Restoring the pleading paper if it disappears when you use “Different First Page” (Word)

In order to “suppress” the page number on the caption page of a pleading, people commonly open the footer editing screen and apply the “Different First Page” option from the Header & Footer Tools tab.  That option makes it easy to create a footer (or header) on the first page that is substantively different from the footer (or header) in the rest of the document – in this case, one that lacks a page number code.

However, choosing the “Different First Page” option can cause the pleading lines and numbers to disappear. That is because the coding for the pleading paper is contained in the paragraph mark within the header, which gets wiped out (replaced with a different paragraph mark that doesn’t contain such coding) when “Different First Page” is enabled.

If that happens to you, immediately click “Undo” (or press Ctrl Z, the keyboard shortcut for Undo) and then do as follows:

  1. Go into the header editing screen on the first page of your document by either double-clicking in the white space near the top of the page or right-clicking, then choosing “Edit Header.”
  2. Display the non-printing characters (Show / Hide) by clicking the Paragraph icon in the Paragraph group on the Home tab or by pressing Ctrl Shift * [asterisk].
  3. Select and copy the first paragraph mark (pilcrow) in the header. That paragraph mark contains the formatting codes for the header, including the graphics (pleading lines and numbering).  If you have difficulty grabbing the paragraph mark with your mouse, press Ctrl A to select the entire header, then press Ctrl C to copy.
  4. Next, click to check (enable) the “Different First Page” option.
  5. Don’t panic if the pleading paper disappears. Instead, simply paste the paragraph mark back into the header. Be sure to use a standard paste – using Ctrl V or “Keep Source Formatting” – rather than “Paste and Keep Text Only.” Although I generally advise people to use “Paste and Keep Text Only” in order to avoid bringing unwanted formatting into your document, in this situation you want to retain the formatting of the pleading paper (the vertical lines and line numbers). Pasting the paragraph mark should restore the pleading paper, at least on that page. If there is another paragraph mark in the header, delete it.
  6. Scroll through the rest of the pleading to see if the pleading paper disappeared anywhere else when you applied the “Different First Page” option. If so, go into the header at the top of any page that doesn’t have pleading paper and paste the paragraph mark.

When you’ve finished, you can proceed to “suppress” the page number on the first page of your pleading – by deleting the page number code – and use a separate footer that displays the page number in the remainder of the document.


Adapted from my book, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016 (click the link to go to the book’s page on Amazon).

March 2, 2016 at 10:41 pm 1 comment

Microsoft KB article re: POP3 issues after Office 2016 update

As I mentioned in an earlier post, many POP3 mail users have reported some issues with Outlook after the latest Office 2016 automatic update, which was applied a few days ago (around February 23-24).  Microsoft has posted a new Knowledge Base (KB) article addressing these issues.  You can find the KB article by clicking this link: Email is deleted from server or duplicated in Outlook 2016 when downloaded using POP3

In addition to the issue I discussed previously, which involved the repeated downloading of previously downloaded mail messages, some POP3 users have also experienced an even more serious problem:  After mail has been downloaded, it is deleted from the server, regardless of whether users have configured Outlook to keep mail on the server for a specific number of days, such as 14 days.  (This option is useful for people who receive mail on multiple devices – as most of us do nowadays.)

The first part of the KB article addresses the problem of mail being deleted from the server after downloading.  The second part of the KB article addresses the problem of duplicate e-mail messages being downloaded over and over, and in particular explains how to roll back to the previous automatic update.

For those of you who would like to roll back to an earlier update, you might find it somewhat easier to follow the steps outlined in this post by Outlook MVP Robert Sparnaaij:  Uninstall Office 365 Click-To-Run Updates  What makes Robert’s post especially user-friendly is that you can copy and paste the sample text (which seems to work better than if you type it yourself at the C: prompt).  Also see my earlier post, POP3 Mail Users Report Problems in Outlook After Office 2016 Update, for more information and instructions.


February 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm 1 comment

Thanks for making my book a “Hot new release” on Amazon!

Many thanks to everyone who has bought my new Word 2016 book (Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016).  Because of you, the book has been listed as a “Hot New Release” on Amazon – in several different categories (including Microsoft Word Guides and Word Processing) – over the past few days.

A quick note for anyone who is interested in buying multiple copies:  I can provide you with a code for a substantial discount on bulk purchases.  Just drop me an e-mail message.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I can with more information.

Again, I very much appreciate your support!

February 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm

POP3 Mail Users Report Problems in Outlook After Office 2016 Update (FIXED)

NOTE:  Around March 7, Microsoft released an updated build of Office 2016, build no. 6568.2036, that fixed the issues described in this post.  To apply this build, or a later one (if available at the time you read this update), click the File tab in Outlook or any other Office 2016 program, then click “Office Account” or “Account.”  Navigate to “Office Updates” at the right side of the screen.  If the version shown is earlier than 6568.2036 – i.e., a lower number – click “Update Options” and then either click “Update Now” (if shown) or click “Enable Updates” and then click “Update Now.”  Be aware that (1) you might have to allow the duplicate messages to download one final time; and (2) the update might take a while.  Also, the update will be applied to all of the Office 2016 programs.

