Re: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real WorldAdvantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

Subject: Re: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real WorldAdvantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7
From: "William Sherman" <bsherman77 -at- embarqmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 9 May 2012 10:39:02 -0400

As much as I dislike Word, Word does do some things very well and better than others. For best results on large manuals, here are a few things I found you have to be aware of and take care to avoid.

1. Extremely large file size - this has more impact than pages, however, they usually go together.
2. Embedded pictures - many simply import a raw camera image and drag the corners to fit. This can easily drop 2 Mb in the doc for each picture. Use photo editing software, like the included Microsoft Office Picture Manager, to reduce size by percentage. You will see the file size in Windows Explorer actually go from 2xxx kb to 500 kb or 100 kb or whatever. Try to stay in the 100 kb range or lower if you can keep decent image quality.
3. Limit the number of styles - really set some styles and stay with them. Many will use Normal and then create multiples by applying formats to the paragraph like bold, color, italics, centering, indenting, and so on. Set some styles and stay with them, instead of adding custom formats to paragraphs.
4. Tables - these can be killers on long tables over dozens of pages, like bill of materials at the end. Be sure to not have text boxes in them or artwork changed by dragging corners.
5. Numbering - while you can create custom numbering styles like in FrameMaker, my experience is that this is a prime area for things to screw up quickly. As such, the standard Microsoft numbering system is the least likely problem creator.
6. Styles - I think it was Ben who mentioned that Word 2007 has the style buttons not really doing real styles. Avoid using the buttons and use the Styles menu.
7. Books - Most places I have been avoid this and simply print up each book chapter as a separate file. I haven't used it in 2007 so I don't know if it has improved.
8. Links - cross links for references seem to add lots of overhead. They have been a problem area where large docs seem to keep multiple copies of the link when you are looking to insert a reference. I don't know what impact that actually has on the document, but if the cross reference is showing several times in the menu, then something is wrong.
9. Import by reference - I have found this can be an issue if the files get moved around or are accessed off servers by reference rather than direct paths.

I'm sure there will be many others added by others here.



----- Original Message ----- From: "Kat Kuvinka" <katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 09, 2012 9:37 AM
Subject: RE: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real WorldAdvantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7







The last time I worked on a large manual in Word was five years ago...it was 600 pages and when I tried to make the book, so to speak, it would crash or take about 45 minutes on the computer I was using until I got more memory. I am pretty sure they relunctantly gave me 2 GB, and I don't remember the OS (probably XP) or the version of Office.

I used FM at the next job and was dismayed to find it was still buggy and crashed on me occasionally, but I still prefer it. As I am on yet another job, I am wondering if I should make a case for ATCS, although I am not sure they will pay for it.

Thanks for all the feedback so far!
Kathee


We use MS Word as our only DTP and we write hundreds of pages in multi-chapter user manuals and other documents but I am missing your reference to "about how many pages are we talking before I go postal while trying to process a large multi-chapter document." Are you referring to converting to PDF or other format?

David Coe
Sr. Technical Editor

Documentation and Training
407.514.2332 office
407.508.9959 mobile
david -dot- coe -at- gdit -dot- com
www.gdit.com

General Dynamics Information Technology
National and Homeland Security Division
Integrated Security & Instrumentation Solutions - Live Training Ranges
12249 Science Drive, Suite 130
Orlando, Florida 32826



-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- coe=gdit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+david -dot- coe=gdit -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Chris Morton
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2012 5:12 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7

When you're actually ready to go, why not download the free 30-day trial version of Adobe InDesign and use that?

And if you don't know the app, get yourself a copy of Adobe's *InDesign Classroom in A Book. *You'll be charging ahead after only a few hours' of learning time.

You can easily write the text in Word and then place it in InDesign when you're at that step.

> Chris

On Tue, May 8, 2012 at 2:02 PM, Kat Kuvinka <katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com> wrote:

> I was afraid of that.
>
> ------------------------------
> From: salt -dot- morton -at- gmail -dot- com
> Date: Tue, 8 May 2012 13:27:23 -0700
> Subject: Re: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real World
> Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7
> To: katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com
>
>
> Oh, maybe 15 or so.............
>
> On Tue, May 8, 2012 at 1:25 PM, Kat Kuvinka > <katkuvinka -at- hotmail -dot- com>wrote:
>
>
>
> Since you all know so much about Word 2010, I would like some
> feedback...I will be writing a large user guide and I don't know if I
> will have an alternative to Word for DTP. My OS is XP Professional
> 2002 and I have only 2 GB RAM...about how many pages are we talking
> before I go postal while trying to process a large multi-chapter > document?
>
> Thanks,
> Katehe
>
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Create and publish documentation through multiple channels with Doc-To-Help. Choose your authoring formats and get any output you may need.

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: William Sherman
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Paul Hanson
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Ben Davies
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Fred Ridder
RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Paul Hanson
Re: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Phil Snow Leopard
Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Kat Kuvinka
Re: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Chris Morton
RE: Do you think I am asking for trouble? Was RE: Real World Advantages of Office / Word 2007 and Windows 7: From: Kat Kuvinka

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