Re: HELP! A monumental pickle

Subject: Re: HELP! A monumental pickle
From: Nandini G <nandini111 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: royj -at- alltel -dot- net
Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2006 15:20:20 -0800 (PST)


Corruption issues are common in Word, especially in
documents that are a collage of material written by
multiple authors. When I worked on a 2-million-dollar
contract with three other tech writers, the 825-page
document went corrupt, and still we won the contract.
This is how:

1. Save the document as a text.
2. Work with 100 to 200 pages at a time with your
comfort level.
3. Apply a stable template with no fancy styles.
Individually use paragraph formats, heading1, heading2
4. Pay special attention to tables. Auto format all of
them in the same format. Forget about importing them
by reference from an Excel files and stuff.
5. Save the document in separate sections. This is a
"draft", that's all you need to do.
6. See if a TOC can be generated, it will point to
problem areas, fix them (if need be cosmetically,
nobody needs to have an automatically generated TOC
for a draft at the 11th hour.)

A few notes about saving your reputation: Keep the
stakeholders informed about the problem. Tell them
what you are doing: working over the weekend, night
and day, doing everything you possibly can. They may
extend the deadline by a day or two. If possible, hire
a sub-contractor or a friend who can apply styles to
text. If the document does not have to be emailed,
have a printout ready to save face. A document is not
only how it's formatted, but how it is organized and
how it flows. Accent on the positive.

Word regularly gets corrupt with long documents,
especially when multiple authors throw in cut and
paste content and take liberties with style. Document
your actions and work with a steady mind. If two of us
could do it in one weekend, you can do it too. Others
have suggested pretty much the same technique, so work
with confidence; this is not going to affect your
reputation in any way. We on the list know your
problem, and others will too. See yourself as
succeeding, and it will happen.

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