Re: Word without proliferation of styles

Subject: Re: Word without proliferation of styles
From: Chantel Brathwaite <brathwaitec -at- castupgrade -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 16 Mar 2011 17:47:09 -0400

I feel your pain. A question - how long is this document?

Regardless of length, I'd probably first see if there is any type of consistency concerning the applied styles. Perhaps the body text has 5 or 10 different styles applied to it. Or maybe arial is only used in tables or courier for code examples. If that is the case, then you could do a find and replace on paragraph styles or fonts then work to apply styles that way.

If much of the document should be formatted in the same style - like perhaps 60 or 75% of the document (or a large section) should be body text, then I'd mark everything in the document that same style, then only change what needs to be changed (using the old 1000 styled document as a guide to determine which text should be lists, bullets, and such.)

I believe that once a style is not used, it won't appear by default on the style list ... I'm not sure if those styles still actually exist somewhere though - but knowing Word, my hunch is that every single style is probably resident there somewhere - even if you aren't using it. If that is the case, then perhaps after you've tagged the document properly, you could simply open up a new document, import the "clean" styles, then do a copy and paste of the clean, marked up text. I'm not sure if this would work though - someone else here might shed some light on whether that will work.

I'm sure others will have other remedies. I'll be watching myself since I have a number of documents that require cleanup. Hope you'll find something that will make your life easier!


Chantel


On 3/16/2011 5:09 PM, McLauchlan, Kevin wrote:

All,

Document was created in Word 2003, several years ago,
and great care was taken to create and use only a
limited set of styles (none based on Normal), with
almost no spot formatting.

Document was then used by other parties as basis
for documenting an offshoot product. The other
persons entirely ignored styles, did everything
via spot formatting, and even imported sections
from other docs - which brought in hundreds more
styles.

Offshoot product became mainstream and landed back
on my table.

I stopped counting at around 1000 "styles".

I'm thinking that the best approach is to just
suck it all into Notepad, then start pasting,
piecemeal, into a clean LibreOffice document,
and applying the clean style scheme from there.

But, if there's a reasonable way to attack the
clean-up in Word, I might try that.

This is not something I expect to do every year,
or even three, so it's not really worthwhile to
invest a lot of money or time in tools or learning
the scripting or otherwise ramping up to tackle
just two docs, totalling less than 300 pages between 'em.

What would you do?



Kevin McLauchlan
Senior Technical Writer
SafeNet, Inc.
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Chantel Brathwaite
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Cole Engineering Services Inc.
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Phone: 407-207-1773 ext. 4138

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References:
Word without proliferation of styles: From: McLauchlan, Kevin

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