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  #1  
Old 05-02-2011, 08:19 AM
namedujour
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Default Building Blocks - WHY???

I had it all figured out for years. Normal.dot contained all my form letters, styles, standard images and defined-acronym shortcuts. I used macros, autotext and autocorrect. I regularly distributed the updated normal.dot file to other technical writers, so we all had standardized wording, styles and commands, at all times. Normal.dot also carried over to Outlook, so we could do (command)+F3 and just send someone a form letter by e-mail that quickly.

Then they broke it. Building Blocks disconnects from a document every time you close it. You have to reattach Building Blocks EVERY TIME you reopen that document. It doesn't work in Outlook. The styles are inconsistent from document to document, so there is no point in distributing it to other writers - it doesn't even work for me from one document to the next, no matter how many times I reset the styles to the proper attributes. The numbering system, which was always quirky, appears to be totally broken now. I have never successfully restarted numbering on any numbered list. And yes, I know how to do that and all the jerry rigging tricks as well.



Have they fixed any of this in 2010? Are there any patches for 2007? Or should I downgrade to 2003?
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:17 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Building Blocks - WHY??? Windows 7 32bit Building Blocks - WHY??? Office 2000
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Hi namedujour,

Normal.dot(m) works pretty much the same as it ever did, so I don't know what all the fuss is about on that front.

As for BuldingBlocks.dotx, are you getting any error message in that regard? Have you tried repairing Word? Have you tried re-resetting Word's Registry settings? Have you tried deleting/replacing BuldingBlocks.dotx?
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:43 PM
namedujour
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Originally Posted by macropod View Post
Hi namedujour,

Normal.dot(m) works pretty much the same as it ever did, so I don't know what all the fuss is about on that front.

As for BuldingBlocks.dotx, are you getting any error message in that regard? Have you tried repairing Word? Have you tried re-resetting Word's Registry settings? Have you tried deleting/replacing BuldingBlocks.dotx?
I don't get an error message. Previously my autotext and styles lived in normal.dot. Now, every time I open a document and type (command)+F3, nothing happens. I have to go into Word Options > Add-Ins> Manage - Templates > Go, and check Building Blocks.dotx in order to get my functionality back. Then I lose it again when I close the document. I repeat those steps all day long on multiple documents.

So the fuss is that normal.dot does not work the way it used to. (How long have you used it, that you believe nothing has changed? Perhaps that's where we're having our disconnect.) It used to be a file you could load to anyone else's Templates folder, and they'd immediately have all your macros, styles and autotext. So would their Outlook.

Now I don't even have my macros, styles and autotext without reapplying the building blocks file. Forget sharing the file - who'd want it? Each time I create a new document, all the styles are wonky - margins shift, numbering is broken, and bulleting always ends up way off to the right - and I have to go back in and reapply the attributes.

And according to this board Outlook apparently now has its own, separate building blocks file, so I can replicate my dozens and hundreds of commands in two separate programs, when I used to only have to do it once.

I haven't repaired it because I presume this is how it's supposed to work. Nobody is telling me otherwise, and I expected it because I've lost something I used and needed with every upgrade for the past 20 years.

So how does YOUR building blocks work? Do you have all your commands every time without having to reattach the file? Do your styles always appear just as you set them weeks - even months - ago? If it's supposed to actually work and is broken in my case, I might try to repair it.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:38 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Building Blocks - WHY??? Windows 7 32bit Building Blocks - WHY??? Office 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
So the fuss is that normal.dot does not work the way it used to. (How long have you used it, that you believe nothing has changed? Perhaps that's where we're having our disconnect.)
I've been using Word 2007 extensively for the past 3 years. I have extensive customizations in Normal.dotm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
It used to be a file you could load to anyone else's Templates folder, and they'd immediately have all your macros, styles and autotext.
And you still can.
Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
Now I don't even have my macros, styles and autotext without reapplying the building blocks file.
Maybe you should spend a bit more time finding out the purposes of Normal.dot(m) & BuldingBlocks.dotx and use each as intended. See:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010214071.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010234131.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010201162.aspx
Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
I haven't repaired it because I presume this is how it's supposed to work. Nobody is telling me otherwise, and I expected it because I've lost something I used and needed with every upgrade for the past 20 years.
So, if you bought a car and it stopped driving straight, would you wait to be told it needs repairing, or would you use some initiative and check whether something is wrong, like maybe a puncture?
Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
So how does YOUR building blocks work? Do you have all your commands every time without having to reattach the file? Do your styles always appear just as you set them weeks - even months - ago? If it's supposed to actually work and is broken in my case, I might try to repair it.
Everything works as MS says it should.
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2011, 06:57 AM
namedujour
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Originally Posted by macropod View Post
I've been using Word 2007 extensively for the past 3 years. I have extensive customizations in Normal.dotm.

And you still can.

Maybe you should spend a bit more time finding out the purposes of Normal.dot(x/m) & BuldingBlocks.dotx and use each as intended. See:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010214071.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010234131.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/wo...010201162.aspx

So, if you bought a car and it stopped driving straight, would you wait to be told it needs repairing, or would you use some initiative and check whether something is wrong, like maybe a puncture?
Everything works as MS says it should.
You have a very excellent bedside manner. I commend you.

If you've only used Word 2007, and only for three years, you weren't around when Microsoft used to have a free software support line, where they always responded to reports of obvious bugs with, "It's a new feature," or "It's working as designed," or "Our customers prefer it this way." No. We don't.

I don't want my normal.dot functionality in pieces. I want it to work the way it used to. You like it this way because you don't know any differently, and you think think that knowing how to work with a bad design means the design is good. There is our disconnect.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2011, 01:37 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Building Blocks - WHY??? Windows 7 32bit Building Blocks - WHY??? Office 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
If you've only used Word 2007, and only for three years, you weren't around when Microsoft used to have a free software support line, where they always responded to reports of obvious bugs with, "It's a new feature," or "It's working as designed," or "Our customers prefer it this way."
So how long have you used Word 2007 extensively? I've been using various versions of Word as my primary Word processor since the late 1980s (ie for around 25 years). I've been providing on-line support for it for around a decade and have been an MS MVP since well before Word 2007 was released - an award given in recognition of the amount of help I've given people over the years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by namedujour View Post
I don't want my normal.dot functionality in pieces. I want it to work the way it used to. You like it this way because you don't know any differently, and you think think that knowing how to work with a bad design means the design is good. There is our disconnect.
Normal dot has all the functionality it ever had. It seems that you haven't come to grips with that and the added functionality introduced with building blocks. The former is for templates, the latter is for re-usable content. The two are entirely different concepts.
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Last edited by macropod; 05-03-2011 at 07:51 PM.
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