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  1. #1
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    I have a problem with styles that change their paragraph properties - specifically indentation values - without my wanting them to. This problem is currently being exhibited in Word 2007, but I also used to experience it in Word 2003, though I don't ever remember it happening in Word 2000.

    I set my styles up on the Normal template to have "nice" indent values in the metric system. So I use a default tab distance of 0.75 cm and have indents that are multiples of this value for left indents, hanging indents etc. None of my styles have "automatically update" selected. I find that gets me into much too much trouble!

    When I use these on bulleted and numbered lists I start to get problems.

    My current problem relates to a my style called "List Number 2". I have set it up in the Normal.dotm template with left indent of 0.75 and a hanging indent of 0.75. The tab setting is to have a single left tab at 1.5 and it is a numbered list with numbering style "1, 2, 3, ..."

    Now I use this style in a document that is based on the Normal template. However, I want to change the numbering style to "i, ii, iii, ..." so I change the style in the new document (which is linked to the Normal.dom template but has automatically update styles turned off). Immediately I do this, the hanging indent changes to 0.63cm (i.e. .25in). So I change this back to 0.75cm again.

    When I use this style it works fine on the first list, but when I create another list, it continues the numbering from the first list. So I right click on the first item in the second list and select "Restart at i". The numbering restarts, but the hanging indent also changes to 0.63cm. The only way to have the list numbering restart from i and keep my hanging indent is to manually adjust the indent on the ruler at the top of the page.

    BUT WAIT ... IT GETS WORSE!

    I have set up a company template "Report.dotx" and copied over all of the list styles from the normal.dotm template to the report template.

    I create a document based on the company template and use the List Number 2 style. I want to change the numbering style to "i, ii, iii, ...". As before I change the style in the new document. It looks nearly right except for the hanging indent, but if I show the Styles window (Ctlr+Alt+S) and hover over the style, I see that "List Number 2" now has NO numbering, NO indents of any kind, even though the paragraph I had applied it to previously looks pretty good. If I now reapply that style I lose all indents and numbering.

    So I go through the process of modifying the style again. When I apply the desired numbering style from the "Modify Style" window, selecting "Numbering" from the "Format" drop down box, it gives me the right number format, but with indents of 0.63cm again. I select "Paragraph" from the drop down box and change left and hanging indents to 0.75cm. When I have done that I notice (still in the "Modify Style" window) that it now shows "Indent: Left: 0.75 cm, Space Before: 0 pt, Tab stops: 1.5 cm, Left + Not at 0.75 cm, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: i, ii, iii, + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0.63 cm + Indent at: 1.27 cm, Based on: List Number" (my bold formatting added).

    So where did those alignment values of 0.63 cm and 1.27 cm come from? And how on earth do I change them?? Because when I restart the numbering on the next list that has this style, I lose the 0.75 cm values in the paragraph whose numbering has been restarted, and I now have left and hanging indents of 0.63 cm.

    I have written up this while I do all of these actions in the document I am working on. However, the problem is not always consistent. Sometimes I lose all indents (as above) sometimes the left indent goes to 2.14 cm (I think that's the value) sometimes to a much larger value like 3.17 cm. And sometimes changing the indents on one numbered paragraph (where the numbering has been restarted) changes the style right throughout the document. However I cannot reproduce any of that right at this moment, so I can't explain how it happens.

    Can anyone suggest how to fix this? I am willing to build a template style by style if I need to, but I have done this in the past and it doesn't seem to fix the problem.

  2. #2
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    This sounds like you are using a single outline list for the two styles but sometimes you are starting a list at the second level. This can present problems with the way the Word controls the indents and the numbering.

    Perhaps it would help if you could post a copy of a sample file so we can see how your styles are constructed with regards to the outline lists. Put in some sample text so we can see how you want to use the styles.

