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column width versus cell width



 
 
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  #11  
Old October 2nd, 2005, 10:21 AM
Tony Jollans
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Posts: n/a
Default column width versus cell width

I'm sorry you feel that way.

You asked about the difference between cell width and column width and
presented a scenario where you were setting neither absolutely. I tried to
give a brief explanation of the difference between width and preferred width
as that seemed pertinent to your question. The actions you demonstrated do
have predictable results, just not the ones you want. I gave you a (viable)
way of doing exactly what you want; is that the action of someone who doesn't
know the answer?

Word tables are extremely flexible, there are many properties which interact
and, as I have said, I have never seen any documentation on the precise rules
for resolving conflicts. However one chooses to do it, changing the
dimensions of one cell in a table must have an effect on the dimensions
and/or position of at least some other cells in the table. Neither the
interface nor the action are perfect, not all the information is presented in
one place, and not all the actions are entirely predictable. Yes, that is the
way it is; I don't know whether that is exactly the way it was designed.

Enjoy,
Tony


"2dogs" wrote:

I have found your general explination to be totally without merit. When put
to the test it does not wash. I appreciate your participation. And I thank
you for your permission to use or not use the feature if I don't like it.
(Frankly, I think this is the kind of answer a person gives when they don't
know the answer.) I am not criticizing the operation or the application. I am
a fan and ardent user of Word. I am trying to understand how these 2 items
interact and in that regard you have not been very enlightening. Did you try
the simple tests I described. If you did please try to explain the results
with something better than "that's just the way it works". I could really use
some viable input.
--
2dogs in Oregon USA


"Tony Jollans" wrote:

In general, the largest of the all the individual cell preferred widths and
the column preferred width will take precedence (although other settings may
come into play). As I said, you may not like it, but that doesn't make it
unpredictable.

If you don't like the way the feature works you don't have to use it; I do
recognise that the old dialog is not exactly at your fingertips but it is
there. It seems to me like all bases are covered.

Enjoy,
Tony



"2dogs" wrote:

upper row, bottom row, center row, it makes no difference. This behavior is
totally unpredictable. For example, why will changing the value to a larger
value have an affect but changing to a lower value doesn't. The whole
operation seems ambiguous to me. (and everybody else I have talked to)
--
2dogs in Oregon USA


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  #12  
Old October 12th, 2005, 01:04 AM
Bob S
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default column width versus cell width

I was initially inclined to agree that setting cell widths ought to
behave much like dragging cell borders, but I have changed my mind.

They are two different operations. Dragging a cell border changes the
width of two cells, not one. Setting a preferred width in table
properties only changes the setting for one cell.

What should Word do if you change the width of one cell? If it
automatically changed the setting for the adjacent cell (which it
presumably does when dragging a border), you would probably call it a
bug for setting the property of a cell that you had not intended to
touch. (Officially Word does not even know which border you want to
move when you set a new width; it assumes the right-hand border.)

Word apparently takes the interpretation that most people want cells
in nice neat columns, so if you change the width of one cell it either
leaves the column width alone or changes the whole column.

The result may not be perfect clarity, but it probably produces
reasonable results much of the time.

The obvious objection is that if one wanted to keep columns aligned
one would be setting column widths not cell widths, and the current
behavior does not allow setting unaligned edges from the properties
dialog. But still, what exactly would be "better" behavior? The
obvious alternative would destroy the alignment of all other columns,
which you arguably did not desire.

By the way, there is an interesting follow-on to the test case of
making a single cell preferred width narrower than the column, where
nothing happened. If you do the same to each cell in the column, when
you finish changing the setting for the last cell the column will
indeed get narrower. Word is not actually ignoring the width settings,
it is just over-riding them with the "common sense" idea that cell
edges should be aligned.

Another interesting follow-on is to use dragging to set cell edges out
of alignment, then try setting cell widths in Table Properties. In
many cases Word will move the edge in the direction you specify, but
only until the edges line up again!

