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Last post Author Topic: Help me with MS Word styles  (Read 16018 times)

AndyM

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2010, 10:42:44 AM »
In case kfitting doesnt' answer this right off -

It's not an error.  Looks like it's simply a message telling you that your TOC doesn't use fields (a toc field), but instead must use Headers (don't ask me, I set up my tables of contents using fields).

It's just info.  Comment it out by putting a ' in front of the msgbox line ('msgbox "TOC.....).

kfitting

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2010, 10:53:58 AM »
As AndyM says, the messagebox is not an error, that's just showing you that the TOC does not use fields.   In your real document make sure the messagebox does not display (by commenting it out or deleting the entire line).  That was just a step I used to learn that the TOC is it's own object, not a bunch of seperate fields.

The error you gave in post 46 (the "cant find object or library") was not allowing the VBA script to run at all.  My code just pops a message box with the true or false value of the TOC UseFields property.  In other words, two seperate problems.  As long as the script runs and updates your TOC you should be fine.  

Given what I've seen of the template, I think you're using the correct code for the job.  The other scripts loop through various fields in the document... not the same thing as the TOC object.


Yeah learning things on the job is awesome cause you get paid to figure things out, but it sucks because the people above you dont want to pay you for learning!  They would rather you save time, until they learn that it takes initial time to learn how use the tools in a time-saving way.

I will say that learning VBA does pay big dividends.  Lots of tedious tasks can be automated rather quickly, once the object model is understood!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 10:57:13 AM by kfitting »

superboyac

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2010, 12:02:43 PM »
This was my story then, and I'm sticking with it  8):

http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=5372.msg49315#msg49315
You know, Andy, I read that a while back.  Now that I am discovering Word's more powerful features, I understand what you mean.  Before this, I would use Word only as a basic text editor.  All I would do is click the bold/italic buttons, change some fonts, etc.  I'm glad to see that I can do a lot of other things with it.  So, your statement in the other thread finally hits home with me.

Random question:
Let's say I wanted to put together a nicely formatted booklet.  Would I use Adobe InDesign (which I like, but don't know how to use yet), MS Word, or both?  Shouldn't InDesign be able to do all these things like managing styles, fields, etc.?

superboyac

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What is the best discussion forum for Microsoft Word questions?
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2010, 06:12:17 PM »
What is the best forum to get answers to Microsoft Word questions?  I like the tutorials shown in this thread, but a lot of what they say is for Word 2003 or older.  And while they may apply to 2007 also, i want to know for sure.  For example, the experts say to avoid using tables because of instability issues, but I wonder if that is fixed in 2007.  Also, I want to know if some of the fancier features, like Building Blocks, are ok to use, or if they are also unstable.  Thanks.

AndyM

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2010, 09:05:19 PM »
Before this, I would use Word only as a basic text editor.  All I would do is click the bold/italic buttons, change some fonts, etc.  I'm glad to see that I can do a lot of other things with it.

I was perfectly happy running OS/2 and doing all my writing using a text editor, and had been for years.  In a matter of months I had to buy an XP computer, learn Windows, Word and Excel 2002, and produce a 75 page booklet compiled from a disparate collection of .doc, .xls, .pdf and wordperfect files, emails, and hard copy.  The booklet pages were 5.5" x 8.5" but all the copy was formatted for 8.5 x 11.  Couldn't just shrink the pages, every single one had to be reformatted.

I did it all in Word, converting Excel sheets into tables.  It was a nasty crash course, and knowing I'd have it to again the next year I put time into learning the software.  The following year went much smoother, but had I not had such a pressing need I would never have learned so much so fast.

Let's say I wanted to put together a nicely formatted booklet.  Would I use Adobe InDesign (which I like, but don't know how to use yet), MS Word, or both?  Shouldn't InDesign be able to do all these things like managing styles, fields, etc.?

I know you can make a decent booklet using Word 2002, but I don't know if or how much InDesign would make that easier.  Perhaps someone familiar with both programs?

