Re: Large Documents in Word

Subject: Re: Large Documents in Word
From: "Stuart Burnfield" <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: "Techwr-l" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 10:52:15 +0800

For TWs to learn how to maintain stable long documents in Word is
challenging but doable, and worthwhile. To maintain stable long
documents using contributions from authors who a) don't know how to
use Word, and b) are stubbornly convinced they know how to use Word...
that's an order of magnitude harder. It's the difference between
keeping your own home tidy and keeping a rental home tidy by providing
the tenants with storage space and cleaning products and polite
written instructions on how to use them. Some will, some won't, and
some will use the instructions to set fire one of the cupboards.

From: Lin Sims
> Good point. I probably should have used "telling them that all the
> and Paragraph formatting buttons in the ribbon are disabled and they
> can't use them" as an example, instead. :-)

Most SMEs and non-TW authors are used to using brute force to format
their documents. They just keep hammering a few familiar keys and
icons (Tab, Indent, Bullets, Numbering, Bold, Italic, Enter) till the
text looks roughly how they want it to look.

A good solution is not to disable problem keyboard shortcuts and
toolbar buttons that apply manual formatting, but to intercept them.
Many TWs have developed their own custom templates in which Ctrl-B and
the [B] button apply an Emphasis character style, two slightly
different Bullet buttons apply List Bullet 1 and List Bullet 2 styles,
and so on.

For people wanting to develop their own stable, custom templates, I
used to recommend the Word MVPs [1]site and the website of the late,
much-missed Shauna Kelly [2]. These are no longer very up-to-date with
respect to recent versions of Word and it would be weeks of effort to
develop, maintain and support a set of really bullet-proof templates.
Now I'd recommend looking for a commercial 'ribbon replacement'
product. is one I know of; there are
many others out there.

--- Stuart


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