Denise Signer's Favorite Bug

Earlier this semester my capstone (= senior project) group wanted to print a 30-page Word 2007 document we'd been working on for a couple months. After struggling with the ink and paper issues of two printers, we finally held the document in our hands. But while we flipped through it, we noticed that two pages mysteriously were half blank. Page breaks had been added where there hadn't been any, which meant that our entire printout was messed up.

We looked at our screen and realized that those page breaks had been added to the digital version of our document as well. After reopening the document, everything looked just fine. When we printed our document again, the page break problem repeated itself. (Poor trees.)

We then took a closer look at where this was happening, and noticed that the page breaks were inserted where we had placed cross-references. Our cross-references turned from “<paragraph number> <paragraph text>” into “< 0.> <page break><paragraph text>”. Hitting CTRL+Z (or the undo button) fixed the error on the screen, but of course that didn't help us print. We ended up hand-typing the cross-references to get around this problem and meet our deadline.

I later figured out that the <paragraph number> was responsible for its own reset and the <paragraph text> had been inserting the <page break>. I could replace them with new automated cross-references and the problems went away.

-- Denise Signer


Do you have a bug whose story you love to tell? Let me know!