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Mysteriously Moving Margins in Word

In Microsoft Word 2008 (and older versions), if you put your cursor in a paragraph and then move a tab or indent marker in the ruler, the change applies to just that paragraph. If your markers are closely spaced, you may have trouble grabbing the right one, and inadvertently work with tabs when you want to work with indents, or vice-versa. The solution is to hover your mouse over the marker until a yellow tooltip confirms which element you're about to drag.

I recently came to appreciate the importance of waiting for those tooltips: a document mysteriously reset its margins several times while I was under deadline pressure, causing a variety of problems. After several hours of puzzlement, I had my "doh!" moment: I had been dragging a margin marker when I thought I was dragging an indent marker.

When it comes to moving markers in the Word ruler, the moral of the story is always to hover, read, and only then drag.

 
 

TidBITS Watchlist: Notable Software Updates for 11-Aug-08

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  • Nisus Writer Express 3.1 from Nisus Software adds to the low-end word processor a Go To Page feature, an option to control the thickness of the caret pointer, a Page Borders palette, and an option to ignore rich text formatting when opening HTML files as plain text. Numerous bugs have also been fixed, a number of which should improve performance in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. ($45 new, free upgrade, 47.2 MB)
  • iPhone 2.0.1 from Apple includes "bug fixes" - that's the extent of the release notes, although a separate document in Apple's KnowledgeBase describes the security vulnerabilities (mostly in Safari and WebKit) fixed by this update. It's available via iTunes. (Free, 242 MB)

 

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