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  1. #1
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    Templates (2000 SR2)

    I am asking for advice from the Lounge before I kill myself trying to achieve the impossible. I am at a complete loss on what to do. <img src=/S/crybaby.gif border=0 alt=crybaby width=15 height=15>

    I have been assigned the task of creating new templates that will be distributed to our various divisions throughout the UK. Each template has to have their regional address. The sheer amount, minimum of 5 divisions, 12 templates for each, and 12 regional offices. I just got the brief today and management want all in 14 days time. (And I only work part time!)

    Details:
    In the top left corner of the page will be a company logo and name (all scanned as a picture, because we use a custom font that no one would have on their pc outside the company)

    In the top right hand corner of the page, parallel with the company logo will be the return address

    Immediately underneath the company logo and name, they would like a drop down box that lets you chose which division you work for, such as Management Services, Facilities Management etc etc. There are 6 to chose from as it must include a default blank because some of us poor slobs work for the company in general and don't need to include a division

    So far so good. I can handle this much. But now here come the hard part

    Depending on the choice in the drop-down box, the contents of the return address will change, because each division has their own switchboard and e-mail addresses. AND

    Also depending on the choice in the drop down box, the contents of a strapline, the blurb at the bottom of the page, will change. So if the dropdown is default and therefore blank, the strapline will read "ABC is dedicated to making the IT Department's life a misery" If the dropdown says Management Services, the strapline will read "ABC Management Services is dedicated to making the IT Department's life even a bigger misery"

    Conditions:
    Templates are to stay on the C drive
    No one knows VB
    We have been instructed not to change the Normal Template, so I am guessing that Autotext is out.
    We don't use Access

    Words of wisdom please and some of consolation wouldn't go amiss <img src=/S/weep.gif border=0 alt=weep width=21 height=16>

  2. #2
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    Re: Templates (2000 SR2)

    I have at least some good news for you: any template can store AutoText entries, not just Normal.dot. You can create a template containing all the AutoText entries you need, and let users install it in their Startup folder for Word; this will make the template available as a global template.
    You can copy/move AutoText entries between templates the same way you copy/move styles, custom toolbars and modules (macros): through the Organizer (Tools/Templates and Add-ins..., Organizer button)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Templates (2000 SR2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by jscher2000 on 08-Apr-03 18:38. I overlooked something VERY relevant.)</P>Sometimes you can get people to do some of your work for you if you give them an incentive. What better incentive than promising them personally customized templates? Pipe dream?? Here's my thought:

    You can design templates to use document properties and DOCPROPERTY fields to fill in the information in the document. Thus, you could have the address, department, phone, fax, e-mail, tag line, and so forth stored in the template's custom properties. Each new document generated would be perfect and ready-to-go as soon as it appeared after a File>New....

    In order to do this, you would need a few different parts.

    First, you create your 12 "master" templates. Add custom properties with values like "Division [Register Today]", "Street Address [Register Today]", etc. Place the relevant fields in the document body and footer. If a blank department creates an unattractive blank line, you probably could use an IF field to cure that problem. (Macropod is our expert on complicated field syntax.)

    Second, you create a Word form with all the different choices users will need to make to customize the template. For example, they'd choose a division and office. To register themselves with their templates (that sounds weird, doesn't it), they'd use this simple form a single time.

    Third, you give them a macro that pushes the values out to the 12 templates in the user's template folder. The macro might use Microsoft's DSOfile.exe program, which lets you insert custom document properties into documents without having to open them, or you could open, edit, save, and close each one.

    This isn't relevant, since you specified the C drive, but I'll leave it for historical purposes. Now, it occurs to me, if the templates are going to be shared by an office (using, for example, the Workgroup Templates folder), it would only need to have this process run once, by one person, who has privileges to write to that folder. But it wouldn't be as easy to customize it to each division if they share a single folder. In fact, it really wouldn't work.

    The approach you described originally, where someone can dynamically change their division on the fly, has the benefit of being customizable for support personnel who might need to wear multiple hats. However, adding form elements to everyday documents and dealing with protection issues makes templates incrementally harder to use and support: not a lot, but just that much more complicated (like, "why is page setup grayed out?"). So if they can live without the dynamic part, I like my method better. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Sorry this went on so long, but I hope it gives you some useful ideas.

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Templates (2000 SR2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by Phil Rabichow on 08-Apr-03 17:47. to add the last two paragraphs)</P>To follow up on Hans suggestion, I would create each of the address lines as AutoText in a custom template. Create these addresses with a special style, e.g. LogoStyle. Then where you want the address, use an {Autotextlist} field. The context will be:

    {AUTOTEXTLIST "click here for company name & address" s "LogoStyle"}

    Then you bookmark the autotextlist field. Let's call it bmk1. Where you want the strapline, you can use an IF or Compare field. e.g. you would have to expand this for various alternatives, but a simple one would be:

    {If bmk1 "" "ABC is dedicated to making the IT Department's life a misery" "ABC Management Services is dedicated to making the IT Department's life even a bigger misery" }

    Note that you would have to update the fields after making changes (F9).

    Alternatively, you could create a document with each of the addresses & straplines & use IF fields combined with INCLUDETEXT fields. However, I've never tried this with more than about 3 alternatives, although it's theoretically possible.

    If I have some more time, I'll see if I can come up with something more definite. Maybe macropod will see this; he has an excellent command of fields. Oh yes, you do have my condolences.

    i.e. in general:
    { IF Bmk1 = "Condition1" "Type if Condition1 is true" "{ IF Bmk2 = "Condition 2" "Type if Condition 2 is true" "{ IF Bmk3 = "Condition 3" "Type if condition 3 is true" "condition false" }" }" }

    To get the number & placement of quotes correct, in the first {IF}, type the double quotes for both the true & false condition. The next {IF} field goes inside the false set of quotes. Then the process is repeated.

  5. #5
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    Re: Templates (2000 SR2)

    Hetty,

    You certainly have the sympathy of everyone here, because you are being asked to do the nearly impossible!

    It may be that this can be done through a virtuosic application of fields, but it would really be much more straightforward to do this using VBA. You only need one template (that can get put on everyone's C: drive). A userform (dialog) appears when a new document is created, which provides the user with whichever options they need to be given. Based on the options selected for the user, code can then populate the relevant portions of the new document with the appropriate address info, straplines etc. If you don't want to store the address and strapline data in Access, it can be hard-coded as constants into the template code.

    In the end it will be much easier to build and maintain if you do this with code.

    Gary

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    Re: Templates (2000 SR2)

    I am grateful for the replies and I will try all the suggestions. Hopefully, I will be able to offer some options to the head honchos. An added complication as I discovered last night while trying to work with some of the field codes is that the address that currently exists is a table, inserted into a frame (these templates were originally done in Word 6) and have some Word Basic Macros attached. And the address is a different combination of font styles.

    I am in favour of using some autotext, but I was instructed not to use autotext because they feel the secretaries are too stupid to understand autotext (never mind it is one of the first things I show them in training and they do use it quite a lot!). If I can create a template that stores the autotext in a file that doesn't disturb the usual autotext entries then we may be getting somewhere. The original brief also called for one template that by a simple click would turn it into any one of the 32 templates that the company uses as standard. I must say I knocked that one on the head right there. Yet one person was convinced that he able to do this in old Word Perfect.

    Again thanks to everyone, <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15>

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