Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    I have a huge procedure manual to write. Should I create different files for each document or have one big document file to facilitate pagination?

    I want to slap a table of contents over all the procedures. Is there a way to merge many files into one document?

    Thanks!
    Vev

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
    Posts
    621
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    I'm sure there are as many opinions as repsonses but here goes for my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>.

    Huge is not a precise term <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    I'd keep to one file so long as my machine kept plugging on, and only break it up when I got into trouble.
    Even then, I'd only break up at places like content vs appendix or major chapters.
    To me the advantages are great
    - pagination
    -TOC generation is easy
    - references
    - ease of working between sections

    Generating most of the other stuff from multi-files requires either a vast amount of manual work or use of master documents.
    Personally I haven't had a document big enough to warrant the extra complexity but the help files are fairly clear on the use of master documents (search for "master documents overview").

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles Area, California, USA
    Posts
    7,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    If you do decide to have several documents & want to combine the TOCs into one, look into RD fields. You can find them both in Word Help & if you search this forum. One disadvantage, though, is that the TOCs in a single document do not hyperlink to your headings (i.e. you can't click on it & navigate to your heading).

  4. #4
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    Great! Thanks all for the responses.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    17
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    Something to think about...

    Having written a number of procedures manuals, I have found that sometimes too big is too boring and never read.
    Users don't want to have to search through stacks of pages, even with a TOC. Especially on a help desk.
    Maybe you can divide it up into generic tasks in 2 - 3 docs. This would also simplify future changes to a single smaller doc which would also keep the greenies happy not having to chop down half a forest to reprint the entire manual.

    Then of course is the other side of the coin on trying to remember which doc. a certain procedures is in....

    Your call in the end. Good luck. <img src=/S/brickwall.gif border=0 alt=brickwall width=25 height=15>

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    543
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    Here here Doc.

    I used to have separate procedures but now have separate secions with up to 10 procedures in each. Much easier to manage on an intranet.
    cheers

    Phil Carter

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    818
    Thanks
    6
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by jscher2000 on 02-Dec-02 18:01. Fixed typo in link.)</P>FWIW, discussion elsewhere on the WORD board has indicated that Master Documents will ultimately bring you nothing but grief. If you search this discussion board for master documents, I am sure you will find enough opinions that they are not a good thing, unless they have been fixed in Word 2002. You might also want to check http://www.mvps.org and search on Master documents.

    Ron M <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  8. #8
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Michigan USA
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    I write manuals for myself: e.g., a procedures manual and a computer manual. I use 11 numbering levels, 2 styles I have created (Prd1 and Prd2) plus all 9 Heading styles, which I have set up as outline numbering styles. Using the built in Heading styles gives you the ability to hyperlink to headings, i.e., you don't have to use a bookmark in order to jump to a particular point in the manual from somewhere else in the manual. I also use up to 3 levels of TOC: the most detailed, which is built using Prd1, Prd2, and Heading 1; an intermediate TOC--which only reads the full TOC because I restrict it to a bookmark that just includes the full TOC--and shows only two levels that are based on TOC 1 and TOC 2; and, finally the first TOC: it is the least detailed TOC because it only reads the intermediate TOC and only displays one level based upon TOC 1. The advantage to using the 3 TOCs is that, given that my Procedures manual is 58 pages long, I don't have to scroll through a long, detailed TOC to find a specific topic. Two clicks takes me from the most general TOC to the most detailed, but I'm in the section of the TOC that will have my specific topic in it.

    There are two particular spots in my manual that I refer to constantly so I have hyperlinks to them at the top of my first TOC, i.e., there are two hyperlinks, then my TOC starts.

    If you wanted, I could e-mail my template to you along with a section of a manual so you could see how it works.

    Bill Martz
    intrinsic@twmi.rr.com

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Los Angeles Area, California, USA
    Posts
    7,453
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    Hi Bill:
    While the offer may certainly be appreciated, it's best to keep everything in the forum, so that others may benefit also. See <!rule=10>Rule 10<!/rule>. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Cheers,

  10. #10
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Michigan USA
    Posts
    22
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: writing a manual (Word2002/WindowsNT)

    Hi Phil,

    Not a problem. Well...OK, there is a problem--the files are too big to attach to a post. I will e-mail them to anyone that wants them, assuming that doesn't turn out to be thousands. Besides a sample manual that has the three levels of TOC and the template used to format the heading and list items, I will throw in my Normal.dot, which has numerous custom toolbar icons that run macros and lots of customization of context menus, including an item on the list and heading context menus that automatically updates all TOCs. Very, very handy. Also items to restart or continue numbering, which do see a lot of use too.

    Bill Martz
    intrinsic@twmi.rr.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •