Formatting unprotected sections of form templates in Word 2007


D

downwitch

Hi all,

I know this topic has been covered somewhat here and on other forums,
but I'm afraid none of the answers quite satisfy my specific
situation. I'm doing some programming for a client who, alas, is
trying to impose some very strict formatting, but still allow a few
options such as (style-dictated only) bullet lists in some document
sections. We've been using templates I built for several years that
combine protected sections, unprotected sections, and some macro paste
control (reformatting pasted text on the fly) without incident for a
few years, but that ended with 2007.

Basically, for those who haven't seen the problem before, if you
protect a document for form entry, limiting it to a section or two--a
fax cover header, say, where all the user needs to do is enter some
content, but should NOT be able to alter any form (sorry, here this is
design terms, i.e. form vs. content, not form" as in "form entry")--
you ought to be able to leave other sections--say, the fax cover body--
as open (or closed) as you wish. Indeed, Word's own templates do some
of this, though of course they don't impose protection.

But apparently it shouldn't matter; as Word 2007 claims when you have
the protection pane up in an unprotected section of a protected-as-
form document (dizzy yet?), the user may "freely edit" in that
section. Putting in a bulleted list, for example, does not strike me
as taking particular liberties beyond basic freedom of edition.

Only, no. Tons of greyed-out buttons, etc. etc. I know some have said
this was true prior to 2007, but they're, um, not correct. I have
maintained past installations of Office on my dev machines, and when I
open the very same templates in 2003, I *can* in fact edit
(relatively, and sometimes too) freely.

Sorry for whatever portions of this read as rant, but I cannot believe
that in the 6 versions I've known, the considerable brain trust at
MSFT has been unable to get their heads around a problem HTML had to
solve to survive, and that WordPerfect had down cold before Windows
3.1 existed. Long story short, it looks like I am stuck with four
options as of 2007:
1. Unprotect the templates, thus permitting design mayhem (Not a
chance)
2. Forget about whatever Word 2007 tells me users shouldn't constitute
"editing freely". (Very frustrating to users)
3. Redevelop the entire thing to force users to enter "protected"-form
data into a Word form (yes, I will beat the sense out of that word
before I'm done, I know, sorry) and then spit out something, in other
words, use custom software instead of a word processor (Hardly cost-
effective, or reasonable)
4. Consign all formatting to styles, and retrain a (sizable) user base
just how those work, and why they should be preferable to that little
bullet icon (or any other) they've been using for much of their
careers, however long. (Quite frustrating to users)

Please tell me I'm missing a brilliant solution (or workaround, I'd
take one of those, too) here. Thanks in advance for any aid you might
provide.
 
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D

Doug Robbins - Word MVP

The brilliant solution is either to use Content Controls or a UserForm

--
Hope this helps.

Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
services on a paid consulting basis.

Doug Robbins - Word MVP, originally posted via msnews.microsoft.com
 
D

downwitch

So start from scratch? And subtract the "word processing" bit from
"word processor" and add in an unfamiliar interface or setup?

I'm afraid the brilliance escapes me there.
 
S

Stefan Blom

I'm not sure if this helps, but note that Quick Styles can be applied to
text in unprotected sections of a protected document.

--
Stefan Blom
Microsoft Word MVP



___________________________
So start from scratch? And subtract the "word processing" bit from
"word processor" and add in an unfamiliar interface or setup?

I'm afraid the brilliance escapes me there.
 
D

downwitch

Thanks Stefan, I did know that, and think that may be the best/only
workable compromise. I guess my gripe is that if users were meant to
use styles and not format ad hoc, then MSFT should have tightly linked
its handy buttons that everyone knows & loves to said styles. Very,
very tightly. If the bullet list toggle corresponded to a quick style,
there would be no need to disable it.
 
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S

Stefan Blom

Agreed.

--
Stefan Blom
Microsoft Word MVP


___________________________
Thanks Stefan, I did know that, and think that may be the best/only
workable compromise. I guess my gripe is that if users were meant to
use styles and not format ad hoc, then MSFT should have tightly linked
its handy buttons that everyone knows & loves to said styles. Very,
very tightly. If the bullet list toggle corresponded to a quick style,
there would be no need to disable it.
 
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