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  1. #1
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    Word 2007 Body text style best practices

    I'm trying to tidy up my use of Word styles and have some basic questions on best practices.

    1. I learnt some time ago that I should use 'Body text' for my body text rather than 'Normal'. Is this still recommend in Word 2007?

    2. I wanted to do a find/replace and replace all occurences of 'Normal' style with 'Body text'. But 'Normal' doesn't appear in the option list.

    3. Somehow I seem to have both a 'Body text' and a 'Body Text' style. I wanted to get rid of the latter, but again it doesn't appear in the find/replace list.

    4. Is there a good guide to using styles in Word 2007 and later?

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    I still use a base style, labelled as such and base my Body Text style on that. Most of my other styles are based on either the Base Style or the Body Text Style.

    I hope someone can refer us both to a Best Practices. I'm working on revising my Styles chapter.

    A very good rule is to use Word's Built-in Heading styles for headings. http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numb...ingstyles.html

    I modify the auto numbering styles according to Shauna Kelly's outline.

    I cascade styles where possible. Base one style on a logically related style so that a change in the underlying style is reflected in all of the dependent styles.

    Style sets add a whole new level, though.

    I just tried a find/replace for Normal style and had no problems doing it. What steps are you taking?

    If you have the option, skip 2007 and go to 2010. It is far better. http://www.shaunakelly.com/version
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  3. #3
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    1. If you had a practice with regard to Normal vs. Body Text that was working well for you in Word 2003 and earlier, there's no need to change it for Word 2007 and later. I agree that it's good to use Normal as a 'base style' and use Body Text for body text. An (extreme) illustration: I might need to set up a document where the body text requires line spacing to be set to "Multiple: 2.0", and spacing after paragraphs to be set to 18 pts. In this scenario, it would be better to set up the Body Text style to have these properties. If you set the Normal style to have those properties, it might have unwanted effects on other styles which are based on Normal.

    By the way, the built-in Word style is called "Body Text" (not "Body text"), so if you've been using "Body text", that is not a built-in Word style. If you're going to use 'Body Text' for your body content, use the built-in Body Text style - no point in creating a separate, 'Body text' style.

    2., 3.: In which option list are you looking? If you're in the Find and Replace dialog, you should be able to find both Normal and Body Text styles in the dropdown. (Click on More > Format > Style, and then scroll down the list. Note that the list is not in alphabetical style; you need to scroll quite a ways down before you come to Body Text.

    4. Stephanie Krieger's books on Office 2007 and Office 2010 are great resources and discuss best practices for Word styles, although the information is presented at a pretty advanced level.

    Gary

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    1. I still use Body Text as my body text style for the same reason as Gary's—to leave Normal unadorned. Word is set up for Normal to be the body text style, and the Style Sets imposed the formatting on the Defaults and Normal, which is based on the Defaults. Note that in earlier versions, the Defaults were hard coded (TNR 12 for W2003) but not anymore. So you would also need to remove unwanted settings (paragraph and line spacing, for example) from the defaults and normal and make sure that Normal and the Defaults match.

    2. I prefer to use the Styles pane and Select all X instances of a style and then apply the wanted style. It works for style + formatting too. If you don't see the styles in the pane, click the Options in the Styles pane and select All styles (& for convenience the alphabetical sort).

    3. Body Text is a built-in style and cannot be deleted from Word, though it can be deleted from a document--and will not show up in the styles pane if in use or in current document styles are showing.

    4. I agree that Stephanie Krieger's Office 2007 book is very helpful. I haven't seen the one for W2010.

    Pam

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I finally found Normal and Body text in the file find dialog - the odd ordering arrangement threw me.

    Another related question though: What is [Basic Paragraph] style? How does this differ from Normal?

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