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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    Hi Rich:
    One could probably write a book...or at least several chapters...about styles, reformatting, & templates. I'll give you some of my opinions, but note that others may differ.

    1. I think it's best to use a custom template for every type of document that you create. That way you can easily make changes to one type of future documents by changing just one template. You can also store Autotext, macros, styles, toolbars, & shortcut keys that are peculiar to just one type of document.

    When you create a document, it inherits its styles from the attached template at the time of creation. After that, the styles are contained in the document & are NOT affected by the attached template. HOWEVER, if someone receives a file & checks Tools/Templates & add-ins/Automatically update document styles, then any styles in your document will be changed to their attached template, PROVIDED they have the same style name.

    There is a greater chance of having the same style names as another user if you use the normal template, since most people use Word "right out of the box".

    2. As a result of the above, you should give unique names to all your styles to prevent other users from accidentally changing them.

    3. Word documents do not have a high degree of secuity, so if someone wants to deliberately mess with your documents, it's possible. You might be better advised to send the final version as a PDF file. I suppose that you can email a copy of your lease & then compare it to the original when you get it back (using the Compare Documents feature). While this feature is not always accurate, it should detect whether there are NO changes or not in a document.

    4. Normal.dot is more prone to corruption than a custom template because it is targeted by macro viruses more frequently.

    5. When you use a custom template, you only need to keep toolbars, etc. that are used exclusively with the attached document. Other toolbars, macros, etc. that you use for all types of documents can either be stored in normal.dot OR in a global template (my preference). A global template is one which is in the Word or Office startup folder.
    my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  2. #2
    3 Star Lounger rcbjr2's Avatar
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    Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    (Edited by HansV to make URL clickable - see <!help=19>Help 19<!/help>)

    I am working on an article about Word and WordPerfect, and ran across this article on the MVP site: http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/General/WordVsWordPerfect.htm. One of the recommendations is to avoid basing documents on the Normal template because they will be reformatted as they are passed around from computer to computer. I'm a lawyer that works on lease documents, so my Word docs get emailed out a lot. I have used styles extensively to format the lease docs, although the styles are generally stored in normal.dot (although they may be in the doc itself for all I know <grin>). I haven't noticed any real problems when I get the documents back, so is it good advice to base documents on a template other than the normal template? Should I create a special template that has a copy of my toolbars, styles, etc., and base my documents on this special template? Or is the advice to not use the normal template based on many users who use direct formatting rather than styles so that if they do share docs, they very well could be changed by styles in someone else's normal template??

    Thx.

    -Rich Belthoff

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    3 Star Lounger rcbjr2's Avatar
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    Thanks for the advice. That actually helps. I've been using Heading 1, etc., to number paragraphs because it has been easier, and contemplating whether or not I should create special styles for these paragraphs, and now I suspect that I'd better go ahead and create specially named styles so that someone else's system doesn't overwrite heading 1, etc. It hasn't really been a problem yet, but you never now.

    As a short-cut to create a special template, could I move my normal.dot to my Word Startup folder and rename it so that it loads and then let Word generate a completely blank new normal.dot, and then keep my settings in the "normal" template I just moved? I have a template similar to this already that has all of my keyboard reassignments (i.e., it's a template in Word Startup and overrides the default keyboard assignments).

    Thx.

    -Rich Belthoff

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    Hi Rich:
    I've never tried moving normal.dot to the startup folder & then renaming it, but I can't think of a reason why you couldn't.

    As far as numbered styles, that's a different issue. There are advantages in using the built-in heading styles & modifying them, rather than creating new ones. The heading styles are somewhat stable, you can use Alt+Shift+Arrow to promote & demote, & you can easily create a TOC. However, if these are not important to you, there is no reason why you can't create your own numbered styles. Be aware, though, that there are issues in setting up a numbered style, regardless of whether you use heading styles or not. See <post#=76976>post 76976</post#> by Gary Frieder.
    Cheers,

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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    Hi Rich, I am with Phil. As a consultant, I often have to circulate documents to different members of my clients community. I have found that it is better to have a standard (non-Normal.dot) template for each one of my document types. Starting with a fresh template, rather than recycling an old document is also better practice. Word has a tendency to store a lot of stuff (changes, dates, etc...) that you may not want your clients to see.

    You indicated that you are a lawyer. Do you "scrub" your documents before you send them out? Just asking... <img src=/S/compute.gif border=0 alt=compute width=40 height=20>

    Regards,

    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>

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    I don't know. There is a setting that updates the styles in the document to match the user's default, but is it widely used? I guess I'm not super-concerned that someone will see a different font than I intended... if I need a particular appearance, I'll print to PDF. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger rcbjr2's Avatar
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    Thanks for the advice on styles. When I started using Word, I poked around on the web and found an article entitled something like the 7 Deadly Sins of Word Numbering, which recommended that you always "have to dig through to China" to edit numbering (in other words, always edit numbering in Heading 1 and not anywhere else). This is just so counterintuitive that I can't be lieve it's been designed this way. I guess this is why lawyers constantly complain about numbering in Word. At least Word 2002 got rid of the Jason tabs. We have Word 2000 at work, so I'm constantly deleting extra tabs by hand.

    Thx.

    -Rich Belthoff

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    3 Star Lounger rcbjr2's Avatar
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    Re: Not Using the Normal Template (Word 2000/2002)

    I don't always scrub documents, but I don't keep a lot of metadata in them either. I don't use track changes much (we use DeltaView instead, and I create PDF of the redline, not a DOC file). If there is junk in the doc summary, it's leftover from ages ago and I don't much worry about it (I suppose the editing time is in there, but that's not a big deal to me).

    Thx.

    -Rich Belthoff

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