified Table Grid's Font and Paragraph settings to suit, and
proceeded to add content.

Part way through this exercise, I had to change the document to a
combination information sheet and questionnaire; the questionnaire
itself became much more complicated too. I now needed several different
types of text, and these needed to be consistent regardless of whether
they were inside or outside tables. Rather than starting from scratch,
I set up a hierarchy of paragraph styles where the usable layer would
give me the characteristics I wanted. I've seen the Normal paragraph
style cause transportability problems in the past and prefer to avoid
it when I'm doing anything even slightly tricky, so the core of my
style hierarchy was a single base style which itself was based on "(no
style)" and was set up completely and explicitly from scratch. This
base style's font size was smaller than the one I'd previously set in
Table Grid, by the way. The reason for the hierarchy was to simplify
maintenance: I knew I'd need to fiddle with things like font size,
leading and paragraph spacing to get the new content to fit nicely, and
the fewer places to change the better. Also, I could do everything I
wanted with paragraph styles, so I no longer wanted to use table styles
at all: I didn't want to have to keep a set of them in synchronisation
too.

I selected my entire document and applied the main paragraph style from
my hierarchy (this is presumably why even tables *created* in
paragraphs formatted with Normal exhibit the same behaviour as tables
created in paragraphs formatted with my main paragraph style). I then
proceeded to expand upon the document's content. This included applying
other paragraph styles in my hierarchy to selected paragraphs inside
table cells, creating other tables, moving rows within and between
tables until things were how I wanted them, adding non-tabular content,
and copying a few tables to other points in the document and then
editing their content as required.

The only problem I noticed at that point was that *some* of the
paragraphs would revert back to Table Grid when I cut/copied and then
pasted the rows in which they resided elsewhere in the document (I only
cut/copied/pasted entire rows). As described in my original post,
sometimes it was the first paragraph in each cell pasted, sometimes the
last, sometimes the first and the last, sometimes all, and on very rare
occasions none of them. I did not notice a pattern to this behaviour,
whether it be location of source cells, location of paste insertion
point, number of cells or rows pasted, paragraph styles present within
the pasted cells/rows, paragraph style at paste insertion point,
paragraph style of reverted paragraphs, or number of columns in the
table. After reading your reply I tested tables created in paragraphs
originally formatted with Normal versus tables created in paragraphs
originally formatted with a style other than Normal, and there is no
pattern there either. (I know there will be a pattern *somewhere*, but
it wasn't and isn't obvious. What is was, was a major pain in the
posterior!)

After an external review of the first draft, I needed to change the
font size and a number of other characteristics of the document such as
line spacing, all of which were defined in my single base (paragraph)
style. I updated my base style accordingly and most of the changes took
effect throughout the document, both outside and inside tables, except
for font size (i.e. the tables picked up other changes made to the base
style such as line spacing).

I used Ctrl+Space and Ctrl+Q on everything to clear any unintended font
and paragraph overrides, but that didn't help. I looked at the font and
paragraph properties within paragraphs in tables, and they showed the
values I expected from my paragraph style although the font size was
clearly visibly different (e.g. when Format|Font showed a size of 10pt,
the text definitely wasn't big enough and was actually only in the 9pt
set in Table Grid -- which I didn't want and which had previously been
overridden by the paragraph styles -- at the time).

The only way I could get the new font size to take effect in tables was
to set that size in the Table Grid table style. (Well, I didn't try
applying the size directly to the text as a character override
(blech!), but I tried just about everything else I could think of.)

So, originally my paragraph styles had a different font size to Table
Grid, and my paragraph styles' font size overrode Table Grid's. After
changing the font size in my base paragraph style to another value that
was also different to that in Table Grid, Table Grid's font size
overrode my paragraph styles' font size.

Later, just as a test, I tried changing the font size in my base
paragraph style back to what it originally was (8pt), which made it
different to what was set in Table Grid at that time. That was OK, i.e.
the paragraph styles' font size overrode Table Grid's. So I tried
changing the font size in my base paragraph style to yet another value
(11pt), and that *wasn't* OK, i.e. I got the size set in Table Grid
instead of the new size I'd set in the paragraph style.

The seemingly random reversion of some paragraphs inside pasted table
rows happens regardless of whether my paragraph styles' font size is
overriding Table Grid's, or Table Grid's is overriding my paragraph
styles'.

Weird.

None of the Compatibility options were selected, by the way.

Anyway, when I have some spare time I'm going to try to figure it all
out using a completely new and very simple document, but the easiest
solution would have been to get rid of table styles altogether. Oh
well...

FWIW, any paragraph style other than Normal should override
table-style specific formatting.


I would have thought so, but that wasn't what was happening. And in
fact, the *same* non-Normal paragraph style sometimes overrode
table-style specific formatting, and sometimes didn't, depending on the
font size I'd set in the non-Normal paragraph style.

But by the same token, you should always create the table in
a paragraph foramtted with the Normal style.


Out of interest, why is this, and does this still apply if one usually
avoids Normal totally? (My past experience with various older Word
versions has been that Normal causes much more trouble than it's
worth!)

