Re: MS Word 2003 - Working without a template

Subject: Re: MS Word 2003 - Working without a template
From: "Mike Starr" <mikestarr-techwr-l -at- writestarr -dot- com>
To: "SB" <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2008 12:44:20 -0600

A couple points...

A good template will save you an enormous amount of time and effort. I would
never work without one.

I do contract work... usually as the only technical writer on short-term
assignments. Whenever I walk into a new shop, I create a new template. I can
create a good, solid template with paragraph styles to handle most needs in
an afternoon. That also includes a custom toolbar with buttons for the
application of styles as well as for macros to do formatting tweaks for
imported text.

Once you have a basic, solid template in place, it's all maintenance. In a
group of technical writers, the only thing you need to do is control the
modification/creation of styles. The easiest way to do that is to allow only
one person to actually modify the template. If someone else identifies a
need for a new paragraph or character style, a brief conversation with the
template czar should be enough to give it either thumbs-up or thumbs down
and if the response is thumbs down, a decision on how to handle the
situation that engendered the request for the new style.

Mike Starr WriteStarr Information Services
Technical Writer - Online Help Developer - Website developer
Graphic Designer - Desktop Publisher - MS Office Expert
Phone: (262) 694-1028 - Tollfree: (877) 892-1028 - Fax:(262) 697-6334
Email: mike -at- writestarr -dot- com - Web:


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MS Word 2003 - Working without a template: From: SB

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