    I use a macro to redefine the outline level list every time I want to apply a style with a outline level numbering. This is not always necessary but is a very quick fix on those rare occaisions when it is necessary.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lockton View Post
    This sounds like you are using a single outline list for the two styles but sometimes you are starting a list at the second level. This can present problems with the way the Word controls the indents and the numbering.
    If an outline list is what is now known as a multilevel list, then the particular style in question is not an outline list. I am using the single style, and there is only a single level, but the particular document I am creating requires roman numbering rather than arabic for the paragraphs. Then I want to restart the numbering on a subsequent use of the style further down in the document.

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Lockton View Post
    Perhaps it would help if you could post a copy of a sample file so we can see how your styles are constructed with regards to the outline lists. Put in some sample text so we can see how you want to use the styles.
    Well here is a sample if it helps.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Even though you say that this particular style is not part of an outline list, the example in your document is a situation where you really should be using an outline (multilevel) list: You've got:

    1. Here is my first point
    2. Here is something else
    i. Subpoint 1
    ii. Subpoint 2
    3. Another major point
    i. Another subpoint - need to restart at "i"
    (indentation not reproduced in the above example)

    This is exactly where you want to use a multilevel list - if you do so, then the little "i." will always automatically restart after each instance of a style of the next higher level.
    It's true you can cobble together 'frankenstein lists' by mixing and matching different numbering styles that bear no relation to each other, but that way lies madness.

    Your document contains a large number of variations on 'List Number" styles, that bear no relation to each other - that's just going to cause problems. It's better to build as many different multilevel lists as you may need, and keep them separate from each other. There's nothing wrong with using basic list number styles, if you use them sparingly. Just don't use them to build all of your outlines.

    By the way, that is a really large number of custom styles - do the users of this template really learn how to use all of these?

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinAnson View Post
    Now I use this style in a document that is based on the Normal template. However, I want to change the numbering style to "i, ii, iii, ..." so I change the style in the new document (which is linked to the Normal.dom template but has automatically update styles turned off). Immediately I do this, the hanging indent changes to 0.63cm (i.e. .25in). So I change this back to 0.75cm again.

    When I use this style it works fine on the first list, but when I create another list, it continues the numbering from the first list. So I right click on the first item in the second list and select "Restart at i". The numbering restarts, but the hanging indent also changes to 0.63cm. The only way to have the list numbering restart from i and keep my hanging indent is to manually adjust the indent on the ruler at the top of the page.

    So I go through the process of modifying the style again. When I apply the desired numbering style from the "Modify Style" window, selecting "Numbering" from the "Format" drop down box, it gives me the right number format, but with indents of 0.63cm again. I select "Paragraph" from the drop down box and change left and hanging indents to 0.75cm. When I have done that I notice (still in the "Modify Style" window) that it now shows "Indent: Left: 0.75 cm, Space Before: 0 pt, Tab stops: 1.5 cm, Left + Not at 0.75 cm, Numbered + Level: 1 + Numbering Style: i, ii, iii, … + Start at: 1 + Alignment: Left + Aligned at: 0.63 cm + Indent at: 1.27 cm, Based on: List Number" (my bold formatting added).

    Can anyone suggest how to fix this? I am willing to build a template style by style if I need to, but I have done this in the past and it doesn't seem to fix the problem.
    The reason the style is changing is that the number formatting has its own indent settings that, because they are direct formatting, override the paragraph style settings (There's a Word Team blog about style hierarchy, which I found very clarifying). So you must adjust the numbering indents (via the flyout menu) to match the indents you set in the style and then update the paragraph style so it incorporates these changes. Caveat: I have little need to reset informal lists in my documents, so I can't vouch for how robust this method is. But at the least you know how to fix it when it breaks.

    For what it's worth, unless your documents are of the type where nearly every paragraph is numbered and the numbering restarts after headings or certain other styles, I would stick with the List Number styles. (And you don't have too many user-defined styles.)

    Added later--My mind was still in the old mindset that said we could only have one multilevel list per document. So on second thought, you could set up a separate multilevel list to handle your informal lists. That would take care of the restarts as Gary suggests. I would link them to the built-in list number styles though.


