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Table Borders in AutoText Entries

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Larry E. Lutz

Aug 4, 2002, 10:56:12 AM8/4/02
In Word 2002 (XP), I have a rather complex series of tables that I
resuse frequently. The cells in each table have very specific border
settings (e.g., bottom and right borders, but no top and left
borders). I would like to make each table an AutoText entry so that I
can resuse its structure repeatedly. When I select the table and
attempt to insert it as an AutoText entry, the borders show
appropriately in the preview pane of the AutoText dialog box. However,
when I insert the AutoText entry, all borders display, regardless of
how they were set when inserted in the AutoText dialog box, which is
not at all what I want. Is there any way to maintain the original
border settings in an AutoText entry?


Anne Lambert

Aug 4, 2002, 11:37:53 AM8/4/02
Hi Larry

This has come up a couple of times. It seems to be a "feature" (read: bug) of Word 2002.

The table style gets in the way of the AutoText. Unless you've changed it, the default Table Style is "Table Grid". It has borders.
You almost certainly created the table in style "Table Grid", and then manually applied direct formatting to remove the borders you
didn't want.

But ... AutoText in Word 2002 doesn't save the table border settings. So, when the AutoText is inserted in your document, the
AutoText has no border settings available to insert. So, it inserts borders into your table according to the underlying table style.
And that's probably style "Table Grid", which is not what you want.

Here's the workaround. An AutoText of a table in style "Table Normal" is reliably saved without borders. So, apply table style
"Table Normal" to your table. It doesn't have borders, so you'll have to add back the borders you want. Then re-save the AutoText.

Word's entirely inconsistent rules seem to be that, when saved as an Auto Text:
1. a table in a style other than Table Normal will not retain table border settings derived from direct formatting

2. a table in style "Table Normal" does retains table border settings created derived from direct formatting

3. all tables retain *cell* borders derived from direct formatting

4. all tables retain table and cell shading derived from direct formatting.

Based on this, I've changed my default to style Table Normal, because it's the only one I can find that works reliably.

Hope this helps.


"Larry E. Lutz" <> wrote in message

Terry Farrell

Aug 4, 2002, 2:19:31 PM8/4/02

I have a theory that in certain circumstances, a copy/pasted or AutoTexted
table is taking on the defaults of the standard table set up in XP. I
noticed this when one day I created a standard that included an 'Allow
Spacing between Cells' setting. After this, any table I brought in to a
document would change to this setting. I quickly changed the default back!

Terry Farrell

"Anne Lambert" <> wrote in message
: Hi Larry

: >

Larry E. Lutz

Aug 4, 2002, 2:35:51 PM8/4/02
Thanks for the quick response, Anne.

Actually, I love styles in Word (or used to). I avoid and
most of the built-in styles in Word like the plague, however. I find
that creating my own templates and styles always seems to work most
consistently and reliably, especially since many of my documents must
be opened on different machines.

The tables in question were all created with a style called "Test
Normal" in a template that I created called Test All of
the borders and shading in each table were applied through direct
formatting. (Actually, I began each table by removing all borders from
the table and then applying specific borders on a cell by cell basis.)

The Table Grid style reared its ugly head several times during the
process, but none of my tables have it as their style. I wanted to try
going back and applying "Table Normal" to a copy of one of the tables
to see how that worked, but I can't seem to find Table Normal. When I
list All Styles, even in a new document based on, the
listing of available styles goes from "Table List 8" to "Table
Professional," with no "Table Normal." When I tried to add "Table
Normal" as a new style, I get an error message to the effect that it
is a reserved name. Am I doing something wrong?

Unfortunately, if I can't reliably insert tables with cell borders
that have been directly applied into a document, then AutoText will
serve no purpose for me. I've always avoided AutoText because it has
always seemed a bit quirky, even in Word 6.0. It seems to have
progressively gotten worse.

The whole point of what I am trying to do is to easily and quickly
insert preformatted "shells" for different types of test questions
(multiple choice, true/false, matching, etc.) through the use of a
custom toolbar so that users who aren't all that computer literate can
simply insert the text for their questions without having to do
extenisve formatting.

In this case, borders are used to provide a lot of the formatting for
places where test takers fill in their answers. The borders are
intricate, far too intricate and time-consuming for my users to
recreate for each questions. Simply putting each table-shell on the
template and copying and pasting as needed would be far simpler and
less time-consuming, but altogether woefully inelegant. (There are
other direct formatting elements, such as hidden text, that allow the
same document to be both the test and the answer sheet, that further
complicate the matter.)

Can you provide any additional suggestions or perhaps steer me in an
additional direction?

Again many thanks for your response.


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