Shifting Styles

Scene 1: You go through your document, fine-tuning its style formatting to the peak of perfection. Then you carefully save your document for posterity.

Scene 2: A week later, you open your document. What the . . . ? All of your styles have shifted back to their original formatting. You’ll have to do all of that work over again! And how can you be sure it will stick?

Here’s the secret:

1. Open the document.

2. Click “Tools > Templates and Add-Ins.”

3. *Remove* that dadburned checkmark in the box labeled “Automatically update document styles.”

4. Resave your document.

The next time you open the document, your exquisite style formatting will remain intact.

So what’s the point of the “Automatically update document styles” feature? Well, let’s say that your boss just loves to tinker with the look of your company’s forms and stationery, mandating Helvetica one week and Comic Sans the next. If you turn on “Automatically update document styles” for every company document you create, changing the formatting is a snap. Just open the template on which the documents are based, modify the styles, and resave the template. The next time you open one of those documents, its styles will automatically update to match those of the template.

It’s a slick feature, as long as you know when–and when not–to use it. And now you do!



After reading about the fraction macro in last week’s newsletter, Bill Rubidge ( wrote:

The fraction macro is an excellent start, but I suspect many of your readers would need to add an additional search process at the beginning of the macro, to search for dates formatted with slashes and mark those so that they do not get converted to these fancy fractions.

Without much thought, I would imagine you would need to run a wildcard search for:

([0-9]{1,2})/([0-9]{1,2})/([0-9]{1,4}) (Note that the last item, the year, has space for up to four digits, being used a lot lately as we turn centuries.)

I would then (probably crudely) replace with 1DATESLASH2DATESLASH3DATESLASH

Then run the macro you provide, but add a final replace at the end to replace DATESLASH with / to get back my XX/XX/XX dates.

It’s worth reminding readers that the most challenging part of writing any of these search and replace macros is making sure that you write your search criteria and/or mark out items that might otherwise be unintentionally replaced.

Many thanks to Bill for this important caveat.



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