How using Word could cost you money and a job

By November 1, 2010 February 27th, 2016 General

In 2003 Microsoft introduced Full Screen Reading View, which is the default view used when opening Word documents from email. When you view a document attached to an email, this feature will reformat text and hide certain items such as the header and footer. Supposedly this is to make attachments quick and easy to read.

I cannot stress enough how horrible and dangerous this feature is! Let me share a story with you: a colleague recently emailed an invoice to a client in Word 2007 format. He had his mailing address in the footer and a note in the body which said “Please note our new mailing address”. When the invoice was processed by the person in accounting, they opened the attached document (in Full Screen reading view), which of course hid the footer. The person then assumed that the document did not contain the new mailing address, and that the address in their database was the correct address. As a result the cheque they mailed out did not make it to my colleague.

I recommend immediately turning off this feature. You can do so by clicking the Office Button, selecting Word Options, clicking Popular in the left column, and deselecting Open e-mail attachments in Full Screen Reading View.

In most cases this feature is merely an annoyance, but again could have consequences. For example, if you send your nicely formatted resume to an HR person, it may not – actually it will not – look so nice when opened in Full Screen Reading View, and could be missing important contact information which is typically in the header/footer areas. If the receiver is not aware of the Full Screen Reading View feature and its affect, they could discard your resume, costing you the job.

My advice is to always convert important Word documents and resumes into PDF format before sending to eliminate this problem. Having said all this, I’d love to hear if anyone sees any advantages to the Full Screen Reading View feature.

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