RE: Word template

Subject: RE: Word template
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
To: "'SB'" <sylvia -dot- braunstein -at- gmail -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 17 May 2008 12:46:13 -0700

> From: SB

> I started working alone in the company.

*And* somebody else is in charge of the template?

> Bottom line, the documentation had many unwanted styles.

Are they unused? If they are,
* get a blank document
* delete all the styles, except those that Word wants to keep
* select all text from a document that uses all of the styles you want to
keep, but do not select the last paragraph mark
* copy and paste the text into your new blank document

Now you will have a document that contains the styles that you use.

> The technical writer with whom I worked created a new
> template with brand
> new styles but we cannot afford converting everything from scratch.
> So, he renamed a lot of the styles and we attached the
> template. Most of it
> works fine and needs minor fixing.

So fix it and set rules for future changes to the template. Maybe that
scriptorium (or whatever its called) web site has something to help with
converting styles.

> One of the issues is that now, most of the documentation has
> a template
> except that a lot of styles do not talk to each other and I
> have no clue how
> to get rid of them without buiding everything from scratch.

That procedure that I mentioned above.

> The other issue is that the guy that is in charge of the
> template keeps
> making changes and additions which sort of defeats the
> purpose of having a
> template since again,

Make rules about it or deal with it. If he "owns" the template, then just
work with it as he has it laid out. When the template explodes, tell him
that it is his template and he should have the risk of the template
exploding covered in the contingency plan he had before he started his
perpetual template change project. Or not. You could also just ask him to
tell you how his template functions so that all of the styles behave
properly. The best way to change the way crappy things are being handled,
for me, is to leave things alone, until the instigator of the crappiness
shoots himself in the foot.

Your matrix idea seems like a good idea, but your approach may be backward.
Begin with Word's required styles and define what those styles do and how
they are used (or if they are not used) and build of list of styles that are
necessary, rather than try to build the matrix from the list. If a new
style comes up that is the same as another style, then get a rule in place
for what to do when there are two of the same style with different names.

You and the template owner need to discuss template management and to get
some policy between you in place about handling template changes. You can
ask your template owner to define his styles for you so that you will know
what he is doing. Maybe he will see the errors in what he is doing. Try to
delegate as much template management work as you can to the template owner,
but document everything. Then, when the template blows up, you have your
paper trail and you are removed from the cause of the problem.



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Word template: From: SB

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