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  1. #1
    KTYorke
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    Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    I haven't posted here in a while, glad to be back though! <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/kiss.gif border=0 alt=kiss width=15 height=15>

    I have created a template for my department to create manuals and such. One of the styles is for numbered procedures. We're now reviewing the template and one of the questions that arose is why I used Outline Numbered rather than Numbered. I know that numbering is one of the many annoyances of W97, but I wanted some of your real life reactions and feelings on this.

    What is easier to manage, work with, etc.:
    A list that is in the Numbered style or Outline Numbered style?

    I worked for a company that trained, among other things, Word 97 and one of the trainers suggested that outline numbering was simply easier to manage. I'm not sure of the exact reasoning behind that statement though.

    <img src=/S/trophy.gif border=0 alt=trophy width=15 height=15> I did find <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.microsystems.com/fra_sevenlawsofoutlinenumbering.htm> this site</A> in my favorites list (I think it's thanks to Charles Kenyon <img src=/S/king.gif border=0 alt=king width=21 height=22>) but I suppose I'm looking for more of a comparison/ pros and cons about using Numbered or Outline Numbered lists in a template style.

    FWIW the lists we create in our manuals do not need outline numbers. We use it for steps in a procedure. So it's 1-whatever then restarts at 1 with the next procedure. Nothing fancy.

    Thanks!
    have fun

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Hi,

    Back again. Outline numbering attached to styles is the only way to do automatic numbering if your document is going to go through much in the way of editing or revision or will be handled by multiple people.

    See <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/WordsNumberingExplained.htm>Word's Numbering Explained by John McGhie</A> (<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/>http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/</A>) for the nitty gritty.

    You may also want to take a look at (addbalance.com/usersguide/numbering.htm) and download the template from <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart2.htm>How to Create a Template, Part II (<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart2.htm>http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customizatio...mplatePart2.htm</A>).

    Hope this helps.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  3. #3
    JustCallMeAl
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    What is the advantage to Outline Numbered v. Numbered under Format, Bullets and Numbering?

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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Hi KT!
    I haven't posted for some time as well. I agree with Charles re the use of Styles linked to B&N & his reference to John McGhie is a good one & all of the MVP stuff at that site is very helpful.
    If it will help further I'd be happy to send you via e-mail a basic numbering template which has a 'fly-out' menu indicating styles, shortcut keys, etc. The template may not be what you are looking for but it may give you an idea as to how styles, bullets & numbering fit together and you can adapt the styles to suit you. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    Patricia

  5. #5
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    See the John McGhie article. Bottom line is that Word's automatic numbering scheme is broken. Outline numbering tied to styles is only method likely to hold up under any editing.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  6. #6
    KTYorke
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Chas, I knew you'd be the man with the plan here... well, in this case, the man with the links <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> thanks! I knew something was wrong with the Numbered list in Word, just needed confirmation when I went back to my group to report that fact.

    Pat, welcome back! I'd love to see the template you have if only to have a look. (send it to the e-mail in my profile... just replace the # with @) For the things we're doing here at work I'm not sure I'd use something so fancy, I need as cut and dry as possible with as little numbering mistakes as possible for users who don't care HOW, just that it works...

    Al, you got it... >>advantage to Outline Numbered v. Numbered under Format, Bullets and Numbering>> That's what I'm talking about.

    Thanks to all... any other comments are always more than welcome!!
    have fun

  7. #7
    JustCallMeAl
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Unfortunately, your question has not been answered. What are the advantages of one over the other. Except for the type of numbering (outline allows sub-level numbering, as in an "outline"), there are none. They are the same.

    Please be aware that when Charles Kenyon said, "Outline numbering tied to styles is [the] only method likely to hold up under any editing," that this is not the entire story--at least according to the MVPS article he referenced. In that article, this is stated (emphasis mine):

    <hr>There is only one way of avoiding such problems, (other than resorting to field-based numbering); and that is to avoid using the Format>Bullets and Numbering dialog altogether, and to apply styles instead, which must be created using VBA, using named List Templates. See <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/WordsNumberingExplained.htm>http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/Wo...ngExplained.htm</A><hr>
    Yes, you use styles, but it must be styles "created using VBA." This is a very vital point.

