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  1. #1
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    Defaults (Word 97)

    We are trying to "force" standard font sizes and margins on our users, but because those are easy items to change - users don't listen to us, or just change them back. Is there an easy way to have an Automacro in a global template that will control these settings. Right now I've only figured out to have an AutoNew macro in each user's normal.dot - but that will require going to each PC.

    As always - thanks in advance for any help you can give me!!

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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    <img src=/S/ranton.gif border=0 alt=ranton width=66 height=37> I have a deep rooted aversion to stopping people from doing what they should be free to do. Staff in a company are paid $$$ to do the best they can and routinely make $$$$$$$ commercial decisions BUT 'IT gods' don't trust them with $ worth of hardware/software and disable the ability of staff to work effectively in the self-serving interests of the IT gods. If there is a good reason to obey the rules ie it is faster/more efficient/more consistent then you are welcome to put pressure on your staff to comply but control for control's sake doesn't help any revenue producing sections of the business (it does give more jobs to IT support though - especially the help desk).
    <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>

    <img src=/S/surrender.gif border=0 alt=surrender width=31 height=23>However, you can do it with either an AutoOpen or AutoClose macro in the startup directory or less intrusively in the template that they should be attaching to these files. You will need to update the styles from the attached template (which should reside in a read-only directory), fiddle the page setup and do lots of bug catching (eg what if they have landscape pages in there or change style names). Using AutoNew is no use because the brand new file should already be in the correct format.

    I also hope you are not with an engineering firm. Stopping an engineer from doing what they want to do just gets them interested in finding a workaround and they will not rest until they undo your good work. <img src=/S/devil.gif border=0 alt=devil width=15 height=15>
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    Word allows you to intercept native commands, such as File > Save, and replace them with a macro, simply by hijacking the name (Sub FileSave()). Conceivably, you could reformat the document whenever the user saves, closes, prints, etc. But the number of variables involved in doing this could be pretty daunting.

    I think the better approach is to educate users as to why you want to do this, for example, creating a professional appearance for the organization demands some uniformity in outgoing correspondence and work product. Without instilling that kind of ethic, and some level of buy-in on what is professional-looking, you have an impossible task on your hands.

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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    Thank you both for your input. I work at a law firm and we are trying to have some standards to increase efficiency as well as improve our professional look as a whole. We have tried the idea of just explaining all the benefits, reasons, but in a lawfirm partners and their secretaries tend to think that they're separate entities and should be required to do follow anyone else's ideas. Yet when they share documents or need the word processing department to assist them, they get upset if things don't match their own individual likes/dislikes.

    Again, thanks for the ideas and advice!!

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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    Julie,

    It seems like some law firms don't like to impose a consistent template environment, and some do.
    The efficiency benefits of a consistent template environment are so great, that I don't understand why some firms don't want to have one.

    The law firm I work for subscribes to an ethos similar to that expressed by Jefferson, which is that the quality of the appearance of our documents is an expression of the quality of our product as a firm.
    For that reason, the choice was made to create a firmwide "HouseStyle" which is used for all documents.
    All documents are created based on templates, and all of the templates (such as for legal agreements, letters, faxes, memos etc.) conform to and support the house style.
    A key feature of this is a "House Style Blank" all-purpose template, which is what users get instead of a new blank document based on Normal.
    If users need to go outside the house style for a specific reason, they can still get to a new blank document based on Normal by going to the File>New dialog.

    It's a lot of work to implement and maintain (we have a staff of five people on our 'templates team') but this is a large firm and the commitment is there to support it - for a smaller firm, finding the resources to do this can be more of a problem (unless you have a Jefferson on staff <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>).

    Gary

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> Truth be told, I've got standardization for about three offices in either direction from me, and it's all free agency from there on out.

    Just as an example, I made a conscious decision about 7 years ago to always use Century Schoolbook for correspondence because it holds up to multiple generations of faxing, unlike more delicate faces. (This tip was in a "how to select a font" help file that came with an early version of Adobe Type Manager bundled with Micrografx Designer, but I also put it to the test myself.) Most people here, however, prefer the more graceful Palatino, and many legacy templates from the firm's Macintosh days were done in that face. So... that is no longer one of my battles. Maybe I'm mellowing in my old age.

    The Internet also has taken a lot of design out of our hands. The recipient determines the font in which she or he views my plain text e-mail messages, ruining most efforts at alignment. I discovered that a bulk HTML mailing I sent out was converted to text in many cases on the recipients' end, and the tables didn't degrade gracefully. So I had to redesign the HTML so that it would degrade to text well. So... I'm drifting... the point was... oh yes, it's not very often you have the opportunity to make a good impression any more, so it's important to maximize it when you do.

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    Re: Defaults (Word 97)

    Julie

    You are going down the right track as every firm needs to have templates to be able to produce standardised documents in an efficient way. The trick is to give staff the tools and training to do the job without removing their control. The benefits in productivity are huge and the company will look much more professional too.

    You do need to trust your staff a little though. If you lock down the templates too tightly then your support costs will increase and people will spend too much time looking for workarounds (or going home to do it on the home PC). There are perfectly valid reasons for people to vary from the company style and that is why you need moderation in your exercise of control.

    People who flout the rules/standards for the sake of individuality are going to be less productive than those who do the job using the templates (assuming the templates are as good as possible). Where this happens counselling is cheaper than draconian tools imposed on the entire company.

    Combining documents should not be an issue. If it is, provide training and/or tools to help.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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