TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> Be careful about basing all your styles on Body Text. In Word, the Law of
> Unintended Consequences can produce some startling results. If someone
> inadvertently changes the Body Text style, every style based on
> it will also
> change. Instead, either use "none" (hidden at the top of the
> style list) or
> create a style specifically to use as a base (then hide the sucker!).
> Everything else you mentioned seems good to me.
Actually, I would recommend having a hierarchy of styles, with most or all
based ultimately on Body Text.
For instance, the first numbered list might be based on Body text, but with
numbering added and paragraph spacing set to zero. Then the second level
list would be based on the first level list and so on.
Each group of styles (e.g. styles for lists, styles for tables) should have
one style which is used the base for that group, and which should be based
directly on Body Text. The others are either based on the base style for the
group, or on the previous style in the sequence. That way, if you want to
change the font of all the styles in a group, make the change to the base
style and it will cascade through to the others.
Putting thought into the style hierarchy when the template is designed makes
it much easier to change it later. The MD doesn't like Arial and insists on
Trebuchet throughout? Simple, just change Body Text to Trebuchet. All the
styles that haven't changed the font away from Body Text will automatically
pick up the change.