Greater than 1 minutes
I’ll put the answer at the beginning to save the reader some time:
If your Microsoft Word document has some strange format problems that you cannot fix, try saving it as a .htm document. Then open the .htm file in a text editor (like Notepad or an editor used for computer programs) and look carefully at Word’s formatting codes. Many times you can find the code that is making the problem and delete or change it in the htm file. Save your changes in the htm file. After that, open the htm file in Word. Save it as a .doc file. Problem solved.
Here’s an example. I usually do document translation by making a draft that has two columns, the source language in the left column and the target language (always English for my translations) in the right column.
One document was being translated from French to English, but the author is in Israel and (I assume) has Microsoft Word set up for Hebrew. All kinds of weird things were happening with the text. If you tried to left-align a paragraph, it would right align. When trying to highlight a word or phrase with the mouse or using the shift-arrow keys, I would have to move across the text in the opposite direction from what I would normally do. For instance, if I wanted to highlight the word ‘cat’ I would have to start highlighting from the end at ‘t’ and shift-right-arrow over to ‘c.’
I saved the .doc file as a .htm, opened it in a text editor, and discovered there were ‘rtl’ style codes all over the document. As in ‘right-to-left’ (for Hebrew). So I globally substituted the rtl text with ltr. Voila. Fixed.
Here is an example of the html text before changes. Note the line of code that says direction:rtl;
/* Style Definitions */
p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal
font-family:”Times New Roman”;}
And after editing, the line in question now has:
Editing a .doc file saved as an htm file has helped me to solve other problems with line-spacing and table formatting as well