* * * * *
Some Outlook 2016 users who have POP3 mail accounts – including me – are reporting an issue involving multiple (i.e., repetitive) downloads of previously downloaded e-mail messages after the latest Office 2016 update. This issue appears to affect only users who have chosen to leave messages on the server, rather than deleting the messages from the server after downloading them.

The update, which occurred automatically sometime over the past three or four days, applied build (version) number 6568.2025.  (This is the version number that is displayed at the right side of the screen under Office Updates when you click File, Account or File, Office Account.)

I noticed the problem yesterday.  Whenever Outlook automatically checked for new messages (or when I manually clicked “Send / Receive”), it downloaded not only new messages, but also hundreds of messages that had already been downloaded.  (Oddly, the issue affected only one of the two POP3 accounts that I use with Outlook 2016.)  And it did so repeatedly.  Fortunately, I could delete the duplicate messages by clicking “Unread,” selecting all with Ctrl A, and pressing the Delete key (which did not affect any of the “Read” messages already in my Inbox).

That temporary fix wasn’t particularly satisfactory, since duplicate messages continued to download throughout the day and evening.

A preliminary search on the Internet revealed only a few exchanges in which users complained about the problem.  A Microsoft MVP (an expert user who is not an employee of Microsoft) eventually wrote to say he could confirm the issue and would report it to Microsoft.

Today, I found additional help in the form of a couple of web sites that provide instructions for rolling back to a previous build / version of Office 2016.[1]  It took a while – I got error messages at first – but with the help of those two sites, I was able to roll back to the previous Office 2016 update, which applied build 6366.2068.  When I first launched Outlook, the program downloaded a huge batch of duplicate messages (more than 400!), which I promptly deleted. But since then, Outlook has worked normally. That is to say, automatic and manual downloads produce only new messages, not duplicates of messages that have already downloaded.

If you have experienced the issue with duplicate e-mail messages after the latest Office 2016 update, you can try to roll back to an earlier update.  CAUTION:  I would recommend doing so only if you are a fairly advanced user – someone who is comfortable configuring your own computer.[2]  Also, I would recommend closing out of Office 2016 while performing the steps.  You do need to be connected to the Internet, however, so that Microsoft can download and apply the previous update.

Before attempting this procedure, you must disable future updates.  From within any Office 2016 program, click File, Account (or File, Office Account) and then navigate to the Updates section, click the “Update Options” button, and choose “Disable Updates.”  NOTE: if you disable updates, you will have to check for and download the next one, due sometime in late March or early April, manually (by enabling updates again from the same screen in your Office 2016 program).

After you disable updates, you will open a DOS command prompt (as an Administrator) to apply the previous update.  In both Windows 8 and Windows 10, the simplest way to open a DOS command prompt as an Administrator is by right-clicking the Start button at the left side of the Windows Taskbar and choosing “Command Prompt (Admin).”

Next, you’ll enter a text string with commands for downloading the previous Office 2016 update.  To simplify the process, I’m just providing links to the two sites that I found helpful. The one I’ve listed immediately below offers relatively straightforward steps that worked well for me.

These instructions are based on information contained in this MS Outlook Info site run by Outlook “MVP” Robert Sparnaaij:  Uninstall Office… Click-to-Run Updates

After I opened a DOS command prompt in a separate window, I simply copied the example text from the MS Outlook Info page and pasted it into the command prompt.  In particular, I began by copying (and pasting) the text under “Office Repair,” Step 3, #1 (below “Office 2016”). Then, leaving the cursor in the same position within the command prompt, I copied (and pasted) the text under Step 4, second example (second bullet).

After pasting the entire text string, I pressed the Enter key, and a Microsoft window appeared with a message about downloading an update.  I let it run.  Afterwards, I opened Word and Outlook and checked the build number (File, Account in Word / File, Office Account in Outlook).  Lo and behold, the build number had reverted to 6366.2068.

Be sure to read the instructions carefully – more than once – before you begin.  And as always, proceed with caution.

As a reference, I also recommend this post by the venerable Diane Poremsky of Slipstick Systems:  Uninstall Updates in Office ‘Click to Run’ (and also see Diane’s February 26 post about the POP issues related to the Office 2016 update, Outlook 2016: POP Problems After Last Update).

Good luck!


[1]  Many thanks to both of the site administrators (Robert Sparnaaij and Diane Poremsky) for providing such helpful information and instructions!

[2]  Also be aware that these steps are designed for click-to-run versions of Office 2016.  Most people have click-to-run versions, but it’s possible that the rollback procedure won’t work if you happen to have a version of Office 2016 that doesn’t fall into that category.




February 25, 2016 at 12:30 pm 3 comments

Tiplet: Deleting an extra page (Word)

Over the past few years, my clients have frequently reported difficulty deleting an extra page that appears at the end of a document – typically a pleading.  Sometimes the problem involves a table (whether an actual columnar table containing data or a single-cell table used for a signature block) that falls at the end of what should be the last page.  The most obvious solution, removing the extra page by positioning the cursor after the table and pressing Delete or Backspace, doesn’t work as expected.

