Further thoughts on using Word for Desktop Publishing: Text Boxes

Back in April 2014 I penned a few lines on using Word as a desktop publishing tool. On the whole it works, but, as I noted then, it does have serious limitations.

I mentioned in that article that it was impossible to use automated cross-referencing between text boxes. Since then I have discovered something even worse. You can generate a table of contents from the headings of articles inside text boxes. (See 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Word: Table of Contents if you don’t know how to create a table of contents.) However, as I discovered, that leads one into  false sense of security.

The table of contents created from text box headings works perfectly, i.e. you can click on an entry and it will take you straight to it, just as it’s meant to. However, save the document as a PDF, i.e. readable in Adobe Acrobat Reader and not so easily editable, and you find tw things.

First, the table of contents looks just great, the same as it does in the Word document.

Second, it doesn’t work. Unfortunately, when you click on an entry in the Table of Contents, the program seems to look for the file on your computer. 

Of course, I discovered this after I’d sent the newsletter I created to several thousand people!

Does converting the text boxes to something called “frames” serve you any better? That’s the subject of a forthcoming post.