October 13, 2008

'Fun' with M$ Office.1

I love Microsoft Office. I really do. But just as the people we love sometimes drive us crazy with their quirky little habits, the software we love has foibles that drive us mad.

Because I work in a "production environment," I have a font management program that controls what fonts are active or not at any given time.

Unfortunately, some applications--and MS Word happens to be one of them--don't group fonts by "family." Every font gets its own line in the menu, which is rather distracting when you have a font that has multiple types (such as Display, Caption, and Standard), and then sub-types within each type (Display Black, Display Bold, Display Italic). You get the idea.

So to trim down my font menu, I turned off a bunch of fonts in my font manager.

Suddenly, my dictionary in Word no longer displayed definitions.

Oddly enough, if I cut the text (which I couldn't see) from the dictionary pane and pasted it into a document, I could then see it.


As it turned out, the culprit was "Verdana," which is the font the dictionary uses. Once I turned it back on, my problem was solved.

A rather silly tech support story, I suppose, and a little embarassing. PEBKAC*, and all that. But I post it in hopes that someday, it will help some poor Googling soul who has the same problem.

* — Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

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