[duxuser] Proper Use of Styles in MS Word

  • From: "Susan Jolly" <easjolly@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <duxuser@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 16:18:21 -0700

What a frustrating situation that people still don't use styles
correctly!  I know that this is true, however.

I would like to point out that if someone gives you a Word document
where the formatting is consistent, let's say they've used centered and
bold for all the h1 headings, then you can fix the document with Word's
find-and-replace feature.   Let me be perfectly clear.  I'm talking
about a situation where the author did not use Styles but rather
formatted each item that is supposed to be a certain style consistently
by hand. (What I'm about to describe will NOT work quite as easily if
the only thing that makes the items different is that they have been
centered by hand by inserting spaces.  When I write "centered", I'm
talking about selecting the "centered" option for a paragraph item.)

In this case where the formatting is consistent, you can use Word's
built-in Find and Replace to find all of the items with that particular
formatting and instantly apply any named Style to all of these items
simultaneously.  I'm not going to try to explain in detail how to do
this since everyone's system is just a bit different.  But it is quite
easy to do and you should be able to find someone who can teach you.

A related point is that many of the problems I read about here could be
solved quite easily with tools that computer scientists have been using
for more than 30 years.  So I would encourage all of you to try to get
your local friendly computer scientist--even a high school teacher if
there isn't an institution of higher education nearby--to help you.  You
don't even need a specialist in text processing.  The only thing you
need to remember is that if someone tells you it is difficult, they
probably don't know what they are talking about.

As you can see from DBT, it is very, very difficult to write one piece
of software that will solve every imaginable problem that someone might
come up with.  But it usually only takes a few moments for a computer
scientist to write custom software to solve the one particular problem
you have. 

Best wishes,
Susan J.

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  • » [duxuser] Proper Use of Styles in MS Word