Formatting, proficiency (Word)

Subject: Formatting, proficiency (Word)
From: "Alex Silbajoris" <alsilba -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 14:55:33

The discussion of bad formatting in Word makes me smile, because I'm dealing with that kind of work in this job. I handle documents from the QA group, and they have a history (still being written today, sigh) of using hard returns and tabs instead of the formatting available in the styles.

Yesterday I started on a 12-page nightmare with my new manager, and I had him crouching in my cubicle while I explained the most basic aspects of setting indents, etc. By the end of the day we had a good document, but it left me wondering how I can diplomatically clean up work that is, frankly, poor, without seeming to insult the authors.

I'm making changes that would be obvious to most of us here, but to these users it seems overly fancy - why bother when you can just make it "look right" and send it out the door? Some of these people refuse to use the Show/Hide feature, so they never even know what phantoms and goblins are hiding among the text.

One thing, though - for my portfolio, I sometimes save these docs in "before" and "after" versions. Heh heh heh.

- A

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