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  1. #1
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    Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    I am a longstanding WP user who is sincerely trying to learn Word. After hundreds of hours of reading and experimenting, there remain about three major things which I simply cannot fathom about MS Word. In the academic environment in which I work, outlining is everything. I use it everyday. And if I could have 2 minutes of your time to show you how WP handles it you would NEVER go back to Word. Unfortunately i have shown my college age children how WP handles outlining (very simply) and so they too have now joined me trying to be a WP user in a Microsoft world. Most painful indeed. Is there anyone who can tell me (us) how to create a simple outline? And please don't tell me how to apply those stupid heading styles (where is the numbering) or use the ridiculous outline view, + and - signs I understand but they do not an outline make. There must be some secret.

    I write macros in WP. I am an advanced computer type person. BUT WORD WILL NOT OUTLINE FOR ME. Please help.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    If your frustration has reached the $99 threshold, or you can find it in someone else's budget, check out this new product designed especially for people who miss the old "outline processors" like More: <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.casesoft.com/notemap/index.htm>CaseSoft NoteMap</A>. 30 day free trial. I haven't tried it yet.

    A <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.google.com/search?q="outline+processor">Google search for "outline processor"</A> returns a bunch of other leads.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    In the spirit that one good rant deserves another . . . <img src=/S/gramps.gif border=0 alt=gramps width=20 height=20> I started out using machines called Word Processors. While they were really computers, they were set up to do nothing else but put words on paper. They even had special keys for formatting, cutting and pasting. They cost a lot of money. <img src=/S/money.gif border=0 alt=money width=17 height=15> Eventually, I shifted to a program on a PC called MultiMate that emulated a Wang Word Processor. MultiMate eventually stumbled off the scene, even though at the time it was a superior product to both Word Perfect and Microsoft Word. <img src=/S/bummer.gif border=0 alt=bummer width=15 height=15> I then took on Word Perfect and learned to love it.

    I wrote complex macros that exceeded a thousand lines and got WP to do anything I wanted (well anything that a computer and printer can do). <img src=/S/groovin.gif border=0 alt=groovin width=21 height=21> Then I took on a job in a Mac environment and had to use Word. I fought it all the way, even to the extent of installing WP on my Mac. Then I discovered a program called "More" on the Mac that did outlines that still exceed anything available in either Word or WP. One of the key features was something called a clone which was a way of saying a part of an outline that appeared in multiple places simultaneously. Changes to any clone would be reflected in all clones. Then the outlines could be very easily turned into presentations that would make PowerPoint users green with envy. This was in 1993 and I still can't do in Word, Word Perfect, and/or PowerPoint what I could do with More. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>

    Then my agency decided that we had to go with the WinTel world. <img src=/S/puke.gif border=0 alt=puke width=60 height=15> The Mac was (and is) a superior product for the average user. <img src=/S/argue.gif border=0 alt=argue width=50 height=25> I can do more with Wintel stuff simply because I'm willing to get my hands very dirty. It is much harder, though, to show someone else how to produce the same results. On the Mac, I can get very close to the same results with much less effort and much less knowledge of how the computer works.

    I agree with you that WP is better at some things than is Word. That said . . . Get Over It! <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>

    Word and Word Perfect work very differently from one another. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses, but if you try to use one of these programs as if it were the other, it is like pushing on a string! You are making a lot of extra work for yourself. <img src=/S/exclamation.gif border=0 alt=exclamation width=15 height=15>

    See <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.addbalance.com/word/wordperfect.htm>Word for Word Perfect Users</A> (addbalance.com/word/wordperfect.htm)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/WordVsWordPerfect.htm>Word Perfect compared to Word</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/TipsAndGotchas.htm>Tips and Gotchas</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/RevealCodes.htm>Does Word Have Reveal Codes?</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/General/WordPerfectConverters.htm>Word Perfect to Word Converters and Why None of Them Are Perfect</A>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://businesssoft.about.com/compute/businesssoft/library/blconvert.htm>Converting Documents from Word Perfect to Word</A>
    for information on Word for Word Perfect users.

    For more:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart1.htm>How to Create a Template (Part 1)</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart2.htm>How to Create a Template (Part 2)</A> - download the Word version which includes a template built the way the tutorial describes. It is a work of art. (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/Numbering/WordsNumberingExplained.htm> Word's Numbering Explained by John McGhie</A> (mvps.org/word/FAQs/)
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm>Understanding Styles]</A> (addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm)

    You said that you don't want anyone telling you to just apply the heading styles. Sorry, but that is where outlining in Word lives. That is like saying "I need to get to London, England. All of my future dreams depend on my getting there. Please tell me how ... but don't give me any of this nonsense about having to go across water. I just don't do that sort of thing! And besides, I can get to the house next door without going across any icky water." You need to learn about <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/styles.htm> Styles</A> - really learn! I resisted for years and now regret every day of those years because although that string was still very hard to push, it kept getting longer and longer, and had some very important projects tied to it! Once you understand styles and the Word concept of organizing things into Chinese boxes everything falls into place and instead of pushing a string, you can push a button that turns on the very powerful text processing machine known as Microsoft Word and it will start doing your work for you instead of running around behind you trying to undo what you just thought you did.

