Naming template styles

Subject: Naming template styles
From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2008 15:30:43 -0500 (CDT)

Hi, everyone. I'm working with a large and exuberant template that was created before I got here. I notice that the creator has named almost every style after its font characteristics. Let's say the document has a header that is used only for Summary sections, and it is not to be included in the TOC, so you don't want to assign the characteristics to one of the Heading styles.

I would assign the characteristics -- say, Verdana 14 pt Bold -- to a style and call it "Summary." That way, if I ever decide to reformat all the Summary headings, I can edit the style once and have the effect ripple.

However, in this template, the style is called "Verdana 14 pt Bold." If this style is applied *only* to the Summary headings, and if I wanted to change the Summary format to Verdana 16 pt Bold, then I guess I could do a universal Search & Replace -- find every instance of the style "Verdana 14 pt bold" and replace it with the style "Verdana 16 pt. Bold."

But, if "Verdana 14 pt. Bold" has been applied to other pieces of text, I can't do the substitution automatically, but must examine each instance manually before applying the new style.

This, in a nutshell, is why I have always named styles after their intended target, rather than after their attributes. But, before I question it at this place of business, I'd love to know what you do, and what your reasons are. I wouldn't be surprised if there are equally good arguments for doing it the other way.

What principle do you adhere to when you name template styles?


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