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    Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    I'm trying with little success to create a Word document from a piece we got off a web site.

    Background: Our learning lab supports an industrial site. We bought a piece of courseware from a particular vendor, and we wanted to have paper a handout to give students who take this course. The vendor offered a course summary on their web site, and we downloaded that material.

    Trouble is, the entire document is formatted in "newsbody1," which seems to be a character style only. I'm not sure I fully understand the distinction between character formatting and paragraph formatting. (That sounds "stupid," I suppose--I certainly know the difference between a character and a paragraph. What I don't grasp is why Word makes this distinction in the Format>Style dialog. But I digress....)

    I want to convert this web document into a garden-variety Word document. When I try to change styles, the "Newsbody1" style persists. Furthermore, the document is rife with soft carriage returns instead of paragraph marks. I changed the margins, but I have lines that insist on going well beyond the right edge!

    I suppose there's a reason for doing it this way in a web-based document, but it looks like I need to start from scratch. Maybe it would help if I understood why the original author took this approach. I tried converting the document to text only and even Rich Text Format, but nothing seems to get rid of the web-style formatting. Tried Ctrl+Q, too, but I'm still stuck with this Word formatting nightmare.

    I know a lot of you folks have experience with this sort of thing--how would you go about it? I certainly don't want to re-key the whole thing, and by the way I do have (or can create) a template to aid in fixing this mess. I just don't know the steps to follow. Thanks!!

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Hi Lucas:
    I can't answer your direct question, but I can answer your "digression". The reason that Word has both character and paragraph styles is that it's more flexible.

    Some properties can only apply to a paragraph--e.g. page break before, keep with next, etc. Others could apply to either. Having a bold paragraph style allows you to format an entire paragraph instantly, & to change it, & all paragraphs of the same style, by either changing or modifying that style.

    Having a character style allows you to emphasize only certain words or phrases within the paragraph--e.g. bold, underline, font color, etc. So while a property of a character style can also be applied to a paragraph, the reverse isn't always true.

    Hope this clarifies things for you.

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Is the document on the web site an html document?
    If so you can save it as an html file, then open it in a plain text editor and edit out all the codes.
    HTML documents don't have styles as such (although CSS does a similar job) so "newsbody1" has probably got added somehow via Word.
    Why can't you just print it out as it is?
    Regards
    John



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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Phil: Yes, your response does indeed clarify some things. Let me see if I'm tracking. Let's say I have a paragraph formatted "body text" (Times New Roman 12 pt normal, 1-inch left and right margins and all that). Now let's say I want to format one sentence within that paragraph in something different to make it stand out--say, Arial 11 pt bold blue. The way I've always approached this example is to apply direct formatting to that one sentence. If I understand you correctly, I could do this via Format>Style to give this sentence a distinctive look and its own style...but why? Surely there must be some advantage to taking these extra steps...?

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Lucas,

    If you make a word Comic Sans blue here, Arial bold there and Tahoma italic 13 points somewhere else, there is little point in applying a character style for each of these. But if you decide to make all words that you want to emphasize Arial 11 pt bold blue, there are several arguments for applying a style:

    (1) It is quicker than applying all the individual changes (although you can use the format painter for this too).
    (2) If you decide later on to use Tahoma 12 pt italic red, a change to the character style will be applied consistently throughout your document.
    (3) If you put the character style in a template, you can use it in all documents based on that template.

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    "Why can't you just print it out as it is?" This reminds me somewhat of something my wife has said to me after she has waited more than 45 seconds for me to aim, focus and adjust my camera to get just the shot I want: "Lucas, just take the damned picture!" And the answer is that I'm too anal to just leave it alone.

    Truth is, I've tried to impose some appearance of uniformity on the 230-plus course handouts we use. What came off the web site was close, but not what I want. That answers your last question, and a fair question it is! As for your first question, yes, I think it's an HTML document. However, someone else pulled it off the site and plugged it into Word and then handed it off to me to clean it up. The document is perfectly acceptable if you apply the basic standard of readability, but I don't like the margins, bulleted paragraphs, spacing.... Knowhaddamean?

    Two questions for you: What's CSS? By "plain text editor," I suppose you mean Wordpad or Notepad? I think what I'll do is open this item in Notepad (it don't get no plainer than that!), strip it down to the essentials, then cut 'n paste it into a fresh Word template. Izzat what you had in mind?

    Thank you very much!

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Now that makes sense! Thanks, Hans!

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Lucas

    CSS stands for Cascading Styles Sheets. They do a similar job for html docs as styles do for Word docs. An html document consists of a series of items enclosed by tags such as

    ...</p> or <h1>....</h1>. A style sheet is a (usually separate) document that contains the formatting information for each each of these tags.

    A plain text editor is any program that lets you edit a document where everything in the document is displayed on the screen, and the only things that are saved are what is on the screen in front of you. "notepad" is a plain text editor, but it can only deal with quite small files. Wordpad can edit plain text documents, but you need to be careful to save as plain text or it will add a whole lot of Word codes to your document behind the scenes. There are lots of other freeware and shareware editors out there. I use one called "textpad".
    Your answer about why you don't just "print it out as it is" makes complete sense.
    Regards
    John



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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    and to add one more to Hans reply:
    (4) If you decided you needed to find something that you had emphasized in a long document & knew it was in a particular character style, you could search for that style using Find/Replace.

    Oh, and it's not extra steps. Just as bold has a shortcut key, Ctrl+B, you can assign a shortcut key to a character (or paragraph) style, just as Ctrl+Shift+N is assigned to normal.

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Thanx, John! I have almost zero experience building web pages, so CSS is totally foreign to me. I've seen those tags you mention, but I haven't had the pleasure...yet. HTML and web page design is on my list of stuff to learn. I'm grateful for your help.

    BTW: The document in question here is a short one--just three pages in Word. So I used Notepad as I described in an earlier post (cut & paste), and now I have what I want.

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Ah, yes! Very interesting...and useful!

    Thanks, everybody! <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16>

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Lucas -

    You appear to have gotten answers to most of your conceptual questions - let me see if I can help you with a couple of procedural questions. You said you had tried Control-Q to strip the character styles. Control-Q strips all directly applied paragraph formatting. Control-Spacebar, on the other hand, strips all directly applied character formatting and all character styles, leaving only the underlying paragraph style formatting. So you could try selecting the text and doing Control-Spacebar.
    On the other hand, if you're copying text from a web document (rather than downloading the entire document), you could try doing what I do. I select all the text in the original document and copy it. I open the target document and do Edit/Paste Special/Unformatted Text. That strips all formatting from the text and applies the formatting of the target document (normal in an otherwise empty document). I then apply my default styles to make the document look the way I want it to.
    Hope this helps.

    Lee Morgan

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    Drifting off-topic a bit, but here goes.

    When you do get on to HTML/CSS:

    <UL><LI>There's a good CSS mailing list you can subscribe to at: http://three.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/css-discuss
    <LI>Buy yourself at least one of Eric Meyer's books on CSS.[/list]

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    Re: Converting Word Web doc (2000)

    You bet it helps! Thanks, Lee! I must've missed the class on Ctrl+spacebar, and you reminded me about Paste Special>Unformatted....

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