What is the best forum to get answers to Microsoft Word questions?  I like the tutorials shown in this thread, but a lot of what they say is for Word 2003 or older.  And while they may apply to 2007 also, i want to know for sure.  For example, the experts say to avoid using tables because of instability issues, but I wonder if that is fixed in 2007.  Also, I want to know if some of the fancier features, like Building Blocks, are ok to use, or if they are also unstable.  Thanks.

The microsoft.public.word newsgroups are good (the excel newsgroups are better) for getting questions answered.  I find for general things I'm better off checking all the MVP and Word guru sites for articles when I'm delving into something.

Re tables, I don't know about unstable, but they can be a real pita.  Perhaps in Word 2007 it's better (I seem to remember talk of improvements here), but table styles don't work well at all.  This is different from using paragraph styles and character styles in tables, which work fine (except watch out for endpara marks in table cells, not necessary).  

What I have read is unstable is the whole Master document scheme, but I've never had a reason to find out.

I spent huge amounts of time learning this stuff (and I don't know that much but what I do know has been helpful).  I did most of it on my own time, either when I was self-employed or when I was working in an office.  No way would a boss pay me to put that kind of time in on his nickel.

I also got a broadband connection when I was learning Windows, Word, and Excel.  Boy did I learn to love Google.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 09:17:53 PM by AndyM »

AndyM

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2010, 09:09:43 PM »
Oh yeah, biggest no-no in Word:

Empty paragraphs.  You don't hit the Enter key to skip a line.  You use the Space After (and/or Space Before) settings for the paragraph.  Which is cumbersome if you don't use styles.

2nd biggest no-no:

Manual page breaks.  Use the PageBreakBefore and KeepTogether settings to control pagination when you have to override the automatic paging.

AndyM

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2010, 09:14:43 PM »
PPS  If it's really important that everyone sees the exact same thing when they are reading your document, distribute it as a .pdf.

Word formats a document wysiwyg for the current printer.  When the document is opened on a machine with a different printer, the margins, number of pages, page breaks, and a bunch of other stuff can look different.  But a pdf will always display the same. 

superboyac

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2010, 11:36:52 PM »
I need to make a glossary.  What is the best (or most stable) way to do it in Word 2007?  I tried finding articles, but nothing was clear to me.  I'd like to have two columns, the terms on the right left in bold, and the definitions on the right in normal style.

kfitting

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2010, 05:44:17 AM »
I only really have experience with styles, but in general searching for Word MVP sites for information is a good idea.  Shauna Kelly's site is still one of the best.  She gives a bunch of different options... some are very interesting. 

Glossary

AndyM

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2010, 08:47:18 AM »
I need to make a glossary.  What is the best (or most stable) way to do it in Word 2007?  I tried finding articles, but nothing was clear to me.  I'd like to have two columns, the terms on the right left in bold, and the definitions on the right in normal style.

I'd use a two-column table with no borders (show gridlines while you are setting it up).  Set up the first column to be bold, the second column not bold, etc.  Good way to learn about tables.  Watch out for the paragraph settings for SpaceBefore and SpaceAfter, can be very confusing for tight tables.  Usually easiest to start with zero before and after - you can also control vertical spacing with the table row settings.  The key here is to have one Style for the first column and a second Style for the left column.  

You can sort on the first column.  Use the OutlineMoveUp and OutlineMoveDown commands to manually move rows up and down with keystrokes (works with any paragraphs).  Then when you see how handy that is, write a macro to do the same thing in Excel (or ask me for mine) - move a row/rows up or down with a keystroke.

(anything I say is based on my experience with Word/Excel 2002,2003.  Other than the interface, almost everything works the same in 2007 as far as I know)

On the advice of the wise geeks, I never use the Normal style.  I have several sets of styles independent of each other.  Each set's style is based on one main style for that set so changes to the main style only ripples thru that set.  The ones I use most often are BT (bodytext) and all it's derivatives (different spacing, indents, tabs, etc), and my numbering/list styles (Num, Num1, Num2, NumPara, NumPara1, NumPara2, etc).

