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  1. #1
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    Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

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    I seem to be introducing bugs into my Word templates when I change from one template to another (I need to do this to change the font of all styles in my document). Word freezes and when I reopen the document I have a number of styles which have "char" on the end eg. Body Text Char. I can't delete these from within the style gallery (doing this freezes Word again) but can delete them using the Organiser. Does anyone have a clue why this would be occurring? In the work I do I need to change templates on documents a bit!

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Changing templates seems like a tough way to simply change fonts. How many fonts do you use per template? Generally I use a maximum of four typefaces. A pair of letterhead serif typeface and sans serif typeface and a different pair of serif and sans serif typefacesfor the body (and heading) text. These can be found in four base styles. Headers and footers (other than the letterhead) are in header or footer styles, which are also based on serif body style. These are set in base styles and all other styles are based on these or on styles based on them. This means that to change fonts I have at most two places to go to change all fonts in the body of my document. (since I don't change letterhead fonts). I adopted most of my style practices from How to Create a Template (Part 2) and Understanding Styles.

    It sounds as if you are dealing with documents and templates that aren't structured quite so tightly. (anally?)

    Also, I seldom swap templates. If I need something based on one template in a different template's format, I will usually create a new document based on the different format and paste the text from the old document into the new one. If I have used the same style names to fulfill the same purpose in both, this works very well.

    The "char" appended styles have been the subject of lengthy discussions on the microsoft newsgroups. They may be hyprid styles introduced with Word 2002. You are not the only one who has found them to be a problem. Have Styles Changed with Word 2002?, Self-Spawning Styles causing headaches, Style problems, and What causes "char" styles? are four of these discussions.

    They may help you. If they do, please come back here and post the answer you find that works for you so that others can benefit.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  3. #3
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    I don't know why the corruption happens but you may be able to simplify things if you have separate styles
    for each font used. In our templates we use only two actual fonts but a ridiculous number of styles.

    When I need to change fonts/styles I attach the document to its new template, and substitute the newer style for the current ones. Providing you can make up an array containing BOTH the old and new styles
    The entire process can become relatively painless.

    Its less traumatic to add/update/delete a style than conduct open heart surgery with fonts.

  4. #4
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Thank you Charles, I have had a look at a couple of these discussions (and will definitely take the time to look at the rest!) and discovered the settings under Tools | Options had the 'Keep track of Styles' turned on. I'm hoping that changing those settings will do the trick! Last time I had this problem I finally discovered that by getting rid of all but the default Global Templates I fixed the problem, and I just realised that I have the Adobe distiller template as a global. Hopefully I won't need to delete that as I use it!

    On the application of templates, I am producing online help using a product called HDK which relies on fairly strict application of styles to a Word document to convert the text to online help! Unfortunately I am ALSO required to produce written manuals (from the document before it gets converted to help) which have whole rafts of different formatting and styles applied (font, spacing and indentations). I'm in the process of trying to figure out how to reduce the number of templates I apply, but HDK actually applies one or two in its processing! Makes my life hell!

    On the other hand the information you have pointed me to looks like it will give me some very good pointers in my quest for sanity!

    Thanks!
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  5. #5
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Thanks for the suggestion Frank, unfortunately I have few choices about template switching, as the help creation software I use actually does some switching too!! I would MUCH prefer not to have to change fonts/styles at all, but am producing written manuals (Times spaced styles) and online help (Arial non-spaced styles)! I agree, there has to be a better way, I just have to find it!
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Julie,

    It's a shame that the software forces you to stick with a template switching approach - it would seem much simpler to redefine the font, for a given set of styles in a document, rather than go through something jolting like attaching a different template.

    At work we have templates that give the user the option of creating an Arial document or Times New Roman document, either at the time the document is created or at any point in the document's lifecycle.

    It's pretty simple to do with a macro which changes the font for the root 'based-on' style, plus tweaks any other style settings that may need it when switching from one font to the other.

    Gary

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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Gary,

    You have it in one! The reason I was changing the template is that I didn't (and still don't!) have enough VBA to do the font/formatting style changes, though I have written a few macros (and done enough programming to know I SHOULD be able to do it!)! After sitting and thinking and looking at some notes on VBA I've decided that I should be trying to make the changes with macros rather than templates! Doh! No wonder my frustration levels have been rising since I started this job last July! I'm now on the macro/VBA track and I'm hoping that will solve most if not all my problems!

    Thank you for the suggestion!

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  8. #8
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Hi Julie,

    Be sure to work through use of the "based-on" property of styles. If you set base style(s) and then base all your other styles on those, changing things becomes relatively painless.

    Be sure to go through the "How to Create a Template" article before you get too far into working with VBA. Otherwise you'll be trying to write programs that duplicate Word features.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    <<I'm now on the macro/VBA track >>

    - definitely a good track to go down!
    If you come up with any problems along the way, post back here.

    Gary

  10. #10
    KTYorke
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    >>producing online help using a product called HDK which relies on fairly strict application of styles to a Word document to convert the text to online help>>

    I've never heard of HDK but I have the same problem you do with creating the same document in two different formats. We use RoboHelp to create our online help and Word 97 for the manual. What a pain in the <img src=/S/moon.gif border=0 alt=moon width=15 height=15>

    Our policy is to create the written document first then create the online help from scratch (using, of course the information from the original document) Is there a way to work directly with HDK rather than converting a Word document?

    RoboHelp claims to be able to single source documents but that's a big load of... well, you know. If HDK adds so much stuff into your templates, would you be willing to start with your own template to create the written then convert that to the HDK format rather than the other way around?

    Just an idea to toss around <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15>
    have fun

  11. #11
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    So far I have not found a help creation software package without some kind of warts! To be fair, the fact that they usually have to use/work with Microsoft Word makes it difficult to get it right every time!

    I have a "book" template, and I'm hoping that if I teach myself how to write macros, then I can skip one of my templates, strip out most of the formatting then converting to HDK won't be the issue it has been!

    I am "chewing the cud" on ideas about templates and macros, and have heaps of information from this site and the MVP's on it, for which I am very grateful. Now I just need to read the info and play with some ideas on processing/procedure.... <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>

    Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions!

  12. #12
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    Re: Word Template Corruption (2002 SP1)

    Thought you all might be interested in the solution to this problem. It was actually 3-pronged in the end:

    1. Downgrade to Windows 2000.
    2. Write VBA macros to change fonts, borders etc. - am still learning this stuff!
    3. Read that wonderful document on creating templates which Charles recommended - thanks, it made me change a couple of things in my documents, including headers and footers!

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