I have been trying to get the third edition of Machinery of Freedom done and have encountered problems coming from what appear to be bugs in Microsoft Word 2011 Mac. They include:
My sections have the headers set up as different first page, different odd and even pages. The program shows odd numbered pages as even, even as odd. This isn't a big problem in itself, since I can always adjust formatting accordingly, but I suspect it is evidence of a bug that is causing more serious problems.
The program sometimes inserts an invisible page, so that page number 16 is followed by page number 18. If I save as pdf, the invisible page shows up as a blank page in the pdf.
The program insists that the page number for a page I want to number 4 must be either 3 or 5. If I adjust the starting number for the page by 1, the number that appears changes by 2.
It's possible that with enough kludges I can work around all these bugs, although I have spent quite a lot of time so far trying without success. But I'm worried that even if I manage to produce a pdf to send in that appears correct, some one of the bugs will keep biting me. For one thing, judging by past experience, the proof copy of the book will have multiple errors that need fixing, despite all my efforts to get it right in advance, and every time I change anything ... . Hence this post.
1. Is any of my readers sufficiently expert in Word to diagnose the problem from my description? I will be happy to send the first chunk of the book, which shows the problem, to anyone who is.
2. Alternatively, do people have suggestions for an alternative word processor that I should switch to? Desiderata are:
Can import from Word keeping most of the formatting reasonably close to the same.
Does indexing and table of contents. It would be a big help if the words marked for indexing in the Word document stayed marked when the file was imported to the new word processor.
Lets me format page numbers and headers in a way that alternates which side of the page the number is on, so that it is always on the outside edge.
My final recourse would be to simplify my layout until it is so simple that Word can get it right, but I would prefer not to do that if I don't have to. The current layout is designed to look reasonably similar to the second edition, although not identical.
On another topic ... . If Anarchei is reading this, would he please get in touch? As I explained in a comment on an earlier post that he may have missed, he and one other person did the covers I liked best and I want to correspond with both of them about the possibility of improved variants.