Re: Microsoft Documentation

Subject: Re: Microsoft Documentation
From: "John Posada" <writer -at- tdandw -dot- com>
To: "Bulloch, Scott" <scott -dot- bulloch -at- sap -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 1 Feb 2004 14:38:07 -0500

> After we got to what we called "90% done" status,
> we'd then transition it into FrameMaker for cleanup
> and post-production. We'd generate our PDFs for
> online download from that, and then send the PS
> files to the printer for the printed books.

99% of my problem with Word is its instability from the
perspective of style management and header/footer

Case in point...the day before I was to "go to press", I
received a file from my CIO where he made changes and
suggestions in the file.

Since my master (personal) version already had several days
of additional work, I did a revision comparison. Don't ask
me how, don't ask me what happened, but all of a sudden, I
notice that my headers and footers in the master version
were trashed. Some header sections gone, some footer
sections where the margins had shifted 3 inches to the left.
I hadn't worked in the header or footer in the period
between his version and present. So, big deal, I was able to
reconstruct them in about an hour...which I couldn't afford,
and at the expense of reworking the text in a legacy section
that I wanted to get to.

Header/footer formatting...I don't care what anyone should not take several hours to properly set up
the correct combination of first, left, and right, where all
pages numbered i, ii, iii, iv and 1, 2, 3 each have specific
specifications on what they show, don't show, etc.

How many people learned only after wresting with the headers
for more than a few minutes before they figured out that the
wrong header information was being fed from a previous
section, but because the section was only one page and
didn't show the first left and right header that it held the
header definitions?

After the document went to press, I was talking to my boss.
He mentioned a trick that he uses to do a quick-compare of
headers and footer through a document, where he displays the
document two-up so he sees the left and right side, then
does a quick page down to "fan" through the document for any
irregular movements. I laughed, explaining that I do the
exact same thing...then it dawned on us that we shouldn't
HAVE to come up with these little tricks to make up for
Word's instability...we should simply expect that what we
put in the file stays the way we put it in the file.

OK, enough with my rant and thanks for listening...time to
go shovel some snow.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

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