    To delve a little deeper into this, which I didn't find at the MVPS site's documents (I downloaded the PDF file and did a search on "document" and "property," finding neither) (Edited comment: This is incorrect. The article does speak about it a bit), one of the most misunderstood points about bullets and numbering is the fact that these are document properties, not paragraph properties.

    In other words, unlike Word Perfect, bullets and numbering is on the same level as margins, paper size, paper orientation, columns, etc. It is not on the level of indents, spacing, keep with next, etc.

    Therefore, when you customize bullets and numbering, and it appears to change paragraph formatting, that is because bullets and numbering is a document property which overrides paragraph formatting.

    Think of a tree, a document property would be like the single trunk. A paragraph property would be like a limb off that trunk. Bullets and Numbering are on the single trunk, not on a limb.

    So, in answer to your original question. Any use of bullets and numbering is problematic. Except for the looks of the bullet/number, they all use the document property "listtemplates," which is problematic. I would suggest using field numbering (see <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/WordsNumberingExplained.htm>http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/Wo...ngExplained.htm</A>). It is very versatile (especially using the seq field), quick, easy (relatively), and is not fraught with the problems that bullets and numbering is.

    In summery, there is no advantage of Numbered over Outline Numbered.

    I would consider these next thoughts very seriously,
    <hr>"Now you can understand why MVPs often advise people simply to remove all the numbering [using bullets and numbering] from a document and start again: the complexities far exceed the capacity of a human being to work with them" (<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/WordsNumberingExplained.htm>http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/Wo...ngExplained.htm</A>).<hr>

    JustCallMeAl

  8. #8
    KTYorke
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Thanks Al... I'll definitely take a closer look at that article, though time is short today.

    That last quote you put in is exactly how I go through and fix any numbering screw ups I run into on anyone's document now. Start from the first one and just go through them all... what a pain in the butt <img src=/S/moon.gif border=0 alt=moon width=15 height=15>! (however, better than having a procedure starting at step 13)

    Thanks
    have fun

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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Hi KT and Al et al,

    Just want to go on the record (again) as saying that the take on Word numbering in John McGhie's article is unnecessarily pessimistic, and while well-intended, may be doing more harm than good by leading people to think that Word numbering just can't be made to work.

    The fact is that it can be made to work reasonably reliably (evidence: our firm's 4000+ users and 2 million+ legal docs :-)), with a certain amount of care and knowing how to navigate around the gotchas. Search this forum for some prior threads that provide information on how to do this either manually or programatically.

    BTW I also agree with Charles' observation that outline numbering schemes tend to be a little more stable than simple numbering - in my experience, they're a little harder to set up, but easier to fix.

    Gary

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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    KT, and others who participated in this thread about numbering in Word 2000:

    I've just joined the party -- recently installed Office 2000 in my Windows 98 system, after several years with Office 97. Aslo recently found Woody's site. Among other things, I write computer documentation with lots of short lists of procedures, each of which needs to start with #1, and each of which needs to stay where I put it on a page. New documents are creating nightmares of numbering messes. To make things worse, my work won't be confined just to my own computer.

    For one thing, you mention that you go through a messy document and "start over" with numbers to get them right. Exactly what do you mean? I work with templates of styles, and also use the Format-Bullets and Numbering method, but couldn't begin to tell you which when. When one doesn't work, I try the other. Word 2000 programmers must be laughing up their sleeves at poor, stupid users like me.

    I have the Word 2000 Bible (small help). I've studied the MVPs article by John McGhie (Word's numbering explained) but didn't find any real answers there. And I downloaded the DocTools manuals called Outliner and Polisher to see if it's worth $90 to buy that utility, but I don't understand that at all.

    What solutions have you worked out since this thread started in May? Are you willing to share?

    Betsy Frick

  11. #11
    KTYorke
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Hi Betsy and welcome to the lounge!

