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  1. #1
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    Format Painter (all versions)

    I have scanned the archives for info on this subject and have not found the answer to my query.

    Could anyone explain the implications of using the Format Painter? I have read that it creates "invisible formatting links" and was wondering what this actually means and how it could affect a document.

    Thanks.

    PS Personally I use styles most times rather than any direct formatting, but I am trying to build up a technical argument against the use of Format Painter.

  2. #2
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    Re: Format Painter (all versions)

    Nope - to the best of my knowledge (in O97) the format painter simply takes the format (no matter how applied) of the current text and paints it onto the text you next point to - it doesn't change the style in any way. Unless anyone knows different?

    You may be thinking of WordPerfect's version - that did apply a style when you used it, and alterations to one of the 'format painted' areas later would alter the others too.

    Sorry - this doesn't help your argument *against* it at all, does it?! <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15>
    Beryl M


  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Format Painter (all versions)

    There is a fairly well-known document called "The Seven Laws of Styles". I include this in a lot of my Word classes. Unfortunately, I don't remember where it came from originally, but I think it was the Microsystems website. Here is Law 1 from it:
    "All paragraph formatting should be applied through appropriate paragraph styles. Use the least possible direct formatting. Do not use the Format Painter.
    The documents of legal practice should be highly consistent in formatting and structure. Sometimes they must follow prescribed formatting rules, such as those of courts. Legal documents get reworked intensely and reused constantly. Documents need to be reformatted in whole, whether to meet the requirements of different courts, or the practices of different departments. Portions of documents should be able to be moved and reused, with a minimum of reformatting.
    Thorough use of styles, backed by appropriate templates, enables Word to work just this way. Direct formatting may seem to be a quick solution to special formatting needs, but it makes it difficult to

  4. #4
    BAM
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    Re: Format Painter (all versions)

    Hi rep,

    I think the "don't use Format Painter" came from not using the Format Painter properly.

    For example if you do not carefully apply the formats using the Format Painter you end up with a paragraph that contains direct formatting with out the style applied.

    Some examples of this would be:
    - Not including all characters and the paragraph mark
    - Releasing the mouse button too soon and the format isn't "painted" to the entire paragraph. Then the Format Painter is turned on again(using the formats in the current paragraph) and format is "painted" to the rest of the paragraph.

    If you verify that the style has indeed been applied rather than just the direct formats of the style, then I don't see any problem with using it. Although it all goes back to knowing what you are doing and in that case it is much easier to just apply the style. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers! <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  5. #5
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    Re: Format Painter (all versions)

    I agree with BAM - when used correctly Format Painter is a huge time saver.

    I use it to apply paragraph styles from a like paragraph somewhere nearby and it is a whole lot faster than than fighting my way through the disorganised style list to find the right one.

    Correct use of the button does require you to understand how a paragraph style is applied to different selections eg insertion point, part of a paragraph, all of a paragraph, parts of multiple paragraphs. If you teach your students those concepts then the button won't cause problems.

    There are vocal opponents of the button active on this list though so maybe they can give you some valid reasons for advising people not to use it.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  6. #6
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    Re: Format Painter (all versions)

    Thanks for the responses - the mind has been elsewhere of late.....

    So what I have gleaned from this short discussion is that handled with care, the FP is a useful tool. However, using it with a selection that contains the infamous bullets or numbering would create "invisible formatting links" to associated list templates, thereby leading to potential document/style corruption.

    Thanks for your input.

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