Knowledge base KB0150

When I modify a think-cell label, the label loses its content

Problem

The error occurs when you edit a think-cell label that contains a hyphen/double hyphen or a think-cell label ending with a quote and you insert, e.g., a space or line break. You receive the following error message:

error message in PowerPoint 2007
  • In PowerPoint 2007 the text box disappears.
  • In PowerPoint 2010 the label text disappears. If the label contains a hyphen, it is replaced by a dash ―.
  • In PowerPoint 2013 the label text disappears, only when appending a character to a quote.

Microsoft fixed both problems in PowerPoint 2016.

This problem is caused by a bug in PowerPoint. The bug has been acknowledged by Microsoft. If your company has a Microsoft Office Support contract and you want to contact Microsoft to ask for a fix, you may refer to Microsoft case number OffBug #72905.

Solution

Deactivate the following AutoCorrect features:

  1. Open the PowerPoint options:
    PowerPoint 2007: Office Button Office ButtonPowerPoint Options
    PowerPoint 2010/2013: FileOptions

  2. ProofingAutoCorrect Options …AutoFormat As You TypeReplace as you type
    PowerPoint 2007/2010: uncheck Hyphens (--) with dash (―)
    PowerPoint 2007/2010/2013: uncheck "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes”

Explanation

PowerPoint's AutoCorrect feature incorrectly attempts to replace dashes or quotes contained in so-called text fields. think-cell uses such fields to transport data from Excel to PowerPoint. You can reproduce this error without think-cell.

Reproduction without think-cell:

  1. Alter the regional settings so that the Short date/time format is yyyy--MM--dd or h:mm tt "PM":
    Go to Control PanelRegion and LanguageFormatsAdditional settings:

    • Date format:
      DateDate formatsShort date type yyyy--MM--dd (make sure there are 2 hyphens "--")
      or
    • Time format:
      TimeTime formatsAM symbol and type "AM" → PM symbol and type "PM"

    Confirm with OKOK.

  2. Open the PowerPoint options:
    PowerPoint 2007: Office Button Office ButtonPowerPoint Options
    PowerPoint 2010/2013: FileOptions

  3. Go to ProofingAutoCorrect Options …AutoFormat As You TypeReplace as you type and ensure that Hyphens (--) with dash (―) or "Straight quotes" with “smart quotes” is checked

  4. Click Insert Text Header & Footer, select Date and time, Update automatically, and the short date format (e.g., 2011--01--01 or 5:00 "PM") and then click Apply.

  5. Place the cursor to the right of the date in the footer text box and press space.

The text in the footer text box disappears and the footer text box can no longer be edited or moved.