Re: Changing Normal.dot in Word

Subject: Re: Changing Normal.dot in Word
From: Suzette Leeming <suzette -dot- leeming -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 2010 09:20:45 -0500

Our company has developed a style guide for all documents created, defining
fonts, headings, etc. This was "spear-headed" by the marketing department.
They are considering a custom normal.dot to force everyone to use the fonts
and styles prescribed by the company.

I have held a few "lunch and learn" sessions on Word, to help users
understand styles, templates, generating TOCs, etc., but retention of the
knowledge is very low. At least once a month, I get a document to review
from someone, where they have screwed it up totally. For example, not using
styles for headings and then wondering why the TOC is not generating
properly. I usually just return it and tell them to apply the styles to
their headings. I used to fix them up myself, but the volume just got too
high, and users really do have to learn to do this themselves.

I personally don't like the idea of customizing normal.dot because of the
potential to corrupt it, plus the fact that clients receiving the document
will have a different normal.dot. But, just having templates doesn't seem to
be doing the trick either. You can develop all the styles you want, but
people are basically lazy, and just format on the fly and ignore the styles.

I appreciate all the comments and suggestions from everyone who took the
time to respond. It is now up to the Marketing department to decide how they
would like to proceed.

Suzette Leeming
Stouffville, Ontario




On Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 8:49 PM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

> It would be interesting to know what the past history of template
> (mis)usage at
> Suzette's company has been, and what issues resulted in this corporate
> policy
> decision. Perhaps people using some template other than normal.dot is the
> "circumvention" that management is trying to encourage...
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
> > That is an excellent point, Paul. While the rigorous control over
> > normal.dot has all the advantages previously discussed, it will
> > certainly annoy the users you describe...and any power users of Word,
> > too, who rely on custom macros, toolbars, and templates to do their work
> > most efficiently. That annoyance may also have the unintended effect of
> > making such users more determined to circumvent the system than to
> > cooperate with what you're trying to do.
>
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Are you looking for one documentation tool that does it all? Author,
build, test, and publish your Help files with just one easy-to-use tool.
Try the latest Doc-To-Help 2009 v3 risk-free for 30-days at:
http://www.doctohelp.com/

Explore CAREER options and paths related to Technical Writing,
learn to create SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS documents, and
get tips on FUNCTIONAL SPECIFICATION best practices. Free at:
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Changing Normal.dot in Word: From: Suzette Leeming
Re: Changing Normal.dot in Word: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Changing Normal.dot in Word: From: Paul Goble
RE: Changing Normal.dot in Word: From: Pinkham, Jim
Re: Changing Normal.dot in Word: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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