Monday, July 14, 2014
Curse you, Microsoft Word 8.1!
I've been putting together a manuscript for a book-length collection of poems. This is the kind of fussy task that I find staggeringly difficult, also somewhat stupefying. Finding, inserting properly, not incorporating any unintentional commands--so many ways to go wrong. It is easier only than doing the same thing entirely by hand. THE PROBLEM is that, when you work virtually, your virtual collection is subject to the weirdnesses of MS shortcuts, those unhelpful intrusions that you didn't want in the first place. I worked over the weekend and had the document in shape to be printed out so I could work on the sequence of poems, something I can do only with the physical piece of paper laid out (or moved around) next to the other physical pieces of paper. I called up the document to print it out--had a new cartridge of ink and everything--and discovered that somehow I had 'locked' the document. 'Locked' means that I can make no changes. Actually, 'locked' means that I can't do anything at all with the document except read it on the monitor. Can't even print it out. We googled the problem and found it to be familiar to many folks. Unhappily, we found also that the proposed fixes were at best pointless, at worst incomprehensible. I called our computer guy, Dr. Bob, who wrote the manual used to train the folks at Microsoft U. Dr. Bob is in the middle of recovering from cataract surgery. Take your time, Dr. Bob, take all the time you need, and enjoy the recovered colors of our interesting world. And when you are recovered, call me and come over and free my poetry manuscript from its weird dimensional shift. Help me unscrew the inscrutable.