    HTH,
    Pam
    Pam Caswell

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Frieder View Post
    Even though you say that this particular style is not part of an outline list, the example in your document is a situation where you really should be using an outline (multilevel) list: You've got:

    <snip>

    This is exactly where you want to use a multilevel list - if you do so, then the little "i." will always automatically restart after each instance of a style of the next higher level.

    Quote Originally Posted by PamCaswell View Post
    ... you could set up a separate multilevel list to handle your informal lists. That would take care of the restarts as Gary suggests. I would link them to the built-in list number styles though.
    The main problem (for me) with this suggestion is that I haven't come to terms with how multilevele lists are managed in Word 2007. I could manage them with (relative) ease in 2003, but 2007 seems to have made it _really_ difficult to create and manage multilevel list styles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinAnson View Post
    The main problem (for me) with this suggestion is that I haven't come to terms with how multilevele lists are managed in Word 2007. I could manage them with (relative) ease in 2003, but 2007 seems to have made it _really_ difficult to create and manage multilevel list styles.
    It definitely can be done, and the process turns out to be not much different from earlier versions of Word; it's just that the user interface for achieving it has been changed in potentially confusing ways.

    This thread from last fall on Customizing outline numbered lists contains some useful detail.

    Gary

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    I have had a similar problem for years with WORD 2003. In using the Outline mode and applying styles to text, sometimes one click of the mouse to apply a style can change all your formatting to something you've never seen before. This can be frightening if you are editing a 200-page document. I have found that using the drop-down box to apply a style to a paragraph, having it change the highlighted paragraph to what you want but everything else goes crazy, can be fixed by clicking on the "undo" button. This will undo all the wild changes but leave your intended applied style on a paragraph intact. No one has been able to tell me why that happens. In other words it undoes what WORD adds out of the blue but keeps what you intended to change. I don't know if this happens in WORD 2007.

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    Kerry

    I think what you described is different to the problem being raised in this thread. The issue you describe does still happen in Word 2007 but there is a logical reason for it. If you have a style with the setting for "Automatically Update" turned on then any time you change any attribute of one paragraph then all the other paragraphs which also use that style will also be modified in the same way. Undo reverses the automatic update.

    Generally, you should ensure that this setting is off for just about every style but I do like it on a style like TOC1.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    I don't wish to be argumentative, but rather to suggest a radically different solution.

    There are two underlying problems here that continuously crop up with advanced Word users. First, Word does not reveal its internal workings, forcing you to guess at what is happening. Repeated wrong guesses pose a risk of altering the ms. beyond recovery. Second, Word changes its internal workings and interface in significant ways from one version to another. An approach that has worked for years suddenly fails, or a favorite interface disappears -- and again one is faced with repeated hacking, with risk to the ms. Both are present in this problem.

    These problems are inherent in Word, in all versions. However, neither of the problems occur with WordPerfect, which (rumors to the contrary) is still available and regularly upgraded.

    First, WordPerfect exposes all of its internal workings to the advanced user, and allows them to be edited, moved, or deleted. This means that a Styles problem is quickly diagnosed simply by seeing the Style code -- and then solved by double-clicking it. The altered style can be easily confined to the document, or just as easily propagated to all documents, or all documents that use a certain template. All features in WP, without exception, have this simple find-and-edit functionality.

    Second, WordPerfect's interface has been stable since at least 1994. If you don't like an interface change, restoring an earlier interface takes two or three clicks. Indeed, restoring the previous default template restores its complete interface. This reflects an internal stability that comes from getting features right the first time. The outline and bullet interface is an obvious example.

    I know that you are forced to use Word, possibly against your will. I suggest, however, that advanced word processor users will find it easier to compose and format in WordPerfect, then use its internal drivers to convert it to a Word document. If the conversion is less than perfect, it is easier to make the minor edits to the Word document than to compose in it.

