Consistent Formatting Between Word Versions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 2, 2016)

1

Elizabeth recently upgraded her version of Word. She got a new computer that came with the newer version of Word installed. She noticed that one of her documents—a family history manuscript—doesn't look the same on the newer version of Word as it did on the older version and she was wondering why.

There are two possible causes for this. The first has to do with fonts and the second with printers. It is possible that the newer system has different fonts on it than the older system does, and this affects the way that the text flows in the document. Even if you checked to make sure that the same fonts are on the new system as the old, there could still be differences. Most notably, the old system could have used TrueType fonts, and the new system may use OpenType fonts. If the metric tables aren't exactly the same for the OpenType version of the font as they were for the TrueType version, then the text flow could occur differently on the new system. (Metric tables define how different characters in a font are positioned in relation to each other. They are created by whoever creates the font and can't be changed by mere mortals like you and me.)

The second and more likely culprit is your printer. When people get new computers, they often get new printers. New printers mean new printer drivers, and printer drivers affect how fonts are displayed and printed in Word. This means that the same document won't look the same when printed on different printers; there is no way around it.

Because Word works so closely with both the font definitions (the metric tables) and the printer drivers on various systems, the only way you can ensure that a document will look exactly the same on two different systems is to not use Word. Instead, convert your document into a PDF file using a program like Adobe Acrobat.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (75) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Copying and Moving Footnotes and Endnotes

If you need to move footnotes or endnotes from one location to another in a document, you can use editing techniques you ...

Discover More

Nudging an Equation

You can adjust where an equation is printed by moving it minute amounts in any direction.

Discover More

Noting the Workbook Creation Date

You may want to add, to your worksheet, the date on which a particular workbook was created. Excel doesn't provide a way to ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Absolutely Getting Rid of Formatting

Need to get rid of the formatting applied to a bunch of text? One of the easiest ways to do this is to use Notepad in ...

Discover More

Adding Fonts To the Context Menu

Context menus appear when you right-click on different items in Word. These menus can be edited to add items, such as common ...

Discover More

Consistent Spacing

It is a good idea to make sure that the spacing following each sentence in your document is consistent. Here's a handy macro ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 7?

2016-04-06 16:07:21

Steve Dunham

Maybe the document has the Normal template attached and the new Normal uses Calibri and so on as the default whereas and older one could use Times New Roman.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.