RE: Creating a consistent look and feel for docs

Subject: RE: Creating a consistent look and feel for docs
From: Aoidìn Scully <ascully -at- flexicom -dot- com>
To: "'Lathrop, Sarah'" <Sarah-Lathrop -at- forum-financial -dot- com>, "'TECHWR-L'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1999 11:25:16 +0100



We had a similiar situation here a few months ago. I had to create Word
templates, unfortunately to a design thought up by an outside party, who
had no experience of Word. These templates had to follow certain styles
exactly, and be easy enough for even an engineer to use.

After tearing my hair out for a while, in the end I decided to create
lots of little macros. So, for example, for heading 1, I created a macro
that inserted a numbered heading in the right font and size, with a
little line drawn over the top, and that automatically broke to the next
page. I did the same for all the different levels of heading. I also
created a macro that inserted a correctly formatted table, a little note fact, everything the user would need to format docs in that

I gathered all these macros together on one toolbar, and made sure it
was attached to each template.

I then sent out an email promising hellfire and damnation for those who
used anything other than the macros to format their doc.

So far, it's worked great. A few hiccups, but easily sorted.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lathrop, Sarah [mailto:Sarah-Lathrop -at- forum-financial -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 06, 1999 9:51 PM
Subject: Creating a consistent look and feel for docs

My company is in the process of beginning an total reworking of our
in-house software. The version currently in use has no documentation,
and I was hired to create the docs. My manager wants to have a
consistent look and feel to all documents created by our department,
which includes documents written by the software engineers and the
managers. I am currently working on a style guide. I am also creating a
Word template and sample documents that others can use.

My manager wants all documents to have a cover page, TOC, standard first
chapter, headers, footers, index, glossary, etc. but he wants it simple
enough for non-expert Word users to use. With all of these features, my
template is quickly becoming complex. I know from experience in a
previous company that it is difficult to get people to use styles if
they are used to just manually formatting everything. And Word being
what it is........well, let's not start that one. It looks like I will
have to create a whole section in my Style Guide just to explain how to
use the styles, update the TOC, add a chapter, etc.

I don't want to have to spend hours fixing up others documents before
they can be published, and we don't want to hire a word processing
person to do it. Have any of you had any experience in getting people
outside the Documentation group to create documents according to a

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