I recently wrote a document using Word 2016 for Windows (7, 64-bit). I used a slightly modified version of the "Black & White (numbered)" Theme, where the primary changes are using Times New Roman in the various heading styles (e.g. Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.) instead of the default Cambria style, and the use of Times New Roman in the Normal body style.

Throughout the document, all the text appears properly smoothed and normal. Here is an enlarged version of the text from the body of the document, where "4 Experimental Techniques" is in the Heading 1 style (Times New Roman 18, bold, small caps, based on the Normal style) and "4.1 MAP 215-50 (Lab B50)" is in the Heading 2 style (Times new Roman 14, bold, small caps, based on the Normal style): Text as it appears in the body of the document

Later, I then added a Table of Contents from the Reference tab, selecting Table of Contents, and adding "Automatic Table 2". Here is an elarged excerpt from the Table of Contents:

Text as it appears in the Table of Contents

Note that the entry for "4 Experimental Techniques" and "4.1.1 Description of Mass Spectrometer" (which, in the body text used Heading 3, Times New Roman 12, bold, based on the Normal style) are properly smoothed and high-quality in appearance, but the entry for "4.1 MAP 215-50 (Lab B50)" is pixelated and blurry.

Interestingly, the number "4.1" is smooth and clear, but the "MAP 215-50 (Lab B50)" as well as the dots and the corresponding page number off to the right (not shown) are pixelated.

This only happens for Table of Contents entries of text using the Heading 2 style in the body, and it happens for all such entries (e.g. 5.5, 5.6, etc. later in the Table of Contents). It only happens for certain fonts (I've tested a few, and it occurs with Times New Roman and Arial, but not Calibri), and then only for size 12. If the size is changed to, say 10 point, 12.5 point, or 14 point -- even if Times New Roman or Arial are used -- the problem does not appear.

Attempts to clear all formatting by selecting the blurry text and pressing Ctrl-Space cause the selected text to return to the Normal style (Times New Roman, 12, italic) for Table of Contents, but it is still pixelated at 12 point size.

I have two questions:

  1. What is causing this problem?
  2. What can be done to fix it?

As a temporary workaround, I can change the font size to 11.5 or 12.5 and it would likely go unnoticed by anyone looking at the document, but that doesn't actually address the problem.

Although I'd prefer not to post the document publicly, as it contains soon-to-be-published scientific research, I would be happy to make it available privately upon request. Alternatively, I could make a dummy document with the same styles that exhibits the same problem and make that available publicly. If additional screenshots or details of the configuration would be of assistance, please let me know what you'd like to see and I'd be happy to post more.

Update: a dummy document with the same styles, and which exhibits the same issues is available for download here.

  • * Alternatively, I could make a dummy document with the same styles that exhibits the same problem and make that available publicly* Way to go... – xenoid Jul 10 '17 at 18:00
  • @xenoid Sounds like a plan. I've updated the original question with a link to a dummy file (at the end of the question). – heypete Jul 10 '17 at 18:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.