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I am a tech writer with a question about modifying the default heading
styles in Word when automatic numbering is enabled. The documentation, Help,
and my own experiments haven't yielded an answer yet, so I was hoping that
someone else may have either figured this out, or can tell me for certain
that it can't be done.
I am working on a project for a client that involves revising a document
with 1000 pages set up in 55 chapters (not using the Master document
feature). As part of the revision, I wanted to modify some of the styles
that make up the current document template. The document was created in Word
6.0 running on Windows NT (although the client just started using 7.0 as
part of MS Office '95). Because I will not be responsible for maintaining
the document longterm, and because there is only one tech writer who is
responsible for maintaining 5-7 documents at any given time, I'm trying to
keep my changes to a minimum and more importantly, make any changes I do
institute easy to apply and maintain in future versions.
The current template uses Word's built-in headings with automatic numbering
turned on, for example, 1, 1.1, 1.1.1, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199.1 (five levels!).
The users and software engineers want the automatic numbered headings, so
not using numbered headings is not an option. According to the Word
documentation and Help topics, it sounds like you have to use the built-in
headings if you want to use automatic numbering. In addition, the tech
writer who created the doc (and who will maintain it) chose to use the
built-in headings since that is the easiest (most efficient) way to build
the Table of Contents for each individual chapter and for the entire
document (that advice from the Word documentation).
The problem I'm having is that, while I can modify the style of these
headings so that they appear indented from the left margin, these changes
get overridden by Word when I have to renumber the headings. I've saved
these changes in the template, and can see these attributes when I check the
style in the Style description dialog box. However, when I renumber the
headings, Word seems to wipe out these modifications and returns these
styles to the default set-up in the Heading Numbering dialog box on the
Format menu (in this case, flush with the margin). When I tried to modify
the staggered style of heading numbering, again there did not seem to be a
way to modify how far from the margin the headings would indent. I also
cannot find any mention in the documentation or Help about modifying this
specific aspect of the built-in headings when using automatic numbering. It
seems that automatic numbering is the culprit, because I know I can indent
headings when automatic numbering is not turned on.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated! Thanks.
Email: szimmerman -at- sugar-land -dot- anadrill -dot- slb -dot- com
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