Help needed with MS Word





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  1. #1
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    Default Help needed with MS Word

    Like any half decent bean counter I know my way around excel, but I do not really know word.

    Anyway, problem is we have a bunch of users manuals for the different equipment we manufacture. Now because there is a lot of variations and overlap some of the manuals currently have irrelevant sections in them and different manuals can have the same sections but because they were done at different times those sections are not identical.

    Is there a way for me to create all the different sub sections needed in all versions of the manual manual and then have a document where I just tick the relevant boxes and Word will pull in the sub sections created previously to give me a new custom user manual. Idea being that if I need to update a section I can change the sub section and this will be pulled into the various manuals.

    Can this be done or am I smoking my socks?
    Anton Muller
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    In the source document, insert a bookmark surrounding the text that is to be copied. Save the file.

    In each of the other documents, click Insert > Quick Parts > Field. In the list of field names, click IncludeText. In the Filename or URL box, enter the name of the source document. (If it's in the same folder as the other files, all you need is the file name; otherwise you'll need the full path. Unfortunately there is no Browse button, so you'll have to get the path from Windows Explorer or some other source.)

    Next, click the Field Codes button at the bottom left of the dialog. In the Field Codes box, after the text that's already there, type in the name of the bookmark in the source file. Click OK.

    If you change the text in the source document, be careful not to delete the bookmark; if you do, or if you just want to be sure everything is OK, just select the new text and insert the same bookmark again. Save the file.

    In each of the other documents, press Ctrl+A to select everything, and press F9 to update the fields. If you put an IncludeText field in any headers, footers, or text boxes, you'll have to click them and update them individually. Although printing or just going to print preview will update most fields, IncludeText stubbornly resists that technique.
    Last edited by Sennin; 2020/08/04 at 03:45 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Get the paragraphs into single cells in Excel or text/memo fields in Access and MailMerge as needed.
    Kobus

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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    My bet is that who ever wrote those different manuals did not set up the documents to use proper master styles. Used local style changes etc. To get uniform easy to edit documents you have to do cleaning up. Generate proper styles for everything in master document/s and then to clean up the existing stuff copy and then paste unformatted text. Then you need to mark some text as different level headers, text.... mark text for TOC, mark words to indexing... After the stuff is cleaned up you can do the next step. And do not allow anybody do local style editing. Only master document style editing allowed.

    Worth to have a good MS Word book to read. After that help file can be used. I might be able to help with a book

    There is a lot in these word processors and very few know more than 5 to 10% what is possible. And do not use Excel. MS Word can do much more. But. Book from Microsoft I have says. MS Word is a good program to start with but for more serious publishing use... List of other programs is given. If your manuals are long, include images, tables etc. it might be better to look at an other program. Also you need to consider if you will publish the manuals in e book formats. I am going that way for program manuals in addition to PDF format.
    Jouko
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    Never drive a normal car 8)

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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Another one .....

    Keep the paragraphs you want to change in separate word documents. When you want to change a paragraph in your main document, go to Insert -> Object -> Text from file. Select the file with the paragraph you want. It will insert all the text from that document at the cursor.
    Last edited by KobusDJ; 2020/08/04 at 04:19 PM.
    Kobus

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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Quote Originally Posted by Sennin View Post
    In the source document, insert a bookmark surrounding the text that is to be copied. Save the file.

    In each of the other documents, click Insert > Quick Parts > Field. In the list of field names, click IncludeText. In the Filename or URL box, enter the name of the source document. (If it's in the same folder as the other files, all you need is the file name; otherwise you'll need the full path. Unfortunately there is no Browse button, so you'll have to get the path from Windows Explorer or some other source.)

    Next, click the Field Codes button at the bottom left of the dialog. In the Field Codes box, after the text that's already there, type in the name of the bookmark in the source file. Click OK.

    If you change the text in the source document, be careful not to delete the bookmark; if you do, or if you just want to be sure everything is OK, just select the new text and insert the same bookmark again. Save the file.

    In each of the other documents, press Ctrl+A to select everything, and press F9 to update the fields. If you put an IncludeText field in any headers, footers, or text boxes, you'll have to click them and update them individually. Although printing or just going to print preview will update most fields, IncludeText stubbornly resists that technique.
    If you send this new, up to date from all master docs, to somebody NOT on your network, does it
    Retain the bookmarked content or lose it?

    Does it ask to connect to update the doc?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Thank you for all the responses

    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko View Post
    My bet is that who ever wrote those different manuals did not set up the documents to use proper master styles. Used local style changes etc. To get uniform easy to edit documents you have to do cleaning up. Generate proper styles for everything in master document/s and then to clean up the existing stuff copy and then paste unformatted text. Then you need to mark some text as different level headers, text.... mark text for TOC, mark words to indexing... After the stuff is cleaned up you can do the next step. And do not allow anybody do local style editing. Only master document style editing allowed.

