Re: Re(2): Side-heads in Word?

Subject: Re: Re(2): Side-heads in Word?
From: "Dick Margulis " <margulis -at- mail -dot- fiam -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 12:56:37 -0400

Jan Henning <henning -at- r-l -dot- de> wrote:

>What do you do when you need to change the width of the sidehead area?
>If you have to adjust every table individually, I'd say its a kludge. If
>there is a way to adjust all tables in one step (or maybe three), I'd say
>you might be right about the strengths of the tool, although it would
>still not be very elegant.

Far be it from me to defend Word, and I really don't want to reprise my riff on attitudes toward tools in general. However, I would like to address the situation Jan describes.

How would this problem arise? You thought you wanted the sidehead area to be 1.5 inches, but now you have a sidehead that won't fit nicely into that space, so you think, hmmm, maybe I should have made it 1.75 inches? Is that what we're talking about here?

Okay, there are a few answers:

1. This problem should be discovered during the template design stage, not after you are 150 pages into the document. It is generally poor practice to make ad hoc adjustments to the template for problems that arise, regardless of the tool, because this makes a document set much more difficult to maintain.

2. If you are going to make a global change (to the template and all documents created from the template), you work within the constraints the tool imposes on you. In this instance, the solution is to accept the fact that you have to make the sidehead font smaller, because, as Jan says, there is no easy way to globally change the column width. (If there is an easy way, using a VB command, I apologize for assuming otherwise.)

3. Do what every other editor does when faced with the same situation. Recast the sidehead to fit the space. (Take a look at the decks used in popular magazines. Even though the words purport to be drawn from the article, half the time they are subtly edited to fit the space.)


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