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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (2003 SP2)

    I'm working on a project that's a little outside my comfort zone, so I think this "issue" is really just a facet of me not being as conversant with Word as I need to be, so apologies if this is a really dumb post. I'm used to Word 2000, but this project is Word 2003.

    1. I have a series of documents that have been formatted by hand in order to conform to established style guides. They are based on Normal.dot. These pre-date me and my involvement in this issue.

    2. I have designed a series of styles to help people apply the formatting they need quickly. I have stored these in Normal.dot.

    3. When creating *new* documents, the styles work just fine.

    4. When *existing* documents (and they are based on Normal.dot) are opened, the styles I created and stored in Normal.dot do not appear to be available.

    4A. I can use the organizer to pull the styles from Normal.dot into the document. From that point, the styles work fine *except* for 5A below.

    5. If I change a style in Normal.dot, in documents created after the styles were created (IOW, #3 above), the styles automatically update exactly as I want them to.

    5A. However, the change to the style *is not* populated to the documents where I used the organizer (IOW, any file that predates the style, #4A above). The style seems to be disconnected from the style of the same name in Normal.dot, even though it was brought in to the document from Normal.dot using the Organizer.

    Question 1: I was under the impression that anything you put in Normal.dot is available to anything based on Normal.dot, even if the document pre-dates the change. IOW, why do the styles not appear to be available to documents created before the style? Why do I have the issue as noted in #4 above? Is this just the way it is with regard to styles in Normal.dot?

    Question 2: If I have to move the styles from Normal.dot into pre-existing documents (using the Organizer or any other method), is there any way to ensure that the style is tied to the style of the same name in Normal.dot so that if the style changes in Normal.dot, it will change in the document?

    Sorry if these are ridiculous questions. Thanks for any help.

    M.H. McDonald

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (2003 SP2)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by wdwells on 08-Jun-07 10:39. program specific files
    changed to
    program specific styles
    )</P>Several points need to be made.

    1. <LI>Documents created based on a given template hold styles used from that template within the document itself. This allows documents to be moved from one machine to another.
      <LI>The Normal template is a very personal creature--specific to each user.
      <LI>I would recommend that you put the program specific styles into a template with a unique name and distribute it to your users. Then have them place it in their Word Startup folder.
    Regards
    Don

  3. #3
    New Lounger
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    Re: Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (2003 SP2)

    Don,

    Thank you for the suggestions. I'm not, at this point, married to the idea of using Normal.dot as my repository, but the team I'm doing this for is very small (and therefore easy to support), not all that conversant with Word customizations (and therefore it's likely that their Normal.dots are pretty much factory configured) and, most especially, only creates one type of document, which always requires the same styles, etc.

    As to your point 1 :"Documents created based on a given template hold styles used from that template within the document itself. This allows documents to be moved from one machine to another." I understand this, but (to me at least) it does not explain the behavior I'm seeing.

    I guess my question is this: how does Word/a document/a style/whatever decide that styles in document A will update if the same style in the base template changes, but styles in document B will not update? How are the styles in the specific document tethered (or not) to the styles in the base template? And furthermore, can I create that tether if it isn't present?

    From what I am seeing, there is a clear connection between styles in the base template and documents that are based on it. If I change a style in the base template, it changes in any document based on that template *except* for those documents that were created before the style, even if I have ported the style into the document. So where is the connective tissue?

    ETA:

    Thanks for your help.

    MH McDonald

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (

    First I'd check whether the attached template still is an old or different Normal.dot.

    I'm not sure whether this is relevant, but in the past it was generally recommended to copy the styles 3 times in the Organizer. This was to ensure that any styles with dependencies on other styles updated completely. Perhaps it might help with the automatic updating attribute as well?

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    Re: Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (2003 SP2)

    <hr>So where is the connective tissue?<hr>
    Take a look at Tools | Templates and Add-Ins. I always leave this unchecked except for the few monents when I want to attach a different template and update the document's styles.

    HTH
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Regards
    Don

  6. #6
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    Re: Normal.dot Styles and pre-existing documents (

    jscher: Thanks for the suggestion. I had never heard that about moving things with the organizer multiple times.

    W.D. (Don) Wells:

    It turns out that the Templates and Add-Ins check box was exactly it. Apparently, if you use the organizer to move a style from a template (any template, apparently), into a document, the style moves, but it is not "aware" that it came from a template parent. Therefore if the template is updated, the document is never made privy to the change.

    But if you avoid the organizer and use the Templates and Add-Ins dialog to attach to a different template and make sure to check that box, the styles port over and are aware that they have an "owner" style from the base template. So it works fine so long as the box is checked. Thanks for pointing me toward that, I don't think I would have bothered with it on my own.

    Thanks again!

    MH McDonald

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