    So much for my rant. <img src=/S/hushmouth.gif border=0 alt=hushmouth width=16 height=16>

    <img src=/S/lightbulb.gif border=0 alt=lightbulb width=15 height=15>In the meantime, tell us what it is that you want to do through outlining that is giving you difficulty because Word can actually do a decent job with outlining. That is, tell me about getting to London and why, skip the part about which airport you like to use or what kind of meal you like on the flight. Why are you going to London? What are you trying to do with outlining? Why?

    Neither it nor Word Perfect hold a candle to More (or FrameWork) for outlining. But both can do a very good job of putting words on a page in a way that looks good. Both can also outline. With Word, you do want to know how you turn outlining on. Stay away from those toolbar buttons! Read the numbering article because outlining and numbering are very - very tightly interwoven in Word.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    Charles;

    A sincere thank you for your effort to help. I honestly am not trying to rant at Word folks. But I am frustrated. I would like to learn Word. I DO understand about 90% of it and find several features that I clearly prefer to WP. In my heart of hearts I now acknowledge them as "equal" programs. But I simply cannot get Word to do a simple
    I.
    A.
    1
    II.

    type of outline. I want to sit in class with my laptop and take an outline of a lecture (London). I do not want to have to use the mouse (too slow) nor have to flip back and forth between views. At points in the outline I want to be able to hit the enter key but retain my current outline number. I do not want the outline numbering to automatically indent for me. I want top level numbers to stay with left margin. And I want to be able to go back into the very middle of my outline at any time and insert something and have it properly numbered. And I want it all in Times New Roman 12 pt . I especially dislike the way I feel forced to use the formatting in Heading 1,2,3.. etc. And I have modified those styles (I have what I think to be a fair grasp of styles and templates) but they seem to change on me ever time I open Word 2000.

    Your description of Word "running around behind you trying to undo what you just thought you did" is a perfect picture of how I feel when outlining. I have found/learned how to turn off the auto stuff in most cases so other than outlinging, I feel I have control of Word rather than the other way around.

    Let me look further into your several links. Actually I had already found and read most of McGhie's material. Some of it was very frightening to say the least as he is quite honest about the complexity of Word's approach to numbering and especially outline numbering. His material actually made me wonder if outlining in Word is a aprt of the program that needs to be re-written from ground up. In the WP community, when we find a part of the program that simply does not work the way we want it to some good soul writes a macro to circumvent a useless program feature. I was actually hoping that by posting here someone would attach something to me that would give me outlinging the way I am used to. Does that not happen in the MS Word community?

    Thaks again for your help.

    Rick

  5. #5
    2 Star Lounger bobdog's Avatar
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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    I must be missing something here.

    1. Have you discovered the tab and shift-tab keys yet (to promote and demote)?
    2. Have you considered formatting a blank outline, saving it and reusing it (save under another name as soon as you open it)?
    3. Try turning off formatting and use Outline view. Use normal view when you're all done.

    There are lots of things to dislike about Word, and outlining is one of them (I dislike the goofy styles they assume you want). But it's serviceable.

    Frankly, I'm so PO'd about Microsoft's "Buy me and beg for a registration number" policy, I'm thinking Corel is looking better than ever. I may dump Office altogether. But I guess that's another subject.

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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    Rick,

    Does the attached file do what you need?

    If you're interested, send me a private e-mail and I can send you a guide describing how to set these up - this method requires no VBA.
    Word's numbering is definitely broken but you can live with if you know the workarounds; if you don't, well - "agggghhh". <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    There are two classes of macro solutions (that I know of) available as well. The type of method I use when doing this via code (spurred on by Andrew Lockton's example) is really simple to do, but it does lack flexibility (can't be used for instance, to change the properties of a number of different outline numbering schemes, all at one go).

    There is another code-based method which is more flexible but incredibly difficult to control. Charles has posted links to discussions on the MS Word newsgroups where MVPs like Dave Rado have been wrestling with this. It's just that this approach is too complicated to be within the practical grasp of anyone but a few savants.

    And to add a little to the previous rants, before switching to Word I worked for several years with FrameMaker. We did complex documents involving multiple outline numbering schemes. Setting these schemes up was simple enough that it could be taught to a newbie in 15 minutes and in 4 years of working with these documents, I never saw a numbering failure that couldn't be attributed to a user error that was simple to track down and fix - it was just bulletproof. Switching to Word was a real letdown in this regard.

    Anyway hope the above helps.

    Gary
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Re: Agggghhhh Outlining (W2K)

    I also love WordPerfect <img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> as I worked with it for many years. Word has a lot to be desired in the Outline department, however, it seems that the PR of MS is so strong that Corel is staying behind. Therefore, we "Word Perfect's Die Hard Individuals" have to live with Word, like it or not.

    It is true that it takes a BIG while for you to understand the way Word works. I would suggest that you get a book such as Word 97 Annoyances by Woody Leonhard, Lee Hudspeth & T.J. Lee, as you will be able to get a lot out of it. I mean a lot. I love the first paragraph Initial Inanities: "No, you aren't going crazy <img src=/S/crazy.gif border=0 alt=crazy width=15 height=15>..... Even the people who designed and built Word don't understand it. True fact."

    Also, if you work constantly with outlines, Payne Consulting has an excellent outline numbering program that is reasonably priced. It is called Numbering Assistant and has 20 outlines already set up for you. The Number Assistant also allows you to create your own outline. It has saved me hours of work. You can reach them at www.payneconsulting.com.

    Hope this helps! Hang in there.

    Vitoria

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