New Templates?

Subject: New Templates?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Jessica Weissman <Jessica -dot- Weissman -at- hillcrestlabs -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 11:59:22 -0400

Jessica Weissman has: <<... the chance to revise our company's internal and external document templates. I plan to: 1) Ditch the chaotic mess of styles that have accreted and restore the original built-in versions of Word's list and heading styles>>

Good start. Note, however, that so long as lives somewhere on your system, its built-in styles (plus any accretions) will be available to all open documents on your computer. If you want a clean template, you need to delete the garbage styles from, then save a copy of that newly clean template as your new working template. You can do this by simply closing Word, deleting, and restarting Word (which will cheerfully create a new, clean, but then you lose any customizations stored in that template. So it may be better to do this manually.

A few responses to significant points:

<<2) Redo the heading styles to meet our needs (i.e. hijacking Heading 6 through Heading 9 for appendix headers)>>

Better to define styles whose names mean something. Quick test: Which is clearer: "Appendix H1", or "Heading 6"? <g> That same comment applies to all new styles you create: make the names sufficiently obvious that users can pick the right style. And keep the name short enough that the full name shows in the list of styles (in the Formatting toolbar). This minimizes errors for people who apply formatting this way.

<<I'll start with a clean copy of Word's normal template and recreate everything by hand, to avoid corruption.>>

Just make sure to save your new template under a new name (e.g., is vulnerable to corruption should Word crash or close improperly, and is a major target for virus writers. And don't forget to include the new template in your backup routine. Keep dated copies of this template going back many months, ideally one copy (version) for each time you made a change in the template; that way, if corruption occurs, you can revert to a previous version that you know is good, minimizing the amount of rework required.

<<I'd like to base all styles on Body Text instead of Normal...

Good choice. In a stunning bit of illogic, defines heading styles as "based on the normal paragraph style". In what universe does that design choice make any sense?

<<... so I can do the make-Normal-text-purple trick that helps enforce the use of styles. I'd make Normal red, but some of our developers are colorblind.>>

I assume you mean that you're going to color any styles that aren't part of the template? Not sure this is particularly useful, but if it works for you...

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com


WebWorks ePublisher Pro for Word features support for every major Help format plus PDF, HTML and more. Flexible, precise, and efficient content delivery. Try it today!

Easily create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to any popular Help file format or printed documentation. Learn more at

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- infoinfocus -dot- com -dot-
To unsubscribe send a blank email to techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to lisa -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

New Templates: From: Jessica Weissman

Previous by Author: Locking out styles in MS Word?
Next by Author: New Templates? (take II)
Previous by Thread: New Templates
Next by Thread: RE: New Templates

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads