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Printing "Poison Pill" Within M$ Word Document?

By markt_a1b ·
Apologies if this has been covered before, but searching the archives has so far turned up nothing close. I have a 15-page document created in Word 97 (under Win XP) that *looks* perfectly normal on the screen, but which, when viewed in Print Preview or when printed to paper, simply skips everything at a point starting on page 3, and then adds the very last paragraph (from page 15) of the document immediately after that. I get the same results under Vista and Word 2007, as well as when the document is saved as a Word for Mac 4.x and 5.x document, and opened on (and printed from) that platform. Likewise, the exact same behavior is observed when the document is "printed" to Adobe Acrobat Professional 9.x (under the above Win XP configuration) and 8.x (under the above Vista configuration).

I have searched for hidden Control characters and the like, but to no avail. It is as though there is some sort of "poison pill" embedded within this otherwise normal-acting file that prevents it from being printed (or made into a PDF file) in its entirety.

Has anyone else seen this behavior? I will be happy to provide a copy of the file, upon request to markt_a1b at yahoo.com

Thanks!

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All Answers

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What happens if you copy all the text to Notepad

by robo_dev In reply to Printing "Poison Pill" Wi ...

And then copy/paste from Notepad into a new Word document?

That will strip out any hidden codes, graphics, or characters.

It is possible that the file itself is corrupt, or some setting such as the page size of page 3 is way off or there is some sort of font issue.

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Reponse To Answer

by markt_a1b In reply to What happens if you copy ...

Thanks for the suggestion. Pasting into the Notepad results in the article being truncated to the exact same three pages - with the same missing mid-section, but with the complete final paragraph still present - as when Print (or "print" to PDF, or Print Preview) is performed. It just doesn't seem to make sense, but that is what continues to happen.

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If cutting and pasting into Notepad does not work

by robo_dev In reply to Printing "Poison Pill" Wi ...

then it sounds to me like either the file is corrupt, or the PC or application is really hosed.

If you can see it on the screen, can you copy and paste ANY text from page 4 or later ?

Did someone play a prank and somehow make the pages be scanned text images or something?

I would assume you have tried 'saving as' RTF, TXT, or some other format?


In terms of the PC, I would look closely at what font was used in the document, and if there is something like a corrupt print driver, corrupt font, or even if the install of Word is totally messed up.

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Reponse To Answer

by markt_a1b In reply to If cutting and pasting in ...

This is a test reply - I just typed a detailed answer to the above questions, and even though the "Submit Reply" button was selected (with the "Alert me when new comments are made" box checked), the post did not go through. More to follow.

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Re: Printing "Poison Pill" Within M$ Word Document?

by markt_a1b In reply to Printing "Poison Pill" Wi ...

This may sound sophomoric in retrospect, but the solution to this issue is relatively straightforward to apply (more on that in a moment). In the meantime, however, within the Web article from which this question originated, there effectively *is* a form of "poison pill" - whether intentionally placed or otherwise. On two different computers and Win operating systems, even when the article is "printed" directly from the open page (within two different brands of browser), the exact same elision takes place.

The cause: embedded within the HTML of the article are control codes or similar characters that cause the elided section to be treated as "hidden" text - within both the Acrobat Professional PDF "printer" application, and the print function of M$ Word (within multiple Mac and Win versions). Moreover, the faint, gray dotted underline in Word that signifies such hidden text is easy to miss on the screen.

Selecting the entire section of affected text within Word, then opening the Format > Font menu item, and finally checking and then un-checking the "Hidden" box, will clear this attribute - and cause the document to print in its entirety.

As an aside, perusing the 1,000-plus bound pages of printed-to-paper manuals from M$ Word 5.x for Mac - in this case dating from early 1993 - was key to solving this issue. The searchable electronic versions definitely have their place, but are no end-all and be-all substitute for the printed materials. Ditto for electronic "books" in general.

Nostalgia may indeed be "the rust of memory," but I do miss those elegantly-produced and -printed software manuals of yore. FWIIW....

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Reponse To Answer

by markt_a1b In reply to Re: Printing "Poison ...

The above response was truncated by the Web-based TechRepublic system. Trying again:

This may sound sophomoric in retrospect, but the solution to this issue is relatively straightforward to apply (more on that in a moment). In the meantime, however, within the Web article from which this question originated, there effectively *is* a form of "poison pill" - whether intentionally placed or otherwise. On two different computers and Win operating systems, even when the article is "printed" directly from the open page (within two different brands of browser), the exact same elision takes place. (Problems printing the copied M$ Word file, from both multiple Win and Mac versions, is covered in the previous posts, above.)

The cause of all anomalies: embedded within the HTML of the article are control codes or similar characters that cause the elided section to be treated as "hidden" text - within both the Acrobat Professional PDF "printer" application, and the print function of M$ Word (within multiple Mac and Win versions). Moreover, the faint, gray dotted underline in Word that signifies such hidden text is easy to miss on the screen.

Selecting the entire section of affected text within Word, then opening the Format > Font menu item, and finally checking and then un-checking the "Hidden" box, will clear this attribute - and cause the document to print in its entirety.

As an aside, perusing the 1,000-plus bound pages of printed-to-paper manuals from M$ Word 5.x for Mac - in this case dating from early 1993 - was key to solving this issue. The searchable electronic versions definitely have their place, but are no end-all and be-all substitute for the printed materials. Ditto for electronic "books" in general.

Nostalgia may indeed be "the rust of memory," but I do miss those elegantly-produced and -printed software manuals of yore. FWIIW....

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Good to hear the issue is resolved

by robo_dev In reply to Printing "Poison Pill" Wi ...

Nobody likes having to re-type a document :)

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