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    Create New Template (Word 97)

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    Re: Create New Template (Word 97)

    Steve,

    It's not clear what is the product you're trying to end up with, who will be using it and how they'll use it: are you trying to teach other people how to create templates, or are you trying to create a template for a book on how to create templates? <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

    This is difficult to answer because what goes into the making of a particular template depends a lot on the specifics of that particular template: what it needs to do, what level user will be using it, how is it going to be set up and laid out: does it need to be set up for Letter paper, or A4, or both; does it need to be usable in English only or in multilanguages just for a couple of examples.

    All of the things in John's list are valid things to consider in creating a template; you just may or may not need to deal with certain ones, depending on the template: will it need a TOC, will it need an index etc.

    Before trying to make sense of all these pieces, why not do the following? As an exercise, try building a template for a technical document yourself.
    Find an existing document that you'd like to use as a model, and try to reproduce it; think about what you need to provide in the template to enable users to create a document like the model, using your template.

    Doing that kind of exercise will probably provide you with a lot more insight on how to create a guide. If you get stuck on specific issues in doing the exercise, post the questions here.

    It might be worthwhile too having a look at Charles Kenyon's site; he's got a lot of info on templates there.

    Gary

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    Re: Create New Template (Word 97)

    Where can I download or find a Sample-Model Technical Document to try and copy and create a Template for?
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  4. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Create New Template (Word 97)

    Hi Steve,

    First, download the Word version of the <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart2.htm> article</A>. It contains the template described in the article.

    Are all of his steps necessary. I think so. Especially if you plan on using it for documents that will be heavily edited and/or worked on by a number of people.

    To some extent, it sounds as if you are getting the cart in front of the horse. You need to learn styles and your questions imply that you may not yet have a handle on them. Styles are at the heart of how Word works. Take a look at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm> Understanding Styles in Microsoft Word</A> (addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm). It may help.

    Styles are generally set by function. Text that performs the same purpose in a document should be formatted using the same style. Styles that are related in purpose should be based on the same root style so that changes in related styles can be made easily by changing the root.

    You asked for opinions about whether all formatting in templates should be done with styles. Here's mine: In writing a document template use of direct formatting (rather than using well-defined styles) is an offense that calls for something along the lines of public flogging, or at least public humiliation. Doing this (1) makes the life of anyone using the template more difficult, and (2) makes the document and template more prone to corruption. It should result in someone's being fired, or at least given only read-only access to template folders.

    Note that there is a difference between document templates (like the one you are trying to create) and global templates. Text in global templates is either in AutoText (in which case styles are very important) or simply text used to explain the global template. Use of styles in such explanatory text is not nearly as important. You may want to take a look at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm> Template Basics</A> (addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm) for information on the different kinds of templates, where they are stored, and how to get them to show up under the File => New dialog.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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