Re: Creating a consistent look and feel for docs

Subject: Re: Creating a consistent look and feel for docs
From: "Tom Murrell" <tmurrell -at- columbus -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 06 Oct 1999 22:07:08 -0400

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>From: "Lathrop, Sarah" <Sarah-Lathrop -at- forum-financial -dot- com>
>Date: Wed, Oct 6, 1999, 4:50 PM
>
> Have any of you had any experience in getting people outside the
> Documentation group to create documents according to a standard?
>
Yes, I have had experience, and it has been generally miserable for just the
reasons you cited, Sarah. Most Word users are accustomed to manually
formatting, and it is nearly impossible to get them to change. This is one
of those areas of technical expertise, I think that separates true writers
from people who think Word is sophisticated. (But we won't really go
there.)

The best advice I can give you is to anticipate spending time explaining the
importance of templates and styles. Plan to do it in groups, and plan to
follow up with one-on-ones. Plan to send the documents back to the users to
edit properly, and plan to spend time helping them edit those documents.
(And then plan to do some of it yourself anyway, because you won't have the
political horsepower to make everyone conform.)

However, with patience and a pleasant personality (which I desperately
need), you can make some converts. Given enough time, it will work out.
Just keep in mind that you will go over the same ground many times getting
people to stick to the templates and styles you define.

Tom Murrell




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