RE: Another numbering problem?

Subject: RE: Another numbering problem?
From: Krimur -at- MUZE -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2003 10:42:52 -0400


As it turns out, I was able to fix the numbering problem last night by
changing some of the numbering customizations found on the Bullets and
Numbering window. One of the numbering options offered in the "gallery"
(this refers to the four sub-windows on the Numbered tab) became associated
with the TOC 8 style. I highlighted the option that was in error, then
selected the reset button. This action popped up a dialog box that asked me
if I wanted to reset the gallery position back to the default setting, I
click yes, and everything went back to normal.

I'm assuming that many of the AutoCorrect options that were in place changed
the numbering format somewhere along the road, as I am having to do a lot of
cutting and pasting from other docs. So based on your advice, I am happily
dispensing with all of the AutoCorrect options.

I want to thank all of you for your help. Normally I work with FrameMaker,
so I tend to freak out when it seems that Word has made an arbitrary


P.S. Rajan, Just so you know, removing the TOC 8 style did not work. (I
tried that before looking at the numbering options. I guess Word remembers
certain style attributes whether or not they are actually part of the style

P.S. Geoff, as to the heading issue, unfortunately I have a unique set of
circumstances. I am documenting an input system that tracks musical
recordings. The "authorities" have decided that this user guide, and the
input style guide, should be combined. The interface does not accommodate
data entry as well as it should, and there are some complex style rules for
entering titles in the appropriate format (esp. Classical works, as you can
imagine.) In order to keep everything straight while trying to knit these
things together, I have decided to make the doc structure a little more
complex (for the time being.) It is my hope that as I integrate the
material, the hierarchy will simplify itself.

-----Original Message-----
From: Hart, Geoff [mailto:Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA]
Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 8:54 AM
To: Techwr-L (E-mail); Kristine Murphy
Subject: Another numbering problem?

Kristine B. Murphy wonders: <<I'm working in MS Word 97 on a user guide that
has 157 + pages, with 6 levels of headers (these headers are not numbered).
All of a sudden, when I try to apply numbering on the Normal style (to
create a numbered list) the style changes from "Normal" to "TOC 8" >>

It's a real good bet that your problem lies in a "feature" of Word rather
than in a bug. If you open the Tools menu and select Autocorrect, you'll see
a dialog box with two Autoformatting tabs (with and without the extra words
"as you type"). Select these tabs in turn, and under the heading "Apply [as
you type]", make sure that headings (at a minimum) and the other settings
(for safety) are deselected.

Here's my bet at what's happening: With these settings enabled, Word
helpfully assumes that if you're typing numbers to start a paragraph, you
want its help applying these numbers. It then looks at its obscure internal
logic and decides that with 6 levels of heading, any sane person would give
up on using formatting to distinguish between heading levels and would start
using numbering. It then helpfully applies TOC8 as its best guess at the
style you really want.

A side note: I have a hard time believing that a 160-page manual really
requires 6 levels of heading. I've never seen any good evidence that anyone
other than lawyers and engineers can develop proficiency at using such a
complex hierarchy, and even they probably never get good at it and would
benefit from simplified structures. I recommend that you take a long hard
look at your heading hierarchy in an effort to simplify it. (How? Might be a
good question for techwr-!)

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

"Technical writing... requires understanding the audience, understanding
what activities the user wants to accomplish, and translating the often
idiosyncratic and unplanned design into something that appears to make
sense."--Donald Norman, The Invisible Computer

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