Cheers,

SF

  #4  
Old March 30th 05, 09:51 AM
Cindy M -WordMVP-
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

The seemingly random reversion of some paragraphs inside pasted table
rows happens regardless of whether my paragraph styles' font size is
overriding Table Grid's, or Table Grid's is overriding my paragraph
styles'.

From your entire description, my best guess on what's been happening is
that it all depends on what part of the table structure is storing the
formatting information. It may also be a function of how much of the
text (percentage) of what you're copying/pasting is formatted in what
way. And also how the formatting instructions are stored in the target
area, and how they coincided (or didn't) with the formatting coming in.

Tables can store formatting in the paragraph marks in the cells, in the
cell structure, in the row structure, as well as in the table
structure. Just to complicate things even further, in order to be
"user-friendly", tables have behavior patterns such as carrying across
the formatting of the preceding row when you insert a new row (or
rows). Taken all together, I can see where what you describe could
happen.

Did you try using the Paste Options buttons at all to reject/retain
formatting?

As to the font size: yes, there are some odd things happening in table
styles with certain font sizes. No question. My only advice in this
respect would be to
- format the tables with the default table style (whichever you've
selected)
- make absolutely sure that the font and font size of this style
corresponds to the default font size of the Normal style (Times New
Roman 12, I believe)

I believe, if that is the case, the formatting you apply will have a
better chance of overriding that of the table style.

Cindy Meister
INTER-Solutions, Switzerland
http://homepage.swissonline.ch/cindymeister (last update Jun 8 2004)
http://www.word.mvps.org

This reply is posted in the Newsgroup; please post any follow question
or reply in the newsgroup and not by e-mail :-)

  #5  
Old March 30th 05, 04:56 PM
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Posts: n/a
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From your entire description, my best guess on what's been
happening is that it all depends on what part of the table
structure is storing the formatting information. It may also
be a function of how much of the text (percentage) of what
you're copying/pasting is formatted in what way. And also
how the formatting instructions are stored in the target
area, and how they coincided (or didn't) with the formatting
coming in.


Heh. Lovely. LOL!

Just to complicate things even further, in order to be
"user-friendly", tables have behavior patterns such as
carrying across the formatting of the preceding row when you
insert a new row (or rows).


Argh! Yes! I ***hate*** that! Along with all the "auto" stuff. I know
why behaviour is tending in that direction (target audience factors),
but it's incredibly annoying for control freaks who know exactly what
they want to do and don't appreciate other things happening without
direction. We should at least be able to turn *all* that nonsense off,
instead of only bits of it! (I'd better stop ranting now. If I start
listing the "user friendly" features that really get up my nose this
group will probably need to be moved to a new server!)

Taken all together, I can see where what you describe could
happen.


Yeah. So can I, I guess.

Did you try using the Paste Options buttons at all to
reject/retain formatting?


Nope. I absolutely loathed them and I'm a "keyboard person" (i.e. mouse
hater) too, so they were one of the first things I turned off after
installing Office 2003. To save my colleagues from all the profanity,
basically.

As to the font size: yes, there are some odd things happening in
table styles with certain font sizes. No question. My only advice
in this respect would be to
- format the tables with the default table style (whichever you've
selected)
- make absolutely sure that the font and font size of this style
corresponds to the default font size of the Normal style (Times
New Roman 12, I believe)

I believe, if that is the case, the formatting you apply will have
a better chance of overriding that of the table style.


Thanks. This, and the other information in your messages, is useful
background to know.

If I'm desperate I'll try the above suggestion, but I still don't want
to use either table styles or the Normal paragraph style at all so I'll
experiment with other approaches first. I'm pretty sure documents based
on my old Office 97 templates have well-behaved paragraph styles in
tables, so perhaps I can find a combination of Compatibility options
that doesn't take me quite so far back into the dark ages.

Thanks again!

SF

  #6  
Old April 10th 05, 10:02 AM
Cindy M -WordMVP-
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

If I'm desperate I'll try the above suggestion, but I still don't want
to use either table styles or the Normal paragraph style at all so I'll
experiment with other approaches first. I'm pretty sure documents based
on my old Office 97 templates have well-behaved paragraph styles in
tables, so perhaps I can find a combination of Compatibility options
that doesn't take me quite so far back into the dark ages.

The only other thing that comes to mind would be to construct the tables
in code first, as HTML (or XML, if this is Word 2003), then
insert/drop/convert them into the document. That should at least avoid
all the "auto" mechanisms of working in the UI.

Note: I'd leave the PasteOptions buttons active in the UI. You can always
turn individual ones off by pressing ESC. And you CAN access them via the
keyboard: Shift+Alt+F10

Cindy Meister
INTER-Solutions, Switzerland
http://homepage.swissonline.ch/cindymeister (last update Jun 8 2004)
http://www.word.mvps.org

This reply is posted in the Newsgroup; please post any follow question or
reply in the newsgroup and not by e-mail :-)

 




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