In Microsoft Office menu, I see the following buttons right next to each other:

mise en forme conditionnelle

mettre sous forme de tableau

Since these are probably abbreviated forms, I'm having a hard time understanding if "mise" is part of an implicit passé composé (être mise) or another tense also spelled "mise".

Secondly I don't understand why we are using two different tenses of the same word in the first place. The two statements seem to have similar form, but this is because I don't have an intuitive sense of tenses.

Can you please help me which tense "mise" is here, and/or translate these to equivalent complete sentences so I can understand why they are this way?


I did more research and understand more about this "mise en/à foo" thing. But right on schedule my smart phone generated another question.

"votre appareil a été mis(e) à jour vers la nouvelle version"

Why is the "e" in "mis(e)" in parentheses? I understand the difference between "mis" and "mise" is masculin/féminin, but I read the "mise” is always féminin in these phrases. And even if that weren't the case, the gender should be fixed by the rest of the phrase. This doesn't look like a phrase that would be auto-generated in such a way that the gender of "mise" is unknown

  • conditional formatting [for a table in Word] and convert [x] to a table. For example: you can make tables by using semi-colons as separators. As in: convert table to text. When French does not have a specific word for changing or converting something, it often uses mise en [forme] and mise [sous forme], for example.
    – Lambie
    Oct 10, 2019 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


The two forms amount to the same result; this is a general approach in all interfaces: sometimes the action accomplished is communicated to the user by means of a noun (here "mise") and sometimes by means of the corresponding verb (here "mettre"). There is no rule for using one rather than the other; which is used is determined only by the preference of each developer; most often, they insist on some consistence and they use only one of the two possibilities, at least in some parts of their interfaces.

So, as it should probably have been understood from the above, there is no question of tenses but only a matter of usage involving either a substantive or a verb.

mise en forme: formatting

mettre en forme: (to) format

mettre sous form de: convert into

  • Cool I did not realize here that "mise" is a noun. Because the past participle of mettre is also "mis(e)". Oct 10, 2019 at 20:15
  • @BetterSense see also here french.stackexchange.com/questions/30071/…
    – Dimitris
    Oct 10, 2019 at 22:08
  • Actually the noun here is "Mise en forme". "Mise" alone is also a noun but translates to "bet/ante"
    – Laurent S.
    Oct 13, 2019 at 14:54

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