Marvelous. I think I will teach my students to create and use
templates. It will be a more useful skill to use in their futures than
manuel formats and overrides. They can learn to format the MLA
template and be set for any letters to write. I will go and check on a
few things you mentioned. I am sure I will be back with questions.
On Oct 7, 2005, at 9:01 AM, Rudolf Ammann wrote:
> Lee Baber wrote:
>> Templates , you say? Tell me more.
> Let's say you have an eighty--page research paper and you're doing it
> a word-processing application such as Microsoft Word.
> Let's also say you have three hierarchical levels of headings: the
> title, several sections and every section divided into a bunch of
> The two-fisted manual override approach goes like this: manually format
> the paper title one way. Then go to all the section headings and
> manually format them. Remember that formatting is supposed to be
> consistent throughout the paper, so you'll have to apply the same
> formatting choices to all the section headings throughout the paper.
> Then you have sub-section headings, so you go through your paper and
> manually apply your formatting to all the sub-headings. Then you
> manually apply the indentation to your blockquotes, and because your
> professor insists that blockquotes must be single-spaced while the rest
> of the paper is double-spaced -- well, you go to all the blockquotes
> manually single-space them. Then you learn that your prof objects to
> boldfacing of your sub-section headings, so you go to each and every
> of your sub-section headings and remove the boldfacing. Much fun, yeah?
> The intelligent thing to do is not to hard-code formatting into your
> document but to mark up your copy for structure instead.
> Imagine you'd tell your first-level heading that it is a first-level
> heading, tell all of your second-level headings that they're
> second-level headings, and all your third-level headings that they're
> third-level headings. Then you'd also tell your blockquotes that
> blockquotes and you'd tell your ordinary paragraphs that they're
> Once you do that, you're not hard-coding dumb formatting into your
> document any longer, you're marking it up for structure. And once every
> element knows what it is _structurally_, you can assign formatting to
> those structural elements.
> And this is what a template does.
> In a templated word-processed document, you'll just tell a paragraph
> that it's a blockquote, and it will immediately assume the formatting
> you've defined for blockquotes. You'll tell a third-level heading that
> it's a third-level heading and it will immediately assume the
> you defined for third-level headings. If you want to change the
> formatting for third-level headings, you won't have to change every
> instance of a third-level heading; you'll just change the template. No
> fuss. No muss.
> In MS Word, every document you start will automatically use a template
> anyway: it's called normal.dot (it resides in different places in
> different versions of Windows/Word, but if you want to study it, a
> search for normal.dot will turn up its location).
> But every Word document can use any other template, including any
> template that _you_ make.
> Myself, I've created Word and OpenOffice.org
> templates for MLA <http://www.mla.org/> and APA
> <http://www.apastyle.org/> style, two widely used guidelines for
> document preparation in academic writing. You can download the
> from this page:
> There's nothing to stop you from creating and distributing your own
> You might even manage to convince people that their manual overrides of
> the normal.dot template aren't all that smart.
> :: Rudolf
> :: http://dekita.org
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