Office challenge: Why won't Word print the right mathematical symbols?

Word's Equation Editor does a good job of displaying mathematical symbols, but that information doesn't always transfer correctly to the printer. What to do when the screen says one thing and the printout another?

Most users never need Word's Equation Editor, a powerful feature that uses Unicode character codes and Math AutoCorrect to replace text with mathematical symbols. Occasionally, the symbols don't print properly. Word displays the correct characters on screen, but instead of printing the mathematical symbol, Word prints an oddball wingding-looking character. What's wrong and how would you fix the problem?

Last week we asked…

Why can't I use Excel's Subtotals feature? Adundon was the first to respond correctly - you can't use the Subtotal feature with a table. In this context, table refers to the new Table feature, which replaces 2003's list feature. Using the Table feature offers a number of efficient and helpful shortcuts, but at a cost. You can't display subtotals using the Subtotal feature. Chramanarao and RRB both suggested this as well. Mvdarend suggested a second possibility: you can't use the Subtotal feature in a shared workbook and that is correct!

There's no workaround for either situation, but at least you'll know how to respond if this happens to one of your users.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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