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  1. #1
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    Template problems

    I recently began as a startup company's lone tech writer. My first assignment was to design a Word user guide template and e-mail it to their tech writing consultant in India (I'm in Virgina). I created the template, loaded it with as many styles as I thought necessary, and sent it off.

    The consultant wrote back to say she is having trouble using my template. In her words: "But I find that the all the formatting styles are getting changed whenever text is typed or copied onto it. I have to rework on the whole stuff."

    Thinking that the problem might be duplicate style names between my template and the documents she was pasting from (I had used Headings 1 through 4, Body Text, and several other common style names in my template), I created a new template and simply renamed the styles so they all started with "mP_" (abbreviation of my company's name) to make the style names unique.

    Should this solve the problem? Should she be having problems merely typing into it, as she implies? Does anyone have experience with other writers having problems with a style-controlled template that you designed?

    Both the consultant and I are using Word 2000.

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Template problems

    It sounds as if she has the option for update styles based on use checked. Check your template to see if that is how you sent it out to her. This is a good setting for template development and a bad setting for template use.

    See: How to Create a Template, 2
    http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customizatio...mplatePart2.htm

    This will give you an excellent technical manual template if you download it and explain the reasons for the methods used.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Template problems

    Update styles based on use? I don't know where that option is. If you mean the Automatically Update box in the Modify Style dialog, that is something I have not checked.
    Charles, thanks for the superb info on creating a template and using Word styles. It'll help me greatly!!!

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Template problems

    The Modify Style dialog checkbox is what I was referring to.

    You might check with your consultant and see if somehow she has it checked.

    For more on templates and styles see:
    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/templates.htm and http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Template problems

    Hi George:

    Just so you know, there are several options that can change styles unexpectedly. The following are in Word 2000. The wording may be slightly different in Word 97, I'm not sure & the location for these options may be slightly different in earlier versions of Word.

    1. There is a Format/Style/Modify/Automatically Update choice. If ticked, then whenever you add manual formatting to the style, the style definition itself is modified to incorporate the change. This means that if someone decides to emphasize a paragraph by applying italic to it, ALL paragraphs with that style are "updated" to italic.

    2. If one applies direct formatting to a paragraph, clicks in the style box on the formatting toolbar, & presses enter. One of the choices is to update the style to refect the formatting (similar to 1.). Furthermore, there is a checkbox to "Automatically update the style from now on". This is the equivalent to 1. above.

    3. Finally, under Tools/Templates & Add-ins (in Word 7 & earlier, I think it was under the File menu, instead of Tools), there is an options to "Automatically update document styles". If a style exists in both a document & the attached template (same name), this option will reapply the attached template style to the document. In effect, it erases changes made to a style in a document.

    As Charles said, they are great shortcuts when designing styles & templates, but not for using styles & templates.

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    Re: Template problems

    This may sound stupid but I wonder if your client is opening the template and typing into it, instead of creating a bnew document based on the template.
    David Grugeon
    Brisbane Australia

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    Re: Template problems

    Hi all,

    There is another possibility:
    in Tools/AutoCorrect/AutoFormat

    I would check that (AutoFormat)Headings is unchecked
    and that PreserveStyles is checked.

    Hope this is useful to someone

    regards

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    Re: Template problems

    Thanks so much for your response, Phil. Some of the options you mentioned I was not familiar with. I'm keeping all of this valuable info in a safe place because it can really save a lone writer's ass! By the way, I heard back from my Indian client today and she claims that she is having success with the latest template I sent her. It was one where I renamed all the styles to have unique names, plus I incorporated a lot of Charles' info that he sent me as well.
    You guys are great!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Template problems

    Thanks for the input, Dave. As I responded to Phil, she now claims to have success with the latest template I sent. I hope to find out exactly how she opened the "problem" template tonight when I attempt to call her -- there's no substitute for the good old phone call sometimes.[img]/w3timages/icons/smile.gif[/img]

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    Re: Template problems

    In the Autoformat As You Type tab, Headings is unchecked, but Headings is checked in the Autoformat tab, as is Preserve Styles. I'll keep an eye on these settings to see if they become culprits!
    Thx, Geo

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    Re: Template problems/Preserve Styles

    <font color=448800><font face="Georgia">Hello Bede,
    I'm very interested in your post wherein you mention to ensure 'Preserve Styles' is checked. All of our trainers (and various pundits including some well-respected sources such as Microsystems, Prime Consulting, etc. (don't have their url's handy right now)) have confirmed for us that it is important to have anything connected with the Auto-Format routine de-selected. We also received this same advice from other sources such as law firms who were using experts in Word and conversions from WP to Word. That particular item - "Preserve Styles" is de-selected on all of our 400+ user pcs and we have had fewer template issues after implementing that change about 2 years ago.
    Our chief trainer has said that the Preserve Styles should only be used when AutoFormat is invoked. He provided me with the following excerpt from someone at Microsystems:
    <hr>A bigger issue (which I think you folks have already assimilated) is this: in Word, it's usually best to stay away from ANYTHING containing the words "Auto", "Quick" or "Fast" -- since they generally lead to trouble. This is also one of those issues where Microsoft's own Knowledge Base may be less than helpful, in that Microsoft's own approach to document creation is generally predicated on documents which will we will be edited by a limited number of users and have a limited life span. Whereas, in law firms, precise and particular formatting habits are so crucial because your documents will be edited by any number of people, and the documents live forever. Hence, the need for careful application of styles and numbering, limited use of frames, etc.<hr>
    Sorry I can
    Patricia

  12. #12
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Template problems/Preserve Styles

    Thank you for your comments. I believe that Microsystems contributed to the Legal Users' Guide. I know that they are listed in the vendors page.

    As for Auto... I have grown dependent on both AutoCorrect and AutoText. I only use manual AutoFormat for Internet and eMail text. I do use AutoFormat as you type, but I have it tamed by unchecking some of the options. (I also learned the Ctrl-Z - UnDo - combination.) I don't auto-update styles, though. Too many baaaaad experiences with that.

    I'm sure that Microsystems gave you a good numbering template with instructions on how to use it. If not, check out the template on the MVPs website. It is built to handle a lot!
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Template problems/Preserve Styles

    Thanks for your response. Re Microsystems and their templates: actually I created our templates based on headings shipped with Word, using drop-down menus (contained in our firm.dot). I will certainly take a look at templates offered at Microsystems and the MVP's site. TIA.
    Patricia

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