Modify Word's Default Styles - do your changes stick?

Subject: Modify Word's Default Styles - do your changes stick?
From: Karen Casemier <karen -dot- casemier -at- provia -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2002 14:47:52 -0400

Hi fellow whirlers.

I am in the process of creating a series of RF reference guides. Based on a
meeting with representatives of different departments, many of them with
direct customer contacts, we decided to create these documents in Word so
that we could provide the .doc or .rtf files directly to our customers - the
customers can then customize the docs based on their SOPs. I'm a pretty
proficient Word user - we are a Frame shop, but Word is definitely the
better choice for this type of project - but I can't figure this one out.

My question is about using and modifying Word's default styles in these
documents. I searched the archive - I swear we've had similar conversations
about this stuff, but I didn't come up with anything.

If I modify Word's default styles - specifically Normal, Headings 1-3, and
List Bullet - will my changes remain with the document as it goes from
customer to customer? Or, when customers open the document on their own
computesr, with any possible version of Word, will the style definitions
revert back to the default definitions (from the version on their
computers)? For example, if the default Heading 1 style is Arial Bold 16
point font, and I change the definition to Arial 12 point with a shaded
background, when customers open the document, will they see the default 16
point style or my changed style?

Keep in mind that I am NOT directly modifying the template - I'm
making the style changes within the document, and copying them to each guide
using the style organizer. However, I've had some funky style things in the
past that were all related to using Word's default style names, and I'd like
to avoid them.

I'd like to know what more experienced Word users think. If I do risk losing
my custom style modifications, would the best bet be to create unique style
names and NOT use a custom template, or create and attach a custom template
to my documents? I think if I want to create any macros or custom toolbar
buttons, I'll need to create a custom template - what would the risks of
that approach be?

I am using Windows 2K and Word 2K, but I have no way of knowing what version
of Windows or Word my customers will have.

Let me know if you need more information. Keep in mind that I am on the
digest - unless you CC your response directly to me, I will probably not
respond right away.

Karen Casemier
karen -dot- casemier -at- provia -dot- com

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