Like many

large organizations that use a large amount of personal computers,

CNET/TechRepublic has a IT helpdesk support system. I don’t use it very often,

or at least I try not to use it, because I should be able to solve my own

problems. I mean, I do spend a good part of my time writing and/or editing

content that purportedly tells an audience how to troubleshoot computer


However, I

recently had a problem that I could not figure out. Well, I did figure it out

eventually, but I didn’t have my epiphany until after asking for help from our

tech support. I’ll present the problem here; see if you can figure it out.


creating PDFs for TechRepublic, I often have to add screenshot images and some

other graphical elements in a Microsoft Word document. Once the Word doc is

set, I translate it into a PDF. The problem was that I could not insert an

image into any Word document. I would follow the usual menu commands: Insert |

Picture | File and at that point I would get a VBA error. You know, the dialog

that asks whether you want to debug the problem or end the dialog. I could not

think of a single reason why a VBA error would occur. With the help of tech

support we tried repairing Office and then re-installing Office, and there was

no change.

Figured it

out yet?

If you have

then you are quicker on the draw then I am. It turns out I had inadvertently

used the keyword Insert in a Word macro I created. I have a vague recollection

that you are not supposed to use certain words when naming your macros, but it

is not one of those things I normally think about when I am creating a little

routine on the fly. Apparently, the fact that I created a macro named

InsertPicture was enough to interfere with any Word command that involved an

Insert of any kind. I find that very peculiar and frustrating.

Have you

run into this situation before? Perhaps, because I use Word macros as an editor

so much, it is only a problem with people like me. If I come across a set of

keystrokes that I have to enter over and over again, I will make a quick macro

using the Word record feature. Is that typical or atypical behavior?