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  1. #1
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    Linked styles, I've heard, are supposed to be a great solution to the problem of "run-in" paragraphs -- paragraphs with headings and text on the same line -- resulting in both headings and the text that follows being pulled into a Table of Contents, when all anyone wants is for the headings to end up in the TOC. I experimented with them yesterday, and although they did accomplish the goal of not pulling the text into the TOC, they seemed highly quirky. In many instances, the text took on the font characteristics of the headings (all caps and underlining), which required manual cleanup. That's not acceptable in a law firm environment. Too confusing, too complicated, too time-consuming for the users. (Most people use the Style Separator instead. It's not a 100% perfect solution, either, but it works most of the time.)

    I have been scouring the web and have read conflicting opinions about linked styles. I was wondering what the latest "conventional wisdom" about them is. Are they more of a boon than it seems to me? Is there something I should be doing that I'm not? (Or vice versa?) Or is it considered best practice nowadays to disable them?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

    Jan
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  2. #2
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    If your run-in headings are to be numbered, you should stick with the style separator, because with the style separator the heading numbering shows up, but does not with linked styles.

    I have tested linked styles in documents and haven't seen the problem you are having. Here are a few things to check for. The file should be in .docx format (not .doc, aka compatibility mode). The style for the run-in heading must be linked (paragraph and character). A document that started out in W2003 or earlier might not have linked heading styles. The styles pane check box before "disable linked styles" must be empty. If it is checked, then pasting a part of a paragraph with a linked style will change the whole paragraph to that style.

    As with many Word features, the determination of which is better depends very much on whether the user is the document creator or the editor/formatter.

    Pam
    Pam Caswell

  3. #3
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    Hi, Pam,

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

    At first, I was testing the linked styles feature in .doc format rather than in .docx, which might have been part of the problem. I have since started testing in.docx files, and am still getting quirky results.

    The styles I am using definitely are linked styles -- a modified Heading 1 style followed by Body Text. I made certain by looking at the description of the styles that appears when I hover the mouse pointer over the style name in the Styles Pane.

    I have not disabled linked styles by checking the box at the bottom of the Styles Pane. The files did not originate in an earlier version of Word. They started as new, blank native .docx files.

    What I've found in my tests this evening is that:

    Headings with numbers (as is standard in legal documents) actually retain their numbers when I use linked styles (as well as when I use the Style Separator). That's a good thing.

    However, unless I specifically tell Word to generate the TOC based only on heading styles -- i.e., I click the TOC Options button and uncheck Outline styles -- the "Body Text" after the heading gets pulled into the TOC along with the heading. (I selected the Body Text and launched the Paragraph dialog to make certain "Body Text" was showing in the Outline Level drop-down rather than, say, Level 1. And indeed, Body Text was displayed. So in theory, the text shouldn't have ended up in the TOC even if I hadn't unchecked Outline styles in the TOC options.) That seems fishy to me.

    I noticed two other things that struck me as strange: (1) Sometimes the Body Text did in fact take on the formatting characteristics (underlining and all caps) of the Heading 1 style. That occurred despite the way I created my test run-in paragraph: I typed the text for both the heading and the section following the heading, selected the text for the heading and applied the Heading 1 style, and then selected the remaining text and applied the Body Text style. When the formatting of the regular text changed, I double-checked to make sure that the Body Text style was still in effect; it was. So I really don't know what was going on. Nor can I tell you the exact circumstances under which it happened, because so far I haven't been able to discern a pattern. It seems random. And (2) If I apply font attributes (underlining and all caps) to the Heading 1 style via the Font dialog, those attributes aren't reflected in the generated TOC, whereas if I simply press Caps Lock and Underlining and type the heading, the font attributes do appear in the TOC. That peripheral problem might have to do with the way I created the modified heading style, though, and I should be able to get that worked out with more experimentation.

    I do have a question for you. You say to use linked styles only in .docx files. What happens if -- as happens frequently in the legal profession -- a firm that uses Word 2007 and retains .docx as its default file format sends a document containing run-in paragraphs that make use of linked styles to co-counsel at a firm that has Word 2003 and uses the Compatibility Pack to open .docx files? Will co-counsel experience problems if they revise the document and re-generate the TOC? If linked styles don't work in .doc files or in .docx files that are opened into prior versions of Word via the Compatibility Pack, they probably aren't a good solution for my clients.

    As I try to work through these issues, I'd be interested in hearing more about other people's experiences with linked styles.

    Thanks again.

    Jan


    [quote name='PamCaswell' post='771315' date='20-Apr-2009 05:24']If your run-in headings are to be numbered, you should stick with the style separator, because with the style separator the heading numbering shows up, but does not with linked styles.

    I have tested linked styles in documents and haven't seen the problem you are having. Here are a few things to check for. The file should be in .docx format (not .doc, aka compatibility mode). The style for the run-in heading must be linked (paragraph and character). A document that started out in W2003 or earlier might not have linked heading styles. The styles pane check box before "disable linked styles" must be empty. If it is checked, then pasting a part of a paragraph with a linked style will change the whole paragraph to that style.

    As with many Word features, the determination of which is better depends very much on whether the user is the document creator or the editor/formatter.

    Pam[/quote]
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  4. #4
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    Jan,

    As Pam recommended, you're best off sticking with style separators for this, especially if you're round-tripping the documents with 2003 users - at least you know the style separators will work in 2003.

    My understanding was that the new linked styles feature was designed to eliminate the "char styles" problem that you can get in Word 2002 or 2003 when you try to use a paragraph style like a character style - by applying it to just part of a paragraph.

    In 2007, you can use a linked style as either a paragraph style or a character style, without creating an unwanted "char style".

    Gary

  5. #5
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    I've checked again and cannot get multilevel list numbers to appear when I apply a linked, autonumbered style to part of a paragraph. But a Seq numbered text that is run-in retained its number when I applied a linked style.

    Some of the differences we are seeing may be due to "point of entry". I usually work with already created documents, and teh following aproches seem "natural" to me. If the heading is already run into a regular text style (normal, body text, etc.), I only need to select the heading text and apply the linked heading style to it. If the heading is in its own paragraph, I combine them (by deleting the paragraph after the heading), change the type for the combined paragraph to the regular text style, then select the heading text and apply the linked style. In both of these cases, the regular text is not affected, and the TOC only picks up the heading. Note that normal style is not a linked style and cannot be applied to a portion of a paragraph. Although body text is a linked style, note that applying a linked style to a paragraph does not change the underlying paragraph style and outline level. (Check this out in reveal formatting.)

    But if you are creating a document, the "natural" way --typing the heading in its style then continuing in the regular text Style--won't produce the desired result (or _will_ produce the results you've gotten) because of the next to last sentence in the paragraph above. So I would type the heading and at least some of the following text in the regular text style, and then select and apply the linked heading style.

    Once you get the hang of this, you can continue your testing and decide which to use.



    HTH,
    Pam
    Pam Caswell

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