There are a couple of possible solutions, depending on the exact situation.  Although highly counterintuitive, this one usually works:

With your cursor at the very top of the additional page, open the Paragraph dialog by either right-clicking and choosing “Paragraph” or clicking the dialog launcher (the small gray square with an arrow on the diagonal) at the bottom of the Paragraph group on the Home tab.  When the Paragraph dialog opens, locate the Spacing section (about halfway down the Indents and Spacing tab), then click the “Line and Spacing” drop-down and select “Exactly.”  Next, under “At” – and this is the critical step – set the number of points (by using the spinner arrows or simply typing the number in the box) to 1 (one) pt.  Yes, one!

Keep in mind that points measure the height of the characters; that there are 72 points in a vertical inch; and that 12 points, while not the same as true single spacing, is approximately one line.  Setting the line spacing of that extra page (really just an extra empty paragraph that has spilled onto the next page) to 1 point usually shrinks the empty paragraph sufficiently to pull it up to the previous page.

This less-than-obvious remedy has helped many of my clients resolve an extremely vexing issue.  I hope it helps you, too!


February 24, 2016 at 11:37 am 1 comment

My new Word 2016 book is now available on Amazon

My new book, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016, is available on  Not merely an update of my Word 2010 book, it contains many brand-new tutorials (including the ones about creating, generating, and troubleshooting a Table of Contents and a Table of Authorities).

Here is a link to the book’s page on Amazon:  Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016

There is no preview available on the Amazon page.  However, you can view and/or download the Table of Contents by clicking the following link: Word 2016 Book – TOC

Please keep in mind that, like my other two books, this is a publish-on-demand item – meaning that the book will be printed after you order it.  Therefore, it will take somewhat longer to receive your order than if it were a standard book (i.e., one where copies are “in stock” at all times).  I appreciate your patience!

February 9, 2016 at 9:38 am

Office 2016 update (patch) disables customizations

Microsoft recently confirmed that its December 17, 2015 update (patch) for the Office 2016 suite[1] wiped out customizations for some users, including AutoText entries, AutoComplete entries, styles, macros, and similar items.  In particular, customizations stored in the Normal.dotm template (the default template in Word) and the NormalEmail.dotm template (the default template in Outlook) might be – or appear to be – missing.[2]

Apparently, the customizations still exist, but the update changed the name of one or more files where they are stored, so the programs can’t find the file(s).

For more information, see this blurb from Microsoft, which contains a link to a Microsoft Knowledge Base Article that provides step-by-step instructions on how to fix the problem:

Missing autotext, styles, and other customizations in Word 2016?

Here is a direct link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article that details the resolution:

Missing customizations in Office Word after an update

It appears to be a rather complicated fix, consisting of nearly a dozen steps.  If it makes you feel more comfortable, do some additional research first.  Also, read through all of the steps before starting, and then go slowly!

It’s a good idea to make copies of / back up your Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm templates on a regular basis anyway in case of file corruption or some other problem. The default location for those files is:


With luck, you will be able to make backups before your version of Office 2016 is patched (to build 16.0.6366.xxxx).[3]  If your version is patched later on and you lose your customizations, you can browse to the problematic versions of Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm, rename them (e.g., to NormalBad.dotm and NormalEmailBad.dotm[4]), find your backups, and rename those files Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm, respectively.  CAUTION:  Be sure to exit from Word and Outlook before renaming these templates.


[1]  From what I’ve read, it sounds as though the update that caused the problem was a Windows 10 update, which suggests that only users running Windows 10 are affected.  People have reported problems with both Word 2016 and Outlook 2016.

[2]  I discovered the problem quite by accident after experiencing some odd changes in the behavior of Word 2016 on my Windows 10 laptop.  And after a crash, I noticed that a recovered file was missing my custom styles – so I ended up opening the original file (which still had my custom styles available), copying text that I had added to the recovered file, and then re-saving / backing up the original file.  A good reminder to save frequently, as well as to create backup copies of important documents and to store them in the cloud and/or on external media.

[3]  To determine the build number of your version of Word 2016 (or Outlook 2016), click the File tab, Account (or Office Account).  The build is displayed at right, in the section labeled “Office Updates.”  As for backup copies of Normal.dotm and NormalEmail.dotm, there’s nothing wrong with naming the copies Backup of Normal.dotm and Backup of NormalEmail.dotm.  You might want to include the current date in the file name (Backup of Normal 1-3-2016.dotm, Backup of NormalEmail 1-3-2016.dotm) so that you know when the file was created.

[4]  When I rename a Normal.dotm or NormalEmail.dotm template, I usually use the current date in the name – such as Normal 1-3-2016.dotm or NormalEmail 1-3-2016.dotm.  If the templates are problematic, I put that into the name, too:  NormalBad 1-3-2016.dotm or NormalEmailBad 1-3-2016.dotm.

January 3, 2016 at 2:12 pm

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