RE: A Good Problem, but a Problem Nonetheless...

Subject: RE: A Good Problem, but a Problem Nonetheless...
From: "Jonathan West" <jwest -at- mvps -dot- org>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 10:26:26 +0100

The business and its ability to earn money is what ultimately pays your
salary, so it is worth listening respectfully to your director when she
wants you to concentrate on business requirements.

As far as the font-fondling issue is concerned, I would recommend that, as
part of your job, you propose to set up standard templates for various of
the standard business documents, and provide the templates with toolbars
that enable quick & easy access to the styles you have defined. This article
described a way of approaching this

Creating Custom Toolbars for Templates

To do this, you will need management backing, since they will need to
persuade other users, including management themselves, to use these
templates, not just you.

The arguments in favor of doing this can be summarised under two general

- It saves time overall
- It makes for more professional and consistent output.

Under time saving, you can point out various items, including the following

- a single mouse click to apply a predefined style is much quicker than
applying the same formatting manually.

- predefined styles in Word can get round Word's traditional problems with
numbered and bulleted lists, saving huge quantities of time fixing such
lists in longer documents

- Predefined text can included in the template or added as boilerplate
paragraphs, assuring consistency

- Anybody (such as you) with the job of pulling together information from
multiple authors into a consolidated document won't have to reformat it all
after copying & pasting, if everyone has used more or less the same
formatting techniques for their own parts. This will make it easier to find
time to carry out other tasks that will contribute to ioverall quality of
documentation, including the technical tasks you would like to address.

Under professional output, you can list the following

- This will enable more consistent application of the company's brand image
to all documents, both internal and external

- A consistent format will make it easier for people to concentrate on the
content, since they will be liss distracted by oddities in formatting and

- Templates can include company logos, and if appropriate can include
headings, other text or table borders & shading using the corporate color

The trick to getting this to work in the company is to make the templates so
easy to use that they require little training for users to get the hang of
them, and it becomes easier for people to do things right rather than to do
them wrong.

If you go this route, then the set of templates created should include even
the smallest and simplest documents - letters, memos and fax cover sheets.
This means that everyone will become familiar with the same overall user
interface when creating documents of any type. Also, if you have a common
set of styles across documents of all types, then copying and pasting
between documents to re-puporse text becomes that much easier.



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FWD: A Good Problem, but a Problem Nonetheless...: From: TECHWR-L Administrator

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