RE: Single-sourcing, sort of

Subject: RE: Single-sourcing, sort of
From: "Ed Manley" <edmanley -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2002 11:55:40 -0700

Unless I am missing something here, it appears that you can save each
boilerplate answer as a file, named with its corresponding number. When
filling out the RFP, locate your cursor where the boilerplate is to appear
and do the commands File > Insert > 1234.txt. This will populate the
document for you.

Further, keep the boilerplate answer files (think of them as objects) on a
server and you can streamline the whole process - instead of a reviewer
sending the doc back to you with appropriate numbers he/she could simply do
the same insert operation.

You might want to add text boxes to the RFP template into which you can
insert the text.

Hope this helps - it makes sense to me from a modular documentation and a
single-source perspective anyway!

Have fun,

This doesn't have to do with the actual writing, but with manipulating the
writing. But it's the technical writer (me) who has to cope with it.

Our company does a lot of RFP responses. We have a standard RFP response
document (in Word) with a couple of hundred standard questions; usually
within those is the material to fill in the RFP questions.

Standard practice is for me to go through and match as many questions to
boilerplate answers as I can, and answer the new ones if I can. Then I
hand the document over to the SME, who types in the number for the ones I
didn't do, and I paste in the actual answer that corresponds to that
number. He also types in new answers and I edit those and add them to the
master RFP document, but that's not important now.

Copying the numbered items from the master RFP document to the individual
RFP response is rather a pain. Not a big one, but it's ongoing.

Can you think of any way to type the number in the response document and
have it expand to the answer the number corresponds to? The obvious
solution would be autotext, but that's static, and the numbers change as
new answers get interpolated in.

Any solution can be labor-intensive on a one-time basis, but in the long
run has to be less work than just copying and pasting from one document to
another. Again, this is Word.

Any suggestions appreciated.

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Single-sourcing, sort of: From: Beth Friedman

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