Bob S



On Sat, 1 Oct 2005 22:19:05 -0400, Herb Tyson [MVP] wrote:

Ah, now I see what you're doing. I get the exact same results you get. Note
that there *is* a way to get what you want. But, that doesn't mean that what
you're doing shouldn't work as well (IMO).

When I first saw your question, I assumed that you were *dragging* cell
borders to change the width of cells, since that seems the natural way to do
it (from my vantage). Select a cell, then *drag* its left or right border to
the left or right. Just that cell changes! And, if you need exact settings,
then hold down the Alt key as you drag, and Word will show you the
dimensions as you drag. You can also drag using the controls on the ruler.

In my view, the fact that what you're trying doesn't work is a bug. Since
adjusting cells and columns yield the identical results, it makes having a
separate cell tab essentially redundant (not to mention frustrating).


  #13  
Old October 12th, 2005, 01:54 AM
Suzanne S. Barnhill
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default column width versus cell width

It depends on how you drag it. If you press Shift or Ctrl, you get different
behavior (and different still depending whether you're dragging in the table
or on the ruler); see http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/TblsFldsFms/TableBasics.htm

--
Suzanne S. Barnhill
Microsoft MVP (Word)
Words into Type
Fairhope, Alabama USA
Word MVP FAQ site: http://word.mvps.org
Email cannot be acknowledged; please post all follow-ups to the newsgroup so
all may benefit.

"Bob S" wrote in message
...
I was initially inclined to agree that setting cell widths ought to
behave much like dragging cell borders, but I have changed my mind.

They are two different operations. Dragging a cell border changes the
width of two cells, not one. Setting a preferred width in table
properties only changes the setting for one cell.

What should Word do if you change the width of one cell? If it
automatically changed the setting for the adjacent cell (which it
presumably does when dragging a border), you would probably call it a
bug for setting the property of a cell that you had not intended to
touch. (Officially Word does not even know which border you want to
move when you set a new width; it assumes the right-hand border.)

Word apparently takes the interpretation that most people want cells
in nice neat columns, so if you change the width of one cell it either
leaves the column width alone or changes the whole column.

The result may not be perfect clarity, but it probably produces
reasonable results much of the time.

The obvious objection is that if one wanted to keep columns aligned
one would be setting column widths not cell widths, and the current
behavior does not allow setting unaligned edges from the properties
dialog. But still, what exactly would be "better" behavior? The
obvious alternative would destroy the alignment of all other columns,
which you arguably did not desire.

By the way, there is an interesting follow-on to the test case of
making a single cell preferred width narrower than the column, where
nothing happened. If you do the same to each cell in the column, when
you finish changing the setting for the last cell the column will
indeed get narrower. Word is not actually ignoring the width settings,
it is just over-riding them with the "common sense" idea that cell
edges should be aligned.

Another interesting follow-on is to use dragging to set cell edges out
of alignment, then try setting cell widths in Table Properties. In
many cases Word will move the edge in the direction you specify, but
only until the edges line up again!

Bob S



On Sat, 1 Oct 2005 22:19:05 -0400, Herb Tyson [MVP] wrote:

Ah, now I see what you're doing. I get the exact same results you get.

Note
that there *is* a way to get what you want. But, that doesn't mean that

what
you're doing shouldn't work as well (IMO).

When I first saw your question, I assumed that you were *dragging* cell
borders to change the width of cells, since that seems the natural way to

do
it (from my vantage). Select a cell, then *drag* its left or right border

to
the left or right. Just that cell changes! And, if you need exact

settings,
then hold down the Alt key as you drag, and Word will show you the
dimensions as you drag. You can also drag using the controls on the

ruler.

In my view, the fact that what you're trying doesn't work is a bug. Since
adjusting cells and columns yield the identical results, it makes having

a
separate cell tab essentially redundant (not to mention frustrating).



 




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