MS-Word97, paragraphs and printers

I have some pretty complex forms I designed using WORD for DOS. WORD used the printer in text mode so I could pretty much place characters anywhere I wanted on the page. I could advance the paper in any increment and then move right in any increment and print. Just to explain further: If I am using 12 point font, I print an entire line, advance the paper by 3 pt and print another entire line, the second line will overlap partially with the first. I can use this to my advantage because I can leave a lot of blank space in one line, advance the paper a bit and print characters just a bit lower in the page which overlap with blank space in the previous line. (I hope you can follow my explanation).

Now I am transferring stuff to WORD97 and this does not work. Word97 uses the printer in graphics mode. If I create text using 12 pt fonts but space the lines by 3 pts it will only print the 3 lower points and not print over what it considers the territory of the previous line.

Questions:
Can I get Word97 to print over the the previous line like DOS-WORD did?
If not, how would I go about achieving the same result of being able to place text of any size anywhere in the page?

have you tried using the graphics stuff built into Word? I would start by trying to create overlapping text boxes. Then use the print preview to get it lined up just right before killing any trees.

xizor, I did try briefly going in that direction but did not get very far because it seemed complicated and i could not use the documents as I have them from DOSWORD.

If I can find a way to make WORD97 overprint the previous line then converting the documents would be much easier.

I was thinking WORD97 uses a driver for the printer in graphics mode. I wonder if there would be a driver that would use only the text mode as DOS WORD did.

If you are not talking about overlap onto the actual text in the previous line, but to the right, you could use the table function. For this, create a table with two columns and two rows. Place one portion of the text in the first column, first row; and the part you want offset down 3 pts in the second column, second row.

In the second column, select the first two cells and merge them (highlight the two, right-click, select merge cells). It should make the two cells into one big one. Right-click inside it, select alignment --> center.

Then select Format --> font. In Character Spacing select Position --> raised and then the amount (in this case, 9 pts, leaving 3 pts). This will do what I think you are asking, if I understand you correctly. It looked like it in my document, anyway.

You can get rid of the lines in the tables by highlighting the whole thing, right-clicking, and selecting Borders and Shading --> none.

Now that I’ve written that, it looks it’d be tricky as heck to get it just the way you want it (especially with multiple columns/rows), and I’d sooner open Publisher and use text boxes, so I’m not sure if it’s really a help. Also, I’m not sure if you can import entire forms directly into tables and have the right text in the right places, though, and I know nothing about drivers. Maybe some copy and paste is in order?

Jean, thanks for your ideas but they are really too complicated as what I am trying to transfer are documents that have dozens of bits of text placed randomly.

To give you an idea, I still print my bank checks using DOSWORD (and it seems I’ll be doing it for a long while).

Ok, here’s what’s probably the least lousy way of achieving the result you want using Word 97:

Type out the text you want on different lines, adjust point size, etc. Then select the first line of text you want to position. Copy the highlighted selection using either control-c, or the Copy command in the Edit menu. Then go into the Edit menu and select Paste Special. This will give you the option to paste the contents of the cut&paste buffer as a picture. Make sure the “float over text” box is checked. Hit ok. Now, when you’re back in your document, you will then be able to select the text and move it as a block. Word now treats this text as an embedded picture rather than text.

When you repeat the process with the next group of text, you will be able to overlap it with the previous text. Continue until you have the page the way you want it. It can be tricky to get right at first.

Lumpy, I’ll give it try for the heck of it but I don’t think it will be practical. The spacing I have is already set and i would have to redo the entire thing by eye.

After all, I do have the forms on DOS-WORD and I can keep them there or just use the image of the finished product. What I wanted to do is tranfer the forms to Word97 so I could edit them

I wonder if there would be a driver for the printer that would not use the graphics mode, only the text mode. That is what DOS-WORD uses.

BTW, I just thought of this. If i wanted to take that approach (text randomly placed) there is a better program 5thatcomes winth Windows: Imaging. I use it for mainly things like faxes.