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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    <img src=/S/ouch.gif border=0 alt=ouch width=15 height=15> 2nd page header appears w/o 2nd page!

    We just ran into a nasty situation with a client as follows: An attorney copied a letter from an old file, edited and saved it as a new file, then emailed the file to the client. Instead of "opening" the file in Word, the client "viewed" the attachment. Lo and behold!! there was another name appearing at the top of the letter (and it wasn't their's). Talk about embarrassing!

    When you opened the file in Word, it was only one page. No hidden text, no page 1 header. After a fair amount of hair-tearing <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23> someone accidentally added a paragraph at the end of the page; page 2 appeared with a header in which the unwanted company name appeared.

    I'm assuming this is some kind of metadata, but does anyone know why it would appear in a viewer, and if there's anything that can be done, short of manually checking every document?

  2. #2
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    It's not metadata.

    Word documents are a poor vehicle for exchanging fixed information. Better is to create a PDF file and send the PDF, so you knoe EXACTLY what the reciopent will see.

    If you se a Word document, it is likely that the recipient will be using a different printrer or different fonts or different styles or ... . This can cause pagination to change ag, as I expect happened in this case, a different header/footer was used on page 2 than on page 1.

    You could clean up documents before you send them to eliminate such header/footers but it is a lot easier, and safer, to send PDF.

    The full version of Acrobat is, as I recall, around $200. That's an inexpensive way to "hide" Word metadata and avoid problems due to different printers, styles, fonts, etc.

  3. #3
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    Yes -- we do encourage people to use PDF as you suggest; however, I can't stop them from taking the easy way out -- you know how some people just hate having to make that extra click or two. Hopefully the embarrassment of this situation will have the desired effect.
    Does this mean, though, that there's no answer to how this actually occurs?

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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    The first thing to suspect would be tracked changes - if your inhouse user had them set to not show (or had highlight options set to something that rendered them non-noticeable), then you could send out a document which contained substantial content that was unnoticed.

    if the recipient had their track change settings set to show, they would see the content.
    - Another thing to check for before sending out documents.

    If you go to www.payneconsulting.com, they have a Metadata Assistant add-in which is supposed to strip out this and many other kinds of metadata.

    Gary

  5. #5
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    I don't think it's metadata; I think it's very real. If someone reuses a previously sent letter and forgets to edit the page 2 header, it just stays in there as it was. If the new letter is only one page, the user may never notice. For obvious reasons, Word isn't going to delete an unused header on its own; the non-use might be quite momentary.

    I don't know the solution to this one, other than vigilance...or writing a macro to clear the page 2 header and footer when printing or closing a one-page document. (My "form" letters use a reference field in the header, but if you copy from an archive, you never know how the document is going to be wired.)

  6. #6
    KTYorke
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    I agree with jscher on this one. It's not metadata. It's an unvigilant user.
    I have run into many of these (even long time lazy Word users who still think Word is a glorified typewriter...)

    What happens is that someone sees a document they like from an old client... reads through the document and changes some figures and a few names, then send it off thinking all is right with the world. When the client comes back mad that another firm's name is in the second page header, they blame it on Word's "stupidity"... right... <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15>

    If a document was set up with different 1st page and even and odd pages... there are three sets of headers and footers that must be checked. To do this, at the end of the document, insert two manual page breaks using CTRL+Enter. Then go in and check every header and footer, first page, odd and even.

    My suggestion is to make templates of every frequently used document and add "dummy" headers and footers. For example, in the header have "Firm Name". This way, if the page goes to a second page the writer remembers to put the firm name up there... and if they still forget... or if something like what you're describing happens, it's a little less embarassing for everyone involved.

    I also agree with the PDF suggestions for the simple fact stated above... everyone has different settings and no two .docs are going to look exactly alike on every machine. (and 9 times out of 10 that other machine is your client's <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>)

    have fun

  7. #7
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    If you can look at the document, you might want to check to see if Different First Page is checked in the first section. Generally a letter will have a "second page header" built in but not be visible until the second page is activated. While you can't protect users from themselves, if you can explain it then perhaps the user can help protect him/her self in the future.

    SJ Miller

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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    Thanks to everyone who has replied. Nearly all the suggestions and information cover solutions we've considered. End result seems to be: educate the user.

    I note, however, that no one has addressed the "viewer" issue directly. I, for one, have never understood how these viewers work, how various programs access them, and how they reflect (or in most cases, don't reflect) formatting. In this instance the viewer actually <font color=red>displayed data</font color=red> that would only have been natively visible in Word under specific conditions.

    Does anyone know where to go to get more information on this subject?

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    I guess I would classify it as "proto-meta data." Strictly speaking, metadata doesn't appear anywhere in a document. It is data about the document. I would call this proto-meta data because it is data about the document. In this case, it didn't appear anywhere in the document. Normally information in a header or footer is information about the page or document. Except in the case of letterhead, I don't generally use a header or footer to add information. I would consider this to be meta data of the same type as that contained in "versions," "track changes," and "fast saves." That is, stuff that shouldn't be in a final draft of a document.

    The header would have been in the final paragraph mark of the document that was copied. The attorney made three Word mistakes here. (1) copying a letter from an old file rather than using a template, (2) putting custom information into the header of a document being used as a form, and (3) sending out a Word document in electronic form when the person receiving the document should not be able to edit it.

    I have a two-part solution.

    Part one is to use a StyleRef field to insert the information in the header to start with. The addressee name is in the paragraph style "addressee name" which is only used for the first line of the inside address. The header is:
    Letter to { StyleRef "addressee name" }
    { StyleRef "Date" }

    (the second line grabs the date which is in the "Date" style)

    The function of both styles is primarily to act as a pointer for these styleref fields. (The addressee name style is based on the addressee style with the additional formatting of 40 pt space before the paragraph.) Take a look at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://addbalance.com/word/download/index.htm#LetterheadTextboxesAndStylesTutorial> Letterhead Textboxes and Styles tutorial </A> (addbalance.com/word/download/index.htm) for more on this.

    The second part of the solution is that I don't email clients correspondence in Word format. I reduce it to a PDF file and email that. This was already suggested. If the client specifically requested the text of the letter in Word format, I would still send the pdf file and then would create a new file that had only the text of the letter so that the client could mark up the text and send it back. That file would not contain my letterhead nor would it contain any fields.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  10. #10
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    >and then would create a new file that had only the text

    ... which i would do by copy/pasting through Notepad.exe to strip out most of the formatting anyway.

  11. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    Was Windows 95 the last version to have bundled viewers?

    Perhaps you can find out what document management system the recipient users. That could help determine which viewer was involved. We have the INSO viewers, and they do not show headers and footers for Word documents.

  12. #12
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    Re: A warning and a question (Word 2000 SP2/Windows 2000)

    I don't know about information about viewers, but I can possibly suggest a solution to the second page header problem. In our firm letter template, letters are set up with different first page turned on. The first line of text is set to the "Recipient" style (this would be the line where the name of the recipient of the letter would go). The first line of the regular (or 2nd-page) header contains a styleref field which pulls in anything in the Recipient style. This way, if someone copies an old letter and changes the recipient, the worst thing that can happen is that they delete the line with the Recipient style and the styleref field has nothing to pull into the header and generates an error message. It may make them look like not the brightest person in the world, but at least it's not so obvious that they've just readdressed the letter.

    Lee Morgan

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