As a Macintosh trainer I come across many many professional writers who have never used the Styles feature of Microsoft Word. They generally don’t know it exists, what it’s for or how to use it. After a quick lesson where I also show them the power of using styles for outlining and for resequencing their writing they are always enthusiastic to start using styles.
Rick Schaut of Microsoft’s Macintosh Business Unit has blogged about Word’s styles [Via: MyAppleMenu]. He explains how much easier they will be to change in Word 2004 and also how the styles are linked together in the
based-on chain. This section especially caught my eye:
From all of this, we can come to a general rule for using styles. Type up your document using styles to mark structure (headings, emphasis, strength, etc.). Ignore formatting for now. Just concentrate on what you’re saying and think about formatting later. Once you’ve finished writing the content, then go through and change the formatting to suit the look you want. Change style definitions first, being mindful of the based-on chain, and apply any direct formatting last.
This is so clearly comparable to writing web pages whose display is formatted via style sheets which cascade just like the
Be sure too to read Rick’s hilarious first post in which he explains his own origins. It has to be the funniest “About me” post I’ve ever read.