Re: Wrestling with MS Templates and Styles

Subject: Re: Wrestling with MS Templates and Styles
From: Samuel -dot- Beard -at- tdcj -dot- state -dot- tx -dot- us
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 10:14:57 -0500

Hey Jerry,

From what I recall learning the hard way, you can only do minimal
changes to the standard template that Word uses. If the template resides on
an individual PC, then the Word uses that and any changes to it would have
to be made to EVERY PC in the company that would be producing documents in
order to ensure that every uses that template. If the template resides on a
server, then you have to have the permissions to change the template on the
server. Also, I've found it best to simply come up different names for the
styles instead of trying to modify Word's existing styles. For example,
instead of using the Normal style, I use Body Text. For headings, I use
something like 1Heading instead of Heading 1. Still pretty clear what the
style should be used for, but it gets around the problem of trying to
modify Word's standard style.
Also, the only way, that I'm aware of, to get Word to let you choose a
template when creating a new document is to use File > New instead of
clicking on the New File button on the Tool bar. Word automatically assumes
you want the standard template if you use the Tool bar button. There also
tends to be an issue with using the Automatically Update checkbox on the
Style dialog box, but I don't recall off-hand what that is.
As mentioned by someone else, the biggest challenge will be getting
every one else to use the template that you create and to see the value in
using the template and the styles. If you can manage to get them to use the
template, then try to get them used to using the styles AFTER they get used
to using the template. I was going to work on a standard set of templates
here, but after talking to another tech writer and my boss, I realized that
neither of them would be comfortable with using the styles and it would
essentially be a waste of time at this moment to do that. From someone
that's used to working with Frame and its styles and templates, that takes
a bit of getting used to!


Samuel I. Beard, Jr.
Technical Writer, Human Resources
Texas Department of Criminal Justice


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