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  1. #1
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    Does anyone use Formatting Restrictions? (2003)

    Does anyone use the Formatting Restrictions command in Word 2003? How's it working out for you?
    I've found that it's a little too draconian for most users: It prevents all direct formatting (including simple bold, italic, etc) unless it's applied by a style, and even strips such stuff out of pasted text.

    My users merely want to prevent changes to existing styles, and new styles from being created. Is there someting less cruel that could be done instead?
    I can't find any VBA hooks to the style selection, modification and creation commands.

    My alternate concept was to turn on the restrictions, but since macros can "get around" the locks, create alternate Bold, Italic, etc. buttons for users to use, and hook the EditPaste command to temporarily turn off restrictions. However, it's very difficult to reproduce the "indicator" function of the bold, etc. buttons, again because you can't "hook" the style change, so applying Heading 1 won't get "noticed" by my app (yes, I'm using WindowSelectionChange events).

    To quote the late Robert Palmer, "Ooh, I'm lookin' for clues." (dunt dint dunt dint dunt dint)

  2. #2
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    Re: Does anyone use Formatting Restrictions? (2003)

    I haven't ever used the formatting restrictions because anyone can open the file in an earlier version of Word and do whatever they like to the file. Whilst the formatting restrictions are a good future capability, I don't think they are really worth much until all users are on a 2003+ version.

    <img src=/S/rant.gif border=0 alt=rant width=66 height=37>
    The other reason I have never used the restrictions is because of the 'all or nothing' issue that you have discovered. I believe that restricting the ability of users to make the changes they want is counterproductive. Draconian network administrators who disable the ability to control aspects of our PC and files impede the ability of staff to maximise their productivity. I think there is a problem when we can't trust our fellow employees with $2,000 dollars worth of hardware and software when we are willing to trust them with maintaining good relations with customers and suppliers worth millions to the company.
    <img src=/S/rantoff.gif border=0 alt=rantoff width=66 height=37>

    If you do want to allow font variations within the restricted docs then you may need to create all all the possible variations as character styles and then hijack the built-in commands with macros to apply these character styles. If you need to allow a combination of possible variations then you will need to make these as additional character styles too (eg Bold + Italic) because I don't think any text can have more than one character style applied to it.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  3. #3
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    Re: Does anyone use Formatting Restrictions? (2003)

    Yeah, that's pretty much the case. My clients are asking for tools to prevent changes to styles or new styles being added, and I'm trying to accomodate.

    I suggested the idea of all those character styles, and got a resounding "eeeewwwwww"

    Once again, I'm sweeping up behind the elephant.

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