By in Writing

Microsoft WORD is a right P.I.T.B!


I am having to redo some of the formatting in my thesis. I have used Microsoft Word(r) for many years but more for letters and short reports. Currently I am creating a list of figures, tables and photographs. I have about 250 or so figures, about 10 tables and 6 photographs.


With short reports, there is no problem with adding a title and creating your own table to list them and add a page number. But with 500 pages, it's better to use the captioning function, where you label your diagram as a table, figure or photograph, etc. Microsoft Word (R) is supposed to be able then to create separate lists of tables,figures and photographs. BUT it is insisting on creating one long list with all items chucked in together. Not only that, where I hadn't left a line between the caption and the figure, it included a copy of the graph or whatever in the list of contents!

Tearing My Hair Out!

I have been for a walk, so am back now to try and sort this. This product has been round for long enough that it OUGHT to be intuitive as to how to do it! OK, feel better after walk and rant - back into the fray!

Image Credit » by luxstorm

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markgraham wrote on October 7, 2015, 7:43 AM

I will be doing a capstone project soon. I hope I have better luck. Good luck with yours.

Paulie wrote on October 7, 2015, 8:20 AM

Like you, I haven't used Word for charts, tables, and pictures. Perhaps Microsoft Office would be a better program to use. I haven't used it and have no idea how to convert from Word to Office.

MegL wrote on October 7, 2015, 8:36 AM

I have to use "Word" because the thesis has to be submitted in a format their software can read- because it will be checked for plagiarism.

wolfgirl569 wrote on October 7, 2015, 9:53 AM

Hope you get it sorted out this time, wishing you luck

msiduri wrote on October 7, 2015, 9:56 AM

I've tried unsuccessfully using tables and charts as well for minor projects. I agree. Here's wishing you success!

WordChazer wrote on October 7, 2015, 10:21 AM

I feel for you. Much as I love wrestling with formatting, just sometimes Word has a real PITA moment just like you're describing. Worse if you've kept a document going over several versions of the software it gets more and more unstable as time goes on. Length doesn't help either and there's more than one author I know of who writes individual chapters as separate files then pulls them all together at the end.

melody23 wrote on October 7, 2015, 12:03 PM

I had a nightmare of a time with a research report in third year. We had a project that we all did the research together and then wrote individual reports on it (it was a total weird thing and a waste of time because, as usual most people don't pitch in with group work anyway and you do everything yourself) part of it was we all did a table summarising our information then the tables all had to be put together so they could be put at the end of everyones individual report. Me being the only non-technophobe of the group got the joy of doing the tables and it took me days! I cut and paste, formatted, reformatted, deleted and started again more times than I imagine.

Kasman wrote on October 7, 2015, 5:09 PM

I use Google Drive for everything. In my opinion it is far superior to just about anything else available.

CoralLevang wrote on October 11, 2015, 2:16 PM

I have been sitting here tearing MY hair out trying to figure out what PITB was. LOL

I have ONLY known it as PITA. Even my mother, who was in a care facility for quite a long time, used to say to the attendants when she rang for them, "It's your 'PITA-girl' again!" Then she had to explain to them that a PITA was different that pita (bread). It cracked me up.

MegL wrote on October 11, 2015, 3:29 PM

Well, I got it sorted, though it took me a couple of days and the articles on the internet didn't work for me. I suppose I ought to write my own article on it, now. It meant that when I added 3 new photographs, the numbering sorted itself automatically and the table of photographs will update correctly. emoticon :grin: emoticon :grin: