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    Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    We have a new template we're beta testing, and we have a strange problem. Several of the styles within the document itself and used in the headers and footers have negative indents. For the most part, these work perfectly fine as intended. And then, inexplicably, the negative indent gets set back to zero. There doesn't seem to be any consistency to where or how it happens. You can apply Heading 2 and it will be fine, and then apply it again a few paragraphs later, and it will be wrong (and the first one is still correct). Today I went into the paragraph settings and made a change to the hanging indent, without changing the existing negative paragraph indent, and when I clicked OK, the hanging indent was right, but the regular indent had reset. Just now, I added a section further on in the document, and when I scrolled back up to a previous section, where I had just checked the heading indents, the second line of the header was still correct, but the first line had gone back to zero. And I hadn't even been in the header!

    Has anyone seen this reported as a known bug? Or known of others with the problem who have found a solution? It is driving us nuts! Thanks!

    --Karyl

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    This sounds strange and I haven't heard of this problem before.

    How are you applying the style? Are there macros involved at all in this template - Does the same behaviour happen if you open Word while holding down the Shift Key?

    I assume that these paragraphs are formatted with autonumbering - is that the case? Are you modifying autonumbering elements in between setting the paragraph and returning back to look at it again.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    When I was first setting up list templates for heading styles (with negative indents) in Word 2002, I ran into that a lot. And it's not just you and me. Here's Word MVP John McGhie on the subject:

    "Word allows either positive or negative indents from the margins. I find that it is more stable and easier to work with if you set the page margin to the far left and always use positive indents. This is contrary to the common WordPerfect practice where you set the page margin three centimetres in and use out-dents (negative indents) for your headings. I find Word is unstable and fiddly to use set up this way."

    I've got a set of heading styles with negative indents that have been working for me for a little while now (in limited use), but I think my current (and maybe temporary) success may result from the fact that I've completely stopped modifying the heading styles (in "digging to China" fashion or otherwise) and am no longer copying and pasting heading paragraphs back and forth between documents with different list templates.

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    One other thing to check:

    If you check the 'Modify Style' dialog for the Heading 2 and Normal styles, is there by any chance a checkmark next to 'Automatically update'? If so, that might cause the problem - Heading 2 is based on Normal style, so if Automatically update is on for Normal style, and a change is made to the formatting of a paragraph that has Normal style applied, it could affect the formatting of paragraphs with Heading 2 style as well.

    Gary

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    If the styles that are giving you trouble involve list templates, and just in case you don't already know this stuff...

    Shauna Kelly has an excellent step-by-step guide for setting up outline numbering schemes so they're as stable as possible: http://www.shaunakelly.com/word/numbering/...eNumbering.html.

    Note in particular that, for any style that's linked to a list template and that includes indents (negative or otherwise), you should set the indents in the list template only. They'll end up reflected in the style's Paragraph Format settings, but that's because Word does that automatically as a result of the link to the list template. You should never set or adjust the indent settings in the dialog for the style's Paragraph Format.

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    Sorry for the long delay in replying to all of your suggestions. I ended up resetting all the numbering in the template and following the steps in Shauna Kelly's article. What we ended up with was a strange combination of stability and instability. For the most part, our negative margins appear to be holding--until it doesn't!

    We have discovered two instances when everything always goes hinky. If you click the number in Heading 1, Heading 1 will lose its negative indent and Headings 7 & 8 gain a positive indent of the same value as the Heading 1 negative indent. Always. (I've attached a sample document that will illustrate this phenomenon, although which headings change and how is different than our real template.)

    Then, if you start to go into the Numbering setup for the style, and back out again by clicking OK instead of Cancel, even if you don't make any changes, all of the negative indents go away--some of the time. It appears that even if you have your cursor in the Heading style, when you go into the numbering format dialog, the style in use is not always the one selected, and clicking OK changes the numbering to the one that IS selected. So, the styles are changed even though you don't change them. And going back and picking the RIGHT numbering style doesn't always work; it just isn't always there, anymore.

    After working with this for WAY too long, I finally added a macro the re-sets the settings, and it almost always works. So if the numbering goes wacky, the user can run the macro to set it back. Referring to the numbering style by the name I assigned to it doesn't work; querying the names of all the numbering styles revealed that my name was assigned to three different styles. It was pretty much impossible to track the logic or see where the confusion was being introduced. So I couldn't call it by name. Instead, I went back and manually set everything (via code). And, as I said, it almost always works.

    So, many thanks for all your help. The article was great and helped clear up some long-time confusion I've had about how the numbering styles work. Hopefully, we've got this as stable as it can be without changing out all of our negative indents by resetting the margin, although we're holding that option in reserve. This is a very complex template, with lots of places where we'd have to make changes, in the template itself and in the code, so we're waiting to go that direction until we have more cause.

    --Karyl
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Losing Negative Indents (Office 2003, SP1)

    It occurred to me after my previous post that there's one other style-stabilization issue that I've read about and that I don't think is mentioned in Shauna Kelly's article.

    One or more Word guru types (can't remember where I picked this up) advise that a style doesn't become fully stable (or maybe we should say, "as stable as it could be") until it's actually been applied to at least one paragraph in the document or template. So it's possible your results could improve if, after you set up your styles in a template, you apply those styles to a set of dummy paragraphs, save the template, and then delete the paragraphs and re-save.

    I'm not sure if this advice purportedly applies to all styles or only (or primarily) to styles with list templates.

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