I also have a few styles I use in table cells (TabCell, TabCellTxt, etc).

The styles live in my normal.dot file.  When I use them in a new document, if necessary I modify them for that document.  You have to learn how to import a style from your template (normal.dot or something.dot) or another file into someone else's file if you want to use your styles in that file (either copy a paragraph or use whatever Word 2007 uses for an Organizer).
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 08:53:21 AM by AndyM »

superboyac

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2010, 11:11:05 AM »
Wow, I am really enjoying using styles in Word.  This is good stuff.  This is the way to do it.  The efficiency is very tangible.  A lot of the setup is a pain in the ass and can definitely be improved as far as UI goes.  But the functionality is right on.

steeladept

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #61 on: June 14, 2010, 12:27:17 PM »
Been a while since I read this I see....

I just have 2 things to say since the mid-May comments.  1) I agree that Word is way more powerful than most people give it credit for and that the biggest problem is few people truly know how to use it properly.  I use it extensively (along with Excel) working in a Printshop and find it incredibly capable, yet while reading this and following links (Primarily from kfitting) I find I still have a lot to learn!  Thank you for bringing this up.

2) In reference to the InDesign software - I do not know a lot about it, even though I use it a fair amount.  What I can tell you about the differences is this:  Word is for creating documents, whereas InDesign is for Formatting documents.  Sure you can do both jobs in both programs, but the focus is not the same.  In Word, you create a document and then format it with several common formatting features.  With InDesign, you more often will import a document then format what you import (though you can compose it and format on the fly).  To compare the two is like comparing Word to Publisher - they do different things differently but properly used should produce something generally similar.  InDesign is Adobe's full fledged DTP software, not unlike Microsoft's Publisher or QuarkXpress (though most professionals I know would agree that InDesign is much more powerful and useful than Publisher and more difficult to use than Quark).  Personally, I suggest sticking with Word unless/until you absolutely MUST learn InDesign.

superboyac

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #62 on: June 14, 2010, 12:38:08 PM »
I'm definitely going to learn Indesign soon.  not for work, but for personal stuff.  I am anticipating doing several projects that involve either books, articles, or pamphlets.  And i want tight control on how everything is presented graphically.  So I'm going to use Indesign for that.

steeladept

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #63 on: June 14, 2010, 12:50:21 PM »
I'm definitely going to learn Indesign soon.  not for work, but for personal stuff.  I am anticipating doing several projects that involve either books, articles, or pamphlets.  And i want tight control on how everything is presented graphically.  So I'm going to use Indesign for that.

I would suggest it for Pamphlets, but not books from what I know (again that isn't much yet though - I am fighting learning it as it is difficult and time consuming.  A bad mix when you are the only person in the department).  Articles, well it would depend on the size and complexity there.  I can say that it is a very common requirement if you are sending it to a publishing house, but for personal use, eh.

Maybe I will actually be allowed to take a class sometime and then I may change my mind.  But for now, it is a tool I know very little about and have a difficult time using.

superboyac

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2010, 01:06:53 PM »
Why not books?  What is the standard for publishing books?  I'm not talking about just text books.  I'm talking about books with lots of graphics everywhere.

JavaJones

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Re: Help me with MS Word styles
« Reply #65 on: June 14, 2010, 03:33:26 PM »
InDesign is fully capable of doing books, I know of several major (over 500 pages) publications done in InDesign. And from what I know, from multiple designers, it's *easier* to use than Quark. That's one of the main reasons it gained traction a few years ago when it came out, despite Quark being king of the hill for what seems like decades. Quark was a mess (apparently it's better now that it's redesigned, but still...) and InDesign had a fresh new take and was easier, smoother, and more compatible with the rest of Adobe's suite of products which all complement each other well.

Anyway, InDesign is pretty easy to use, and worth learning if you have access to it. It can handle almost any design task, though it may not be the "best" tool for certain jobs.

- Oshyan