Re: Wrestling with MS Templates and Styles

Subject: Re: Wrestling with MS Templates and Styles
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2003 08:43:16 -0700 (PDT)

Jerry Franklin wrote:
> invariably I seem to have to move, delete, re-format, and/or
> reapply the same styles, repeatedly.

In the end it's futile. You can't get everyone to use Word the way you
want them to; that's just human nature.

But if you really want to go down the path of enforcing styles, you can
automate all of this. YOu just need a macro that resets all the styles
to your approved styles, removes all ad hoc formatting, and then
converts all non-approved styles to Normal. Just run the macro and
immediately return the document to the author for revisions, and then

Long ago I created a template that didn't contain custom styles.
Instead, it contained a macro that, when you opened the document:
1. Re-created all my approved styles based on parameters hard-coded in
the macro,
2. Re-applied the approved styles, and
3. Converted all non-approved styles to body text.

It was extremely effective in enforcing styles, but it didn't win any
friends. Most people were baffled when they re-opened the document and
found out that all their carefully applied bolds and indents were gone.
I eventually had to give it up when the next version of Word started
flagging all documents with macros as "This document may contain a

Also: If you think about it, you probably don't need any custom styles.
Just work with the style names that come with Word, and customize them
as needed. Then you are guaranteed that everybody has the same
stylenames, whether they respect your template or not.

And, if anybody accuses you of font-fondling, I disagree. In Word,
consistent use of styles is the closest you can get to structured
documentation, so it's more than just aesthetic preference; it's a
force multiplier that lets one writer (you) manipulate huge chunks of
content quickly and accurately.

Mike O.

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