Word Archives - HighTechDad


Post image for How To Fix Repeating Black Boxes in a Row in Microsoft Word

This How-To article comes by way of a HighTechDad.com reader who had seen my Fix-It article, “How to Remove Little Black Square Paragraph Formatting & Page Break in Microsoft Word,” but had a completely different issue that seemed to be related. What she had encountered was a row of repeating black boxes within Microsoft Word and she couldn’t figure out what they meant nor how to fix it.

HTD Fix it - Repeating Black Boxes

Usually, a black box or square within Microsoft Word signifies some sort of formatting or a break or a non-printing character. Non-printing characters are show by hitting the ¶ button on the Microsoft Office toolbar.

HTD Fix it - Repeating Black Boxes - non-printing characters

As I worked through some trouble-shooting with this reader, we discovered that the line of repeating black boxes within Microsoft Word was not a non-printing character. In fact, it was something else.

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Post image for How To Find Where Outlook Stores Temporary Attachments – Ones that Don’t Appear in “Recent Items” in Microsoft Office

Here’s the scenario. You receive an email attachment in Microsoft Outlook. You open that attachment directly from the email message, make a bunch of edits (and perhaps save them along the way) and close your Office document. Then a while later, you want to go back to that document, only to find that it does not appear in your “Recent” documents list within Word, Excel or PowerPoint. You begin to get that sinking feeling in your stomach as you start to search through your Documents folder, your Desktop and even your TEMP folders to see where the file went to. As a last resort, you fire up the file search, looking for files that were modified within the timeframe of when you were working on that document.

But your file simply cannot be found. It’s one of those “Oh sh*t” moments.


Have no fear. More likely than not, you can easily find that file. When you open an attachment from Microsoft Outlook, it opens a temporary version of that file on your hard drive. The thing is, it saves it in a very cryptic location – one that is definitely NOT intuitive, and one that seems to be unique to every user.

For example, on one of my PCs, the location is: C:\Users\michael\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\BGD62OWN\DOCNAME.docx

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Post image for How To Create a “Work” Menu Like Office 2004/2008 in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac

While I truly like Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac (you can see my review of it here on the Microsoft Office for Mac Blog), there are some folks who have complained about a feature being removed from previous versions, specifically, the “Work” menu that was present in previous versions of Word in Office for Mac (2004 & 2008). Personally, I never used that feature, simply because I didn’t need to. The “Open Recent…” menu item was just fine for me and I also really try to organize my content into a folder hierarchy on my hard drive or on DropBox.

Also, in the Windows version of Microsoft Office (2010), there is a way to “pin” important documents in the File > Recent area of any of the Office programs (I’m not sure why Office for Mac 2011 doesn’t have this useful feature).


But, I’m always out for a challenge to help out wherever I can. Especially since I know some people who have simply not upgraded to the latest version of Office for Mac because this feature was missing!

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