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How to troubleshoot formatting issues in Word for Mac, Excel for Mac, and PowerPoint for Mac documents

This article discusses the different methods that you can use to troubleshoot formatting issues in Microsoft Word for Mac, Microsoft Excel for Mac, and Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac documents.
This article discusses general troubleshooting steps for formatting issues in a Microsoft Office for Mac document.

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Use one of the following methods to troubleshoot formatting issues in an Office for Mac document.

The Show feature

When you troubleshoot formatting issues in a Word for Mac document, you can use the Show feature to display the following formatting that has been applied to the document:
  • All the tabs that are in a document.
  • All the returns that are in the document.
  • All the paragraph marks that are in the document.
  • All the spaces that are in the document.
  • All the page breaks that are in the document.
  • All the section breaks that are in the document.
  • All the other formatting characters that are in the document.
After you display the formatting that has been applied to the document, you may see your issue immediately, and you can remove the formatting that is causing the issue.

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The preferences settings

The preferences settings can affect both the formatting and the appearance of elements in your documents.

For example, if you click the Tabs and Backspace set left indent option on the Edit tab in the Preferences dialog box in Word for Mac, it changes how the bulleted sections in your document will appear.

Taking a moment to view and to verify the preferences settings for an Office for Mac program may help you quickly identify your formatting issue, and it may save you valuable time.

Note In Word for Mac, put your move pointer over the text for the preference, and the description of the preference will appear in the Description of Preference box at the bottom of the window.

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Run a compatibility report

Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac introduced a new tool that is named the Compatibility Report tool. This new tool lets you make sure that your documents and your presentations will look the same on other computers. This includes Microsoft Windows-based computers also.

By default, the Compatibility Report tool automatically checks for compatibility with Microsoft Office 97 for the Macintosh through Microsoft Office 2004 when you open a document. As your work in a document, you can test for compatibility with other versions of the program to confirm that the document will appear as you want it to when you view it on another operating system or in a different version of the program.

The Compatibility Report tool is available on all three programs in the Microsoft Office for Mac 2004 Suite. To run the Compatibility Report tool, follow these steps:
  1. Click Compatibility Report on the Standard toolbar. The Compatibility Report icon is a red toolbox.
  2. Click the Wrench icon.
  3. Click the version of the Office for Mac program that you want to verify the compatibility with.
  4. Click Check Document.
  5. If the Compatibility Report tool finds a problem, click the problem that is in the list. If the problem can be repaired, the Fix option will be available. Otherwise, the Ignore option will be available. If you click Fix, the Compatibility Report tool will try to adjust the formatting to be compatible with the version of the Office for Mac program that you had selected.
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Use the Formatting Palette

The Formatting Palette is where most of the formatting information is located. The Formatting Palette contains several panels that let you control the formatting of any element in your document. Some panels, such as the Picture panel, are context-sensitive. The following is a list of the default panels that are available in each Office for Mac program:
  • Word for Mac panels:
    • Add Objects
    • Font
    • Styles
    • Alignment and Spacing
    • Bullets and Number
    • Borders and Shading
    • Document
  • Microsoft Excel for Mac panels:
    • Add Objects
    • Font
    • Number
    • Bullets and Number
    • Borders and Shading
    • Page Setup
  • Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac panels:
    • Add Objects
    • Font
    • Change Slides
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Using Page Setup to troubleshoot issues that you experience when you print the document

Your document may appear correctly on the screen. However, when you print the document, the following conditions may be true:
  • The layout of the document may change.
  • The document text may cutoff.
  • There may be other formattting problems in the printed document.
To determine what may be causing this issue, use the Page Setup dialog box to troubleshoot these types of printing issues. The following is a list of the issues that can affect how your document appears when it is printed:
  • Scale– If the printed text is small or has “shrunk” into a corner instead of filling the page, it may be that the Scale is set to less than 100 percent.
  • Orientation – Make sure that the correct page orientation for your document has been set to either Portrait or to Landscape.
  • Format for – Confirm that you are formatting your document to print to your specific printer. If this is not set correctly, you may have text cutoff at the edge of the page.
  • Paper Size - Confirm that you have the correct paper size selected for your printer.
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Save the document in a different file format

In each of your Office for Mac programs, you have the option to save a document in a different file format. This can remove problematic formatting in the document. Additionally, you can reformat the document as needed after you have saved it in a different file format. The following is a list of the formats that are supported by each Office for Mac program:
  • Word for Mac:
    • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • Excel for Mac:
    • Text (Tab Delimited)
  • PowerPoint for Mac:
    • Outline (Rich Text Format)
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The Normal template in Word for Mac

The Normal template contains all the formatting information for new, blank documents in Word for Mac. If you remove the Normal template from the Microsoft User Data folder, and then start Word for Mac, a new Normal template will be created based on the default settings in Word for Mac. The location for the Normal template file is different for each version of Word for Mac.

In Microsoft Word X for Mac, the Normal template file is located in the /Applications/Microsoft Office X/templates folder.

In Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac, the Normal template file is located in the /Users/user_name/Documents/Microsoft User Data folder.

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Additional troubleshooting information

For additional information about formatting issues, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
118586 Footnote moved to next page in Word for Mac
125936 Unable to remove bold formatting from Word document
176050 Troubleshooting damaged documents in Word 98 for Macintosh
176539 How to format "Margins" within a table cell or label
178460 General number format applied to improper time entry in Excel for Mac
178981 Format change case may not change case based on selection
181918 Number formatting affects perceived precision in Excel for Mac
187353 General information about headers and footers
191007 Unexpected behavior in Excel for Mac with numbers formatted as text
193778 Creating special characters with overstrike
193979 Fractions converted to underscore characters in Word for Macintosh and in Excel for Macintosh
313553 How to troubleshoot Office printing issues in Mac OS X
321998 Merge Office Address Book contacts to labels in Word X for Mac

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OFF2004 2004 MacOFFX Mac OFFX WD PPT XL ENT OS ten X 10.3 10.2 troubleshoot format formatting

Article ID: 892960 - Last Review: 05/09/2012 16:24:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Entourage 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Excel 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Word 2004 for Mac
  • Microsoft Office X for Mac Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel X for Mac
  • Microsoft PowerPoint X for Mac
  • Microsoft Word X for Mac
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