Primer on tables in WordPerfect, Part I: Divide Row Across Pages

November 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm

One of the most common questions I get from clients who work with WordPerfect concerns the formatting of text in tables, such as in a Statement of Disputed and Undisputed Facts. Often, the text gets bumped to the next page, leaving a large and unattractive gap between numbered paragraphs. A recent incarnation of the problem involved an added twist: Text in one row did reach the bottom of the page (that is, the paragraph wasn’t moved to the next page), but the text was truncated — and in Reveal Codes, the truncated portion was marked as hidden. It wasn’t possible to “unhide” the text by unchecking the Hidden attribute in the Font dialog, however.

First, I asked the client to check to see whether a setting in WordPerfect was preventing the entirety of the paragraph from displaying. In particular, I had her insert the cursor into the offending row and click the Table menu, Format, then click the Row tab and make note of the Lines of Text Per Row setting. Was the “Single line only (hide extra text)” option enabled? If so, that could have been the cause of the problem. She investigated, but “Multiple lines (expand row to fit)” was enabled. I believe that configuration option is the default, which certainly makes sense.

Next, I suggested that the client go back into the Table Format dialog, Row tab, and click to check (enable) the “Divide row across pages” option. When she did so, the issue resolved itself. The text that had been truncated flowed onto the next page and the entire paragraph was visible — no “hidden” text. Nor was there a large gap between that paragraph and the previous one (the paragraph in the prior row).

The “Divide row across pages” choice has fixed many of my clients’ table formatting problems. If text in one of your WordPerfect tables is moving to the next page, take a look at that setting first. For some reason, the option is disabled by default, but it’s easy to remedy. And keep in mind that you can select the entire table and apply the option to the table in one fell swoop rather than doing it one row at a time. To select the table, just position the cursor somewhere within the table and click the Edit menu, Select, Table or place the cursor near any inside border (so that you see a fat arrow) and click three times. Then click the Table menu, Format, Row, and check “Divide row across pages.” That’s all there is to it!

I’ll post more on WordPerfect tables (including the difference between gridlines and guidelines and how to use each) soon.

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