New Templates? (take II)

Subject: New Templates? (take II)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, Karen Murri <kmurri -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 09 Aug 2006 14:15:03 -0400

Karen Murri noted: <<Be careful about basing all your styles on Body Text. In Word, the Law of Unintended Consequences can produce some startling results. If someone inadvertently changes the Body Text style, every style based on it will also change. Instead, either use "none" (hidden at the top of the style list) or create a style specifically to use as a base (then hide the sucker!). >>

Good point. But the key is not to avoid basing one style on another, but rather to do that sensibly. For example, if you have several body text styles that must all have the same font (e.g., paragraphs, bullet and numbered lists, indented quotes), it makes very good sense to base all of these on a single style (e.g., BodyText). That way, if you need to change the font or line spacing or whatever, you can do it in a single step: by changing the "based on" template.

The trick is to separate out groups of styles that should not be affected by this change. For example, heading styles are often in sans serif type if body text uses serif type, so it makes sense to group the headings based on the same underlying font. That way, you can change all the different heading styles in a single step without affecting the body text styles, and vice versa.

And so on. The solution to "the Law of Unintended Consequences" is to be aware of the consequences and use them to your benefit.

-- Geoff Hart
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com


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RE: New Templates: From: Karen Murri

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