    Numbering stinks... what a pain in the <img src=/S/moon.gif border=0 alt=moon width=15 height=15>. The only thing that aggravates me more is section breaks (look for a new post from me soon about that most likely <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15>)

    Willing to share? You ARE new here! <img src=/S/wink.gif border=0 alt=wink width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    I must warn you... I'm anal and so this may sound like a lot but it works for me... and it always clears up any problems I may have. Once I go through all this and I do run into a problem later, I'm able to track it down easily. It's really not that bad once you get the hang of it...

    When I said that in a messy document I just start over with numbering, I mean that I first check the numbering style used... this MUST be used consistently (Note: I don't do outline numbering with levels or anything, just straight lists of procedures so it's easy for me to stick with only one style for anything in a list) so I go into Format/Style/Modify/Format/Numbering and check to see what numbering scheme is used. (for example: the outline numbering tab, third from the left, first row)

    I then make sure there is no renegade numbered styles... meaning the numbering style I just checked on wasn't used anywhere it wasn't supposed to be... (I've found many users aren't too keen on styles, they apply one by accident and manually take out the numbering instead of changing the style... you will most definitely screw the pooch on that) After all that, go to the very first instance there is a numbered list style and reapply the style I don't care if it's right or not. (NOT with that darned button on the tool bar... that doesn't exist to me... I've killed it as it causes more @#$!% than it's worth <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>) Then I right click, Bullets and Numbering... and make sure that the same numbering the style used is used there... (if it's not, I DON'T manually change it there! I cancel out and reapply the style that I started with) I then go to 2 in that list, reapply and check Bullets and Numbering... to make sure that it's not only the right numbering scheme but also has the Continue from previous list option button marked. (if it's not, I go back to the document put my cursor at the end of the previous number and press enter... this has always applied the correct style and continue option for me, I cut the sentence from the misplaced step without the end paragraph park and paste it where I need it) I then go to 3 and don't bother reapplying the style, just going into Bullets and Numbering... and make sure the scheme and option button are both correct.

    Once I get to the next list I go through the whole thing again... go to 1 and reapply the style, check the scheme and make sure the restart numbering option button is marked. I go on as above from there through the entire document.

    Eventually, inevitably, I will find that one of the lists starts with a new scheme or a 3 is a new scheme and marked to restart numbering. Once I go through the whole document I almost never have a problem again. The issue about other people using your document is a tough one... I'm lucky that I was able to the write procedures and create the template that my entire department now has to use religiously. (Mainly because they don't want to look ridiculous to the kid <img src=/S/baby.gif border=0 alt=baby width=15 height=15> because I can tell if they did something themselves and strayed from my template <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15>)

    Once it gets into a user's hands that has no clue about styles you have to either clench your teeth and pray <img src=/S/grovel.gif border=0 alt=grovel width=31 height=23> or explain to them what that drop-down box in the upper left hand corner is...

    Whew... I warned you... you asked... that's what I do... <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15> I told you, it's a royal pain in the rear but it works. I spent a lot of late nights cursing out my machine, the printer, and anything else I could think of to get to this point of resigned mindless editing... I've learned a lot from all the cursing... (that I don't like the taste of Ivory soap) and that what my dad used to say is SO true... "Do it right the first time and you don't have to do it again." In some cases it would be "FIX it right the first time..." The time you spend going through a document like that will save you the cursing when you think you have it then find that your last list starts with a 13 rather than a 1... <img src=/S/hairout.gif border=0 alt=hairout width=31 height=23>

    good luck!!
    have fun

  12. #12
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Thanks so much for your detailed information about Word 2000 numbering! You are right that it is a major pain in the ---. I'm slowly getting to understand the changes in the way Word does numbers and bullets, and more slowly figuring out what to do to get what I want, not what Microsoft decides I want. Your notes will help a lot.

    Betsy

  13. #13
    KTYorke
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    Re: Numbering Template Style - what do you think?

    Glad I could help out... FWIW I detailed the above information with Word97 but I have done the same with Word 2000 so it should still apply, although some things may be named slightly different or be in different locations. From what I remember of W2K I think the whole thing is the same.
    It took me a good year to figure out what I know of numbering... a lot comes from the help of this lounge, but almost equally as much from trial and error.
    Good Luck!!
    have fun

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