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  1. #1
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    Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    Subject edited by HansV to be more descriptive. Also, request for direct e-mail assistance removed, see <!rule=10>Rule 10<!/rule>.

    Some one may have posted this ( Still looking) But I am and IT manager of an engineerin offce. I am forced to upgrade users as computer die out. So I am stuck having to use 3 version of Office / Word. Our problem we are running into is we use for for writing reports (10 to 60 pages) and what we are unable to do is have one person creat and work on the Doc, then have someone else (w/ Dif ver) open it to edit it. When multiable people open the doc it looses it formating and most of the time will not print out the same. We have looked at using a stand Normal.dot but with 60+ users this might be hard to manage.
    Does any one have any sugestions for this type of work group ? Thanks for reading.

    Brian

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    Re: Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    The file versions are not likely to be the biggest problem for you as Word 97 through to Word 2003 are all compatible.

    If you are finding formatting changing then you should look at what format people are saving the files in (are they DOC files?). Also check whether they have ticked the 'Automatically update' option under Tools > Templates and Addins (don't tick this).

    With printing, Word repaginates the doc depending on the printer/printer driver that is being used. This means that pagination can change when a user changes the active printer. It also means that a different user may see different pagination if their system and printer is not exactly the same as the previous user. Normally this is not an issue but if it is critical for a particular file of yours then you should save the file in Acrobat (PDF) format where the pagination will not change - and you can't easily edit the file.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Re: Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    Hey Andrew
    Thanks for the reply, Yes they are doc files. The problem I see it (I think) is the Normal.dot. We have user one create the report Lets say in Word 2k. Then he will save save it to a server share. Then User #2 will open with Word XP. The biggest thing I see happeneing is the line spaceing shifts down and throws of the page breaks and page alignment. Second thing is the info in the hearder and footer section might be missing. We do something like (for sections) 2.3.5 ____________________ Some Title ________________________ for sections.
    I have seen thise formatting correct in one version and missing in others. Is there a good way to have one type of file format for a large work group of people. Should I make some sort of template and have them all use it each time they create a new doc file. I dont have the budget to get everyone on to 2003 so I am stuck working with 3 different version of word / office.

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    Re: Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    Tips for working with long documents on multiple PCs...
    1. Create a template using the lowest version of the software
    2. Make sure when you set up the styles they are based on "no style"
    3. Make sure that automatically update styles is no ticked

    Alternatively, move everyone to 2003 and protect the document for styles

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    Re: Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    Thanks Karen
    I will have to try the lower ver Template.

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    Re: Collaborating on reports (Word 2k,XP,03)

    There are options for how Word deals with line spacing to be found under Tools > Options > Compatibility. Where a user sets their options differently to other users you will see pagination differences. Where line lengths in the header/footer are an issue this may be due to using spaces (or characters) to space out the items and the typefaces on each user's machine do not match exactly. Good document design will remove the vast majority of these types of issues. For instance if your styles all incorporate the correct rules such as 'Page Break Before', 'Keep with Next' and 'Keep Together' and Tab stops then there is rarely a need to put in a Hard page break.

    Without seeing your documents, I would guess that your users should be seeking a robust template and additional training to solve these sorts of issues you are having. Creating a template and distributing it to all users is a great idea especially if you provide training on how to use the features. This will allow your users to be far more productive and give you much more consistent documentation.

    None of the issues are insurmountable but they are most likely due to templates they are using and the level of expertise of your users rather than the versions of Word. If you could post some sample docs I'm confident we can point out several areas where the way the file is constructed is behind the problems you are seeing.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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