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  1. #1
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    Need help with lists, styles, and numbering

    I'll preface this by saying I've been using word for about 10 years, and writing long documents for about 16. It seems every few years, over the last 10, I'm at a new company attempting to create a corporate standard template using word, and I seem to run into the same problems. Over and over. Like groundhog day.

    I've followed Shauna Kelley's blog post to a T. I've created my own heading styles, the 1st one based on no style, and the subsequent styles, based on the latters. I then defined my own multi-level list, and went through that laborious process.

    Yet, I am having the following issues:
    ~ The link level to style on the multi level list definer dialog, keeps losing it's links to the heading styles

    ~ Conversely, the heading styles keep going from (no style) on the indent to "hanging" by .75".

    ~ and a new issue, as I'm futzing back and forth with the above, indents are being added to my heading style.

    Prior to doing all this, I had (still have) a rocking hierarchical document. It has two hierarchical type sections. One is based solely on custom heading styles. The other is based on custom multi-level list. As I liked how the levels based on the custom multi-level list could be promoted and demoted using alt+arrow, I have been trying to convert the other section of the document to also be based on a new, custom multi-level list.

    I've been working on it all day, am fried, and am hoping someone here can help. This set of features is an incredibly frustrating aspect of Word. I would give up lottery winnings to have Bill Gates sit next to me as I try to use it.

    I have word 2010. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Last edited by Swish7; 2013-11-04 at 23:49.

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  3. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish7 View Post
    I would give up lottery winnings to have Bill Gates sit next to me as I try to use it.
    I doubt Mr. Gates uses Word. Certainly few, if any, of the Word developers working for Microsoft use it. (They probably do not use any word processor but rather use text or code processors.) That is a part of the problem.

    Numbering in Word has improved. It improved greatly, I am told, with Word 2010.

    Yet, I am having the following issues:
    ~ The link level to style on the multi level list definer dialog, keeps losing it's links to the heading styles

    ~ Conversely, the heading styles keep going from (no style) on the indent to "hanging" by .75".

    ~ and a new issue, as I'm futzing back and forth with the above, indents are being added to my heading style.
    Shauna Kelly's articles have been the go-to source for me since she wrote them. You can dig deeper by reading John McGhie's articles. Her articles are based on his analysis.

    My practice is I do not modify existing multi-level lists, I start each time from scratch. This is painful, I know. I do not know that it is necessary. I just sort of gave up, I guess. It is easier for me to start from scratch; I don't worry then about numbering breaking down in the middle of an important project (i.e. Appelllate brief under deadline). Of course, once I have a good list style, I save it in the appropriate template for future use.

    Note, when copying hierarchical styles using the Organizer, since Word 97, I have had the practice of selecting all the styles being copied and copying them three times. I found this practice necessary to maintain the links between styles. I have never seen any reason to stop pressing the copy button three times. Again, I do not know that this is needed in recent versions of Word. I last checked in Word 2003.

    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/numbering.htm
    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  4. #3
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    Charles,

    Thank you so much for the response. I figured a way around the problems I was having. I started from absolute scratch, brand new document, and deleted all the custom styles I had built up over the years. My template probably goes back 2-3 companies, and 9 attempts at getting this right. I then re-followed Shauna's document to a T. This time, instead of creating my own custom heading style, I customized words existing heading styles. It seems to be working so far.

    I am concerned what might happen when I share this template with my workgroup. I hope their headings do not conflict with the headings in this doc...

    My other challenge now is to create text that lines up with the numbered text. I treat the numbered rows almost as titles, and below them I'll create a style that left aligns with the text from the number above.

    1.1.1.....Level 3 title
    ............Llevel 3 text, text, text

    It would be nice if you could somehow automatically do this by pairing a numbered level with corresponding non-numbered text.

    Again, thank you. I think I am out of the wood work.

  5. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish7 View Post
    My other challenge now is to create text that lines up with the numbered text. I treat the numbered rows almost as titles, and below them I'll create a style that left aligns with the text from the number above.

    1.1.1.....Level 3 title
    ............Llevel 3 text, text, text

    It would be nice if you could somehow automatically do this by pairing a numbered level with corresponding non-numbered text.

    Again, thank you. I think I am out of the wood work.
    I believe there is a set of list continue styles that lets you do this, but I don't think they have a dot leader. Perhaps that can be modified to have that.
    If so, you could pair up each numbered style with its continue style as the style for following paragraph. I don't know if these can be promoted / demoted the way numbered lists can. (I may be thinking bullets, here.)

    If you don't need the magic qualities of the built-in headings, create your own styles for your numbered lists.
    http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numb...ingstyles.html
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    I am concerned what might happen when I share this template with my workgroup. I hope their headings do not conflict with the headings in this doc...
    What is the relationship between a Microsoft Word document and its template?, another article by Shauna Kelly, may help you with that concern.

    I'm glad to hear you've gotten your numbering straight.
    Pam Caswell

  7. #6
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    Thank you Charles. I put the ...s in there just to line up the text properly on this forum. I do not use dot leaders in my documents, except in the TOC and TOFigures.

    I will look into the list continue styles. I saw them referenced in one of the articles I read on Monday, but was not familiar with them. I want to have custom body text and bulleted text for each numbered item.