    A caveat: Successful export to Word requires a recent version of WordPerfect, at least v.12 and preferably newer. So don't expect good results with that old OEM disk that came with your Dell in 2002.

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    Replying here re: the age-old WP vs. Word debate risks taking this thread off-topic, but here are a few brief points (we can break this out to a new thread if anyone wishes to jump in):

    Word numbering poses its challenges, but it is possible to master, and to produce documents with complex yet stable numbering.

    Not all users are forced to use Word against their will. Despite its quirks and challenges, many people really like using Word.

    There has been only one major interface change (Word 2007) since 1997. Internally, the changes have been incremental, and for the most part, not dealbreakers.

    From the perspective of an organization that does not have unlimited budget resources, the solution you propose isn’t practical, since it would require organizations to buy and maintain up to date sets of both Word Perfect and Word.

    In the interest of not straying too far off-topic, will leave it there.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Frieder View Post
    Word numbering poses its challenges, but it is possible to master, and to produce documents with complex yet stable numbering.
    I'm still using Word 2002 so don't know about later versions, but it has always greatly annoyed me that using negative indents in heading styles is unstable (for versions through Word 2002) -- as discussed in this thread, for example.

    Have our friends at Microsoft ever stabilized that aspect of numbering styles?

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    Quote Originally Posted by st3333ve View Post
    I'm still using Word 2002 so don't know about later versions, but it has always greatly annoyed me that using negative indents in heading styles is unstable (for versions through Word 2002) -- as discussed in this thread, for example.

    Have our friends at Microsoft ever stabilized that aspect of numbering styles?
    Can't say, having never used (nor thought to need to use) a negative indent in a heading style in Word. This may be an instance of faulting Word for not working right when you use a layout method designed to work in WordPerfect (per the thread you link to), but not Word.

    Am not versed in WordPerfect, but within the context of doing layout in Word, can't imagine why you'd ever need to use a negative indent in a heading. Does WordPerfect require it for some reason? In Word, if I had headings that needed to have a small indent from the paper edge, I'd just set a small left margin, and use (small) positive indents for the headings.

    Gary

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    John McGhie is very much a Mac man and I have no experience at all of using Macs: John Mc is probably correct and have a high regard for his advice. I can say that using outdents (negative indents) in Word 2003 for Windows was absolutely fine.

    This may have something to do with the way I set up my templates. I never, ever rely on normal style. When I start a new document, I create a new base style (using a name that links it to the template name) with the font and page setup to be used throught the template. I then base all styles on this base style - though sometimes I setup a Style to be based on nothing. The template (a Proposal) has a large Left margin and the Heading Styles are set outdented into the large left margin. I've never seen any instability using this layput format.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Frieder View Post
    Can't say, having never used (nor thought to need to use) a negative indent in a heading style in Word. This may be an instance of faulting Word for not working right when you use a layout method designed to work in WordPerfect (per the thread you link to), but not Word.

    Am not versed in WordPerfect, but within the context of doing layout in Word, can't imagine why you'd ever need to use a negative indent in a heading. Does WordPerfect require it for some reason? In Word, if I had headings that needed to have a small indent from the paper edge, I'd just set a small left margin, and use (small) positive indents for the headings.

    Gary
    There's no "requirement" that indents not be negative. But it seems spectacularly strange (and unintuitive) to have the page margins not coincide with the margins applicable to the main text and everything other than the first two Heading styles. It's true I could set the page margins back to match the 0.3" negative indent. But then Body Text and every other style (other than Heading 1 and Heading 2, in my most common template) would be indented 0.3" from an artificial "margin" that wasn't really the main page margin.

    Word, needless to say, isn't "designed" to require this. It's designed to allow negative indents. Unfortunately, as McGhie explains, and as I've found, Word is unstable when you do this. After you open one of those documents enough times, you suddenly find that the negative indents have disappeared.

    I use two base styles (~HBase and ~TBase) in my template, each based on "no style," and don't base any styles on Normal.

    And my experience is with Windows XP and Word 2002, not with Macs.

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