Re: Word style sheets: two questions

Subject: Re: Word style sheets: two questions
From: "Bergen, Jane" <janeb -at- ANSWERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 14:25:58 -0500

Hello, Steve. First, let's use Microsoft's terminology since we're
talking about Word. What you refer to a "style sheet" is a "template" to
Microsoft. It is a collection of "styles" and "macros" among other
things (notably, bugs).

Word 97 often does NOT "Add to template" ---- even though you have that
option checked in the style properties dialog. It's frustrating, to say
the least. Also, be sure that you have "Automatically update document
styles" UNchecked (Tools menu > Templates and Add-ins). That's a very
troublesome "feature" in W97, though it worked great in W95.

When you start building your document and adding styles, you're much
better off IMO to create NEW styles, rather than to modify Word's
built-in styles. If you need to start from scratch, simply delete (after
you back it up somewhere) your normal.dot template and Word will create
a new one. Of course, if you have a bunch of macros and customizations,
you'll lose them. So I'm suggesting this route ONLY if you want to start
all over. Sometimes it's the only answer for a terrible mess.

> From: Steve Pendleton [mailto:SPendlet -at- COGNEX -dot- COM]
>
> How do I get Word to take me at my word? Am I doing something wrong?
> Maybe someone can teach me how to make MSW less undeterministic.
> Or does it just refuse to change some of the attributes of a some of
> its user-defined styles sometimes?
>
> While we're at it, is there any way around Word's 'template file'
> behavior?
> I'm absolutely baffled why Microsoft chose to detach the style sheet
> (.dot)
> from the document itself (.doc). Yes, I know you can make global
> changes by substituting one .dot for another, but that
> benefit comes at
> a very high cost, since it makes all documents very fragile and
> nonportable.
> Whenever I pass documents back and forth with my SMEs, they
> fall apart.
> So my question is, is there any way to subvert Word's style paradigm?
> I want the .doc files to contain all of the data needed to reliably
> recreate
> themselves, no matter who opens them. How do I do that?

One reason they fall apart is that EVERY Word user has a normal.dot
template. When these other users open a document based on normal.dot,
then Word tries to use THEIR normal.dot template, not yours. For this
reason, build your OWN template, name it something unique, and base your
document on your OWN template. When the users open your document, it
will not change much (fingers and breath held here...it "usually" works
that way!) because Word won't try to change it. It takes it at face
value, most of the time. (Notice all these words like "most" and
"usually"....they're intentional!)

Hope this helps. Once you learn the little quirky ins and outs and
workarounds, Word will generally behave pretty well. You just have to
understand the underlying design philosophy, which is true of (and
different for) every software product under the sun.

If you have any other questions, please ask. I can heartily recommend
the book, "Word 97 Annoyances" by Woody Leonhard, Lee Hudspeth, and T.J.
Lee. It's well worth the $21.95, though I'm sure it's discounted at
Amazon.

Jane
Jane Bergen, Technical Writer
AnswerSoft, div of Davox Corp.
Richardson, TX, USA
(972) 997-8355

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