How can I clean up a stack of Microsoft Word documents?
October 2, 2011 7:13 AM Subscribe
How can I strip all manually-added formatting from some large Microsoft Word documents whilst retaining the basic heading structure (i.e. not
simply Clear Formatting)?
More generally what are some good resources for a graphic designer (who is fairly familiar with InDesign but who avoids Word like the plague) who needs to get to grips with Microsoft Word in a hurry?
posted by puffmoike to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I have been asked to restyle 14 Microsoft Word documents, each with approximately 100 pages. The client is insistent that the docs be kept in Word rather than InDesign, so that she can modify them as necessary in the future.
She has made some use of Styles - the basic heading structure necessary for generating a table of contents has been used. But she has manually overridden the format of the heading styles on a case-by-case basis (e.g. Heading 2 + Calibri, 12pt, Not Italic, royal blue), rather than modifying the formatting of the style itself. There's probably a dozen or so 'styles' that I need to clean up. Some are paragraphs based on a unique Heading Style like the example above. Another half dozen are just modifications of Normal, such as making coloured words within paragraphs.
I can't conceive of the effort involved in creating the documents in this fashion. And I can't work out how I can fix this unholy mess without expending a similar amount of effort myself. Word's Clear Formatting command strips out all the formatting - I just want to remove what InDesign would term "overrides".
- How should I remove all manually added formatting from the doc, whilst retaining the basic heading structure?
- Do I do use the same technique for the remaining 13 documents, or are there ways I can streamline things for subsequent documents?
- Is Word sufficiently compatible across operating systems and versions of Word that I should even be contemplating doing this in the first place?
- Any other basic advice given the task in front of me?
- What is a decent online resource (in the vein of Stack Overflow) for semi-intelligent discussion of Word?
My system: OS 10.7.1; MS Word 2008 12.3.1
Their systems (more than one person in their company will be editing): Windows version ???; MS Word ???