Week 7 Word styles


Electronic Editing and the Author

Word styles

Understanding Styles in Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word: Introduction to styles

Video how to Word XP
Video how to Word 2007

Editing assignment

Styles exercise

Discussion questions


Here's a test question from the undergraduate introductory class. How do you answer it?

You are the editor in charge of developing a long document that has 10 people writing different sections.  You have just received a section where all the paragraphs (including headings and figure captions, etc) are all in Word style Normal, rather than the proper style (Heading 1, Heading 2, figure caption, etc).  The author says he formatted them so they look just like the other sections that use styles, so it doesn’t matter, thus he see no reason to use styles (and looking at the printed document, you can’t see any difference).  What is your response to the writer?


One of the major problems of the shift from print editing to digital editing (or the editing of digitally presented text and graphics) is the "secondary step" of managing not only the sequence of words, but of what the words "do." Any examination of a newspaper web page reveals a conglomeration of places on the screen displaying disparate information, often presenting a cacophony of information demands.

Newspaper and magazine readers have long been experienced with these "packed frames" of information providing different kinds of material. A print column on AIDS in Africa can have in a sidebar a discussion of hunting tigers in India and an advertisement selling lingerie to teens, complete with tastefully provocative pictures. The reader's eye ("user's" eye?) is pulled here and there, and success for all the information providers in that frame is achieved in a split second decision.

In an easier time, one that some of you may still be enjoying, the principal requirement would have been to present competent text. And more recently, the capable inclusion of supporting illustrations and graphics.

The game is changing. Managing text and "illustrations" and "graphics" on the print page and on the digitally composed print page will continue to be a major part of what technical editors do. But increasingly, and maybe geometrically increasingly, you will be expected to manage more than just a static print frame.

How do you react to such a possibility?