    The end result (minus the dot leaders) is something like this:

    Heading 1 (per Shauna's article, I modified word's headings)
    body text for Heading 1 (custom style - I wonder if continue list could do this?)
    - bulleted list for body text 1 (custom style)
    1......heading 2 (modified word's)
    ........body text for heading 2 (custom - I wonder if continue list could do this?)
    ........ - bulleted list for body text 1
    1.1....heading 3 (modified word's )
    ........body text for heading 3
    ........ - bulleted list for body text 3 (custom)
    ........1.1.1...heading 4
    ..................body text for heading 4

    And so forth, up to level 9.

    Like you, I used to create my own custom styles based on "no style". Before word 2007, I think that was "the" solution. I read Shauna's article regarding why to customize the default styles, and was convinced.. Principally because of how much better they work with other word features, like captions and references.

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PamCaswell View Post
    What is the relationship between a Microsoft Word document and its template?, another article by Shauna Kelly, may help you with that concern.

    I'm glad to hear you've gotten your numbering straight.
    Thanks! I was just going to post a query for advice regarding how to share a template with multiple people. Now I don't have to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish7 View Post
    Like you, I used to create my own custom styles based on "no style". Before word 2007, I think that was "the" solution. I read Shauna's article regarding why to customize the default styles, and was convinced.. Principally because of how much better they work with other word features, like captions and references.
    I should add, but if I find that when I share this template with my team, that the resulting documents are all munged up because their heading 1 uses a cartoon font and a different indentation, etc, then I will have to reconsider.... I have not been in a > 1-man shop in a while, so I don't know what to expect.

  10. #9
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    I believe there is a set of list continue styles that lets you do this, but I don't think they have a dot leader. Perhaps that can be modified to have that.
    If so, you could pair up each numbered style with its continue style as the style for following paragraph. I don't know if these can be promoted.

  11. #10
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    Swish7,

    You may see changes to the look of some of your paragraphs, but it's direct formatting not a change in the style settings (one of the unsung benefits of W2007–13). It results from pasting or inserting, not from templates. You can clear the direct formatting from styles paragraphs by pressing Ctrl+spacebar to clear character direct formatting and Ctrl+q to clear paragraph direct formatting (as usual there are other methods too). Users can avoid the problem by pasting as plain text whenever possible.
    Pam Caswell

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  13. #11
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish7 View Post
    Charles,

    ...
    I am concerned what might happen when I share this template with my workgroup. I hope their headings do not conflict with the headings in this doc...
    ...
    "Template" is a word of art in Word and may mean something different to you than it does to me. In Word jargon, it means a special kind of document that Word will automatically use to create a new document when you double-click on it. Among other properties, it will have a filename extension of .dot, .dotx, or .dotm. If you share a template with others, its styles will not conflict with those in the systems of others so long as you do not tell documents based on the template to automatically update their styles. See the article that Pam Caswell linked on that issue.

    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Thanks everyone for your help thus far. For the most part, most everything is good. However, I am seeing the following weird behavior when I show or hide symbols.

    When symbols are shown, I see all the text I that I've typed. When symbols are off (which is preferred), some of my text is hidden. See number 3.1, notice how it disappears..

    I've never seen this before, and am curious if anyone else has ever seen anything like this.

    Paragraph Marks Issue.jpg

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    Your 3.1 paragraph is behaving like it is formatted as hidden, but I don't see any tiny dotted underline in your picture. Still, with formatting symbols showing, select the paragraph and press Ctrl+spacebar to clear the character formatting. Let us know if that works.
    Pam Caswell

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    Glad to see you're getting lots of help with this question, and good help. I've been in the exact same position, and struggled as you have - it isn't your fault, just a desperately fudged feature in Word. Here are some "rules" that may have been covered in the linked articles:

    Get your users to set their "workgroup templates" folder to a server shared folder where you keep the .dot template files. Make that folder, and the files in it, read only. You'd be amazed how many people open the template as a document, edit it, then accidentally save it back. And tell them that if they copy the template to their local templates folder they are out of support.

    As advised earlier, users MUST copy and paste in plain text only. Reformatting the paste is easier than recovering the whole document. If paste wasn't such a basic feature of Windows you could write a macro to force plain text pasting, but I doubt it would deal with <ctrl>V etc.

    And finally ensure all styles in your template use only the default fonts supplied with Windows, otherwise document recipients, even if you use PDF, may not see the nicely styled document you sent them.

    On the indent under numbered styles question, make the default indent the same as the number-to-text indent (or vice-versa) then you can indent and outdent using tab or the toolbar buttons. Under Word 2003 I replaced the macros for the indent, outdent and list/bullet toolbar buttons with my own macros that separated the list and indent functions. Unfortunately I no longer have those macros - and they probably don't apply to the newer ribbon versions anyway

    On the missing line question, it looks like the old problem where text near the top of a page randomly vanishes when in review mode - are you in that mode?

    Overall, I've found templates have been made more difficult with every new version of Word. Clearly the Microsoft ethos is to support users in doing their own thing rather than conform to a restrictive corporate style. But most corporations require a style and most users just want to type a letter or report quickly without the hassle of broken lists.

    Really good luck with your project.

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