RE: "Strict" Word template for end-users? (take II)

Subject: RE: "Strict" Word template for end-users? (take II)
From: "Turner, Katherine" <kturner -at- Metastorm -dot- com>
To: "Geoff Hart" <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Feb 2007 14:23:54 -0000

Hi Geoff,

Interesting comments. I omitted to say that I wouldn't use as
the basis of my template as it creates too many problems (users adding
their own styles, macros etc). What I would do instead is create another
.dot file which the styles are reapplied again before converting the
docs to pdfs.

1. Geoff's comments: In terms of keystrokes, you can assign exactly the
same keystrokes to your own styles via the Tools-- >Customize dialog,
thereby attaining all the advantages of using the built-in styles.

My comments: I agree. It's easy to assign keystrokes and they're
extremely useful.

<<3. The default styles are linked.>>

Geoff's comment: Badly. In what world does it make sense to define the
properties of the heading styles based on the Normal style (i.e., based
on body text)? I long ago stopped counting the number of people who have
written to various discussion groups to complain that they edited the
Normal style and all their headings were suddenly screwed up. In any
event, you can create your own (more intelligent) hierarchy quickly and
easily by defining the "based on" and "next paragraph" properties for
each style when you define the style.

My comment: The default styles are linked, in the way you suggested but
there also linked in the fact that if you're using Heading 1 and press
RETURN the style is automatically changed to Normal. The links can also
be changed (especially things like basing the Headings on the Normal

<<4. Any styles that don't meet the template styles can be seen in the
Style and Formatting bar (Word 2003).>>

My comment: In case you're not aware, in Word 2003 you can display
"Formatting in use". This shows you where people have applied Bold to a
style. For example if you have a style called MyStyle (Times New Roman,
12) and someone applies bold to some a word in sentence, Word
automatically creates a new style called MyStyle + Bold (Times New
Roman,12, Bold). These "new" styles can be selected using the Style and
Formatting task pane. Non adjacent pieces of text can also be selected
using it.

<<5. Cross references work for heading styles (but the heading styles
only work if they are the built-in styles).>>

Geoff's comment: Haven't tested this rigorously, but the usual (and
easy) solution is to define bookmarks for each heading you want to link
to. That's analogous to using "anchor" tags in HTML for jumps within a
This approach has several advantages over relying on the default styles,
including the fact that you can create bookmarks using a standardized,
logical, easy to remember system that makes it easier to define the
target of a cross-reference.

My comment: I agree that bookmarks can be useful but they can also be
harder to maintain when multiple users are editing a document.
Cross-references update the heading text if the text changes.

6. Geoff's comment: " make your own styles so much easier to use
than the default styles that people have no incentive not to use them.
As in software interface design, the need to document something is a
strong clue that the something is far less usable than it should be. You
can never wholly eliminate documentation, but you shouldn't depend
exclusively on it."

I agree the styles should be easier to use. The styles should also be
planned and new styles created with relevant names. In addition I
believe that the number of styles should be kept to a minimum for
maintenance purposes and ease of use.


Katherine Turner
Technical Author
The opinions expressed are strictly my own and not necessarily those of

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
the system manager.

This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
MIMEsweeper for the presence of computer viruses.



Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include single source authoring, team authoring,
Web-based technology, and PDF output.

Now shipping: Help &amp; Manual 4 with RoboHelp(r) import! New editor,
full Unicode support. Create help files, web-based help and PDF in up
to 106 languages with Help &amp; Manual:

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 admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Previous by Author: RE: "Strict" Word template for end-users?
Next by Author: RE: "Strict" Word template for end-users? (take III)
Previous by Thread: Regarding Word Numbering and templates
Next by Thread: Re: "Strict" Word template for end-users? (take II)

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

Sponsored Ads