Point at the beginning of the line (a bug in recent versions of MS Word)

    The other day, while editing a draft of a journal article sent by a co-author, I found that the latest Word (2010, 2013 for Windows, 2011 for Mac), under certain conditions, incorrectly controls the flow of text with formulas. This can cause noticeable trouble when working with scientific texts. The undertaken search on the topic did not give any results - it seems that the issue has not yet been discussed at relevant forums, although it is clearly not new. After two hours of “scientific poking,” the problem was localized and corrected independently. Perhaps this experience will be useful to someone.

    When does this manifest

    To reproduce the problem, you need to create an empty document in one of the mentioned versions of Word, using the default template (Normal.dotm). Write any text, paste the formula into it using EquationEditor or MathType. After the formula, put any punctuation mark. Moving the text, make the formula appear at the end of the line. You will see that the punctuation mark you enter appears at the beginning of the next line. Something like this:

    And here is how this place should actually look:

    By the way, the matter is not only in the formulas - the problem arises with any graphic object that is inserted right in the line in the middle of the sentence, and not in the frame. Only pictures in this way do not seem to be pasted.

    When it does not manifest

    This problem was not in versions prior to 2003 (Windows) and 2004 (Mac) inclusive. Therefore, it will not be in documents that were once created in those versions of Word, even if you re-save them in a new format.

    This problem does not occur if the document created in the new version of Word is saved in the format “Word 1997-2003 (* .doc)”, and then back saved to .docx

    The problem will not appear if the document is created from a specially prepared template. Often, scientific journals oblige authors to create articles based on a template developed by the publisher; in these templates, the problem is usually already fixed. For me, it was the habit of “right” patterns that was the reason that I had not noticed this error for so long. But a student writing a diploma “from scratch” does not yet have such habits, and may cause him some trouble.

    How is it treated?

    In versions 2010 and 2011, you need to open the "Options" and go to the "Compatibility" tab. By default, in new documents, all checkmarks are off. You need to enable the checkbox “Use table resizing rules as in Word 2003” (“Use Word 2003 table autofit rules” in the English version):

    This will fix the problem for the current document. If you do the same with the Normal.dotm template, then it will not be in all the documents you create again.

    Unfortunately, in version 2013 compatibility management is disabled. But the required correction can still be made if you open document 2010/11 with the Word and make the required correction. After this, the 2013th version will also work as expected.

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