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7 Mistakes to Avoid when Writing Technical Documents in Word

The main issues with creating long docs in Word tend to involve formatting, styles, graphics, tables, and bullets.

  1. Formatting — cutting/pasting material directly from one file into another is best avoided as this will bring unwanted styles in the target Word file. Instead convert it to raw text and then import it.
  2. Styles — create specific styles and avoid over-riding settings. Avoid using the default settings in the Normal.com template file.
  3. Graphics – avoid using cut/paste graphics into Word. Instead, reference them with Insert Picture etc.
  4. Tip: insert graphics only after all other content has been built! Tables — avoid the default Word auto-format settings.
  5. Bullets — use styles to create bullets. Avoid using the toolbar and menu options to create bullets. Avoid over-rides.
  6. WARNING: Bullet lists cause more damage than any other feature in Word!
  7. Always turn off Allow Fast Save and Save Auto Recover. See Tools > Options > Save > Allow Fast Save.

Developing Microsoft Word files with these pointers in mind will help reduce the file size and avoid corrupting the document template.