July 2nd, 2008

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Missing: AAPT House Style

Wanted: A "house style" for Word documents.

Document structure will always vary based on content, so you can't be too prescriptive. But formatting typically varies based on personal preference (Bob likes Arial with 1.5 spacing, Carol likes justified Times) and legacy (Ted got a sample from Alice and used that as the template).

I'd love it if we have a nicely designed house style to meet these requirements:

  • Ability to collaborate with copy and paste, because styles already match.
  • Good heading styles, both with and without numbering, with enough difference in size, weight and spacing to easily distinguish between heading levels.
  • Good list styles that apply when you click the numbered/bulleted list buttons, and which nest gracefully when changing levels.
  • Enough whitespace to ensure easy reading and delineation between styles.
  • No logos, headers, footers, etc. Just styles. (But bare bones templates with such content could be published as well.)

Worth fighting for? To be successful, it would require sponsorship by Communications, buy in from several business units, EDS work to roll it out as the default template for new documents, plus additional work to adapt frequently used templates.

Hmm, perhaps not. But if you have seen good Word (or even ODF) templates out there in the wild, I'd love to hear about them.

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Glass gone

Almost 5 weeks after Carnivores at La Luna, guess what! The piece of glass that got stuck in my finger has finally come out! And yes, I promise to be more careful with my wine in future...