RE: Silly question on Word Styles

Subject: RE: Silly question on Word Styles
From: "Schutz, Me" <me -dot- schutz -at- thermo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2005 09:32:25 -0500

On Tue, 16 Aug 2005, Arroxane Ullman writes:

Fell TechWhirlers,

Does the end-user care, notice, benefit, or lose out if you choose to
use/not use the style tricks?

Hello Arroxane,

You are quite correct, the end-user does not care or notice if you
choose to use or not use styles. End-users want to see a readable,
aesthetically pleasant manual.

That said...
On about the 5th update to a manual when the document becomes so
unstable that the entire file blows to smithereens will.

When you send your document to be translated, having added differently
named styles, a load of dos-based formatting, or embedded index entries
inside the paragraph and see the fuzzy match and new word counts (and
your costs) rise will.

The 7th (or 17th) time you revise the layout because a soft/hard return
was used instead of a non-breaking hyphen/space or individual
spaces/series of tabs instead of setting a will.

We have been shifting to a standard template for manuals, with a
tremendous amount of resistance from several of the writers. Some
justified, as the new templates are far from perfected...but much,
simply because they are not familiar with Word's capabilities. For
some, it is sheer unwillingness to learn/change. These are not
inexperienced writers, many technically well-versed, have been at it
since Word for DOS/paste-up days.

What many fail to realize is that appropriate use of styles (and other
Word capabilities) reduces file size, stabilizes the file, preserves
data integrity, allows the layout to remain intact when the document is
ported to another computer, and lowers translation costs for vendors who
use translation memory comparisons to determine already-translated vs.
new text.

Hope that helps...

Mary Ellen Schutz
Sr. Technical Writer
Translation Coordinator
Thermo Electron Corporation
5225-4 Verona Road
Madison, WI 53711
Telephone: (608)276-6100 ext. 2339
Fax: (608)276-6328
me -dot- schutz -at- thermo -dot- com

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