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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 Normal.dot 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 Normal.dot, then
save a copy of that newly clean template as your new working
template. You can do this by simply closing Word, deleting
Normal.dot, and restarting Word (which will cheerfully create a new,
clean Normal.dot), 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.,
HillCrestLabs.dot). Normal.dot 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
<<I'd like to base all styles on Body Text instead of Normal...
Good choice. In a stunning bit of illogic, Normal.dot 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