    Worth to have a good MS Word book to read. After that help file can be used. I might be able to help with a book

    There is a lot in these word processors and very few know more than 5 to 10% what is possible. And do not use Excel. MS Word can do much more. But. Book from Microsoft I have says. MS Word is a good program to start with but for more serious publishing use... List of other programs is given. If your manuals are long, include images, tables etc. it might be better to look at an other program. Also you need to consider if you will publish the manuals in e book formats. I am going that way for program manuals in addition to PDF format.
    your bet will be very safe, manuals written over many years by many different people none of whom had any training in word. We just completed a big project so have some open time (a luxury for us) and want to try and get these manuals sorted and more presentable. Our manuals do contain diagrams and graphics, but nothing too elaborate

    I dont mind spending money on software if its justifiable, what software would you recommend?
    Last edited by mullerza; 2020/08/04 at 04:41 PM.
    Anton Muller
    Nothing screams "Bad workmanship" like wrinkles in the duct tape
    2012 Q7 4.2 TDI
    Birkin SR20VET race car

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    MS Word is much more stable today than it was few years back when creating documents longer than few pages. I have 2019 stand alone version and I have done some work using it for an overseas company. Those documents did not have images and were not long. There was no need to make e books. For my own reports, manuals and similar I use Word Perfect (latest). It has e book options. There is insufficient benefit to go from later version of MS Word to later version WP.

    If your MS Word is an old version maybe worth to look in upgrading. If your manuals are lets say 50 pages and you need e books, publishing quality, number of images and diagrams is substantial I would look for more publishing type software. I cannot give recommendation.

    As I said these word processing programs have a lot of possibilities but users do not take time to learn them. To read the manual is recommended - about 1000 pages.

    In the long run it really pays out to set up the documents in a proper manner. Takes time but at the end the saving is big. If the one working on the documents do not know how to use global styles you will have a big problem and expense. On the overseas job referred above I asked their templates for me to write the documents. I did get them and I scrapped them. If I used their templates I would have used most of my time on local formatting instead of the real work. The same is more of a norm with all companies and their templates.

    Any manual has to have revision control, TOC, indexing, automatic cross referencing... MS Word has those facilities including master/sub document facility (as I remember) what you are looking for.


    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    Thank you for all the responses



    your bet will be very safe, manuals written over many years by many different people none of whom had any training in word. We just completed a big project so have some open time (a luxury for us) and want to try and get these manuals sorted and more presentable. Our manuals do contain diagrams and graphics, but nothing too elaborate

    I dont mind spending money on software if its justifiable, what software would you recommend?
    Jouko
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    2003 Grand Cherokee 4.7l
    2012 Smart
    Never drive a normal car 8)

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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    MS Office is an expensive purchase for most. For own use there is a free open source version of MS Word, MS Excel and MS Powerpoint. They are compatible with and save their files in the same format as Office. The look feel and functionality is the same as the MS product and they are regularly updated. Have a look at Textmaker. From their site:

    FreeOffice TextMaker opens and saves all Microsoft Word DOC and DOCX files seamlessly. It also lets you create PDF files and EPUB e-books directly from within the application.

    https://www.freeoffice.com/en/freeoffice-textmaker

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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Quote Originally Posted by NewLandy View Post
    If you send this new, up to date from all master docs, to somebody NOT on your network, does it
    Retain the bookmarked content or lose it?

    Does it ask to connect to update the doc?
    it keeps the bookmark content, but as soon as the content gets refreshed via F9, then an error message replaces the content. so in a company type setup it is best to use a central server with the master documents linked to, thus if everyone in the company wants to edit or update, they can as long as they have access to central server.
    -

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko View Post
    MS Word is much more stable today than it was few years back when creating documents longer than few pages. I have 2019 stand alone version and I have done some work using it for an overseas company. Those documents did not have images and were not long. There was no need to make e books. For my own reports, manuals and similar I use Word Perfect (latest). It has e book options. There is insufficient benefit to go from later version of MS Word to later version WP.

    If your MS Word is an old version maybe worth to look in upgrading. If your manuals are lets say 50 pages and you need e books, publishing quality, number of images and diagrams is substantial I would look for more publishing type software. I cannot give recommendation.

    As I said these word processing programs have a lot of possibilities but users do not take time to learn them. To read the manual is recommended - about 1000 pages.

    In the long run it really pays out to set up the documents in a proper manner. Takes time but at the end the saving is big. If the one working on the documents do not know how to use global styles you will have a big problem and expense. On the overseas job referred above I asked their templates for me to write the documents. I did get them and I scrapped them. If I used their templates I would have used most of my time on local formatting instead of the real work. The same is more of a norm with all companies and their templates.

    Any manual has to have revision control, TOC, indexing, automatic cross referencing... MS Word has those facilities including master/sub document facility (as I remember) what you are looking for.
    thanks, we are running 365 business premium so are on the latest version
    Anton Muller
    Nothing screams "Bad workmanship" like wrinkles in the duct tape
    2012 Q7 4.2 TDI
    Birkin SR20VET race car

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    I have not checked the differences between 365 and traditional stand alone version. Originally 365 had limited capabilities as I understood. Just double check.

    These free office packages are good. Sometimes have been better than paid. I have not tried complex reporting using them. For normal office work I would not buy but use one of the free products. Maybe Libre. Power Point is real pain if you include videos etc. Libre works 100%. Last training I gave on Libre for this reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    thanks, we are running 365 business premium so are on the latest version
    Jouko
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    2012 Smart
    Never drive a normal car 8)

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Help needed with MS Word

    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko View Post
    I have not checked the differences between 365 and traditional stand alone version. Originally 365 had limited capabilities as I understood. Just double check.

    These free office packages are good. Sometimes have been better than paid. I have not tried complex reporting using them. For normal office work I would not buy but use one of the free products. Maybe Libre. Power Point is real pain if you include videos etc. Libre works 100%. Last training I gave on Libre for this reason.
    I had to do a report with a logo, photo's and tables. I used Textmaker, the MS Word equivalent. It was simple and easy.

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