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Maintaining body text formatting in a table of contents

Posted on 2008-10-02
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I am not sure I am even going down the right path here, so let me tell you what our "vision" is.  We have an detailed instructor's manual that is very long with a lot of background info and screenshots.  From this we want to extract (on the fly) just the points that are to be taught (i.e. verbalized) to the students.  So I have created a series of styles such as "MainTopicTeachingIntro", "MainTopicTeachingSteps", etc.  I thought I was on to something when I created a table on contents, assigned my custom styles to it, and modified the TOC styles to suite.  Problem is two fold - it does not maintain the extra spaces between paragraphs (since the teaching intros may be multiple paragraphs).  The second issue is that it doesn't seem to like my multi-level lists - it aligns them all together on the left, or does some really funky things if i start playing with it.  Soooooo...is there a way to make the Table of Contents do what I need it to do?  If not, what other suggestions might you have to get to my end result???  Thanks everyone, and as usual, I'm looking for some info as soon as possible (everything is always in a rush, isn't it??!!)...
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Question by:bcad
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EricFletcher earned 500 total points
ID: 22634817
I modify styles to make Instructor notes "disappear" for printing student guides so I can maintain both parts of a manual in a single file. Since you already use styles, you may be able to adapt the same approach.

For all content you want to include in the summary, set the styles to be based on a placeholder style, say "summary." Base all other styles on a different named styles, say "hide."

When you want to produce the summary, redefine the "hide" style to set the font=hidden. Only the summary content will be non-hidden. You will see it in the "Show All" view of course, but if you turn that off, you'll only have the summary content.

The reason I suggest having two styles for the "based on" is to give you the ability to differentiate between them: if you were to set the "summary" style with font color=green and the "hide' style with font color=blue, you could easily see which was which during editing or new creation.

For ease of use, I created a custom toolbar with some buttons that run macros to toggle the different states of the underlying styles.

About the table of contents question though...

The TOC field collects the content and assigns the TOC 1, TOC 2, etc. styles so you should be able to redefine those styles to have them display as you want them. Be sure to turn off the "automatically update" checkbox so a change in the copy doesn't redefine the style.
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by:ddhamm
ID: 22634826
Wow, in a way that is a cool idea. but if you want extra spacing on any Table of Contents entry you need to make it it's own style.

Different paragraphs would have to be assigned their own style (paragraph 1 vs. paragraph 2, etc) -  this would allow you to add the spacing between them in the TOC that you generate.

The multi level lists would have to be assigned separate styles, too. Then you can make the styles use indentation to make them look like the levels by editing those styles to have paragraph space before and after them.

Though this could be a chore to set up, it would make a cool way to create your "short list" of important information.

DeeDee
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by:bcad
ID: 22637234
Thanks for your responses!  Question for EricFletcher - I initially was going to put all items that I didn't want in the notes in one style (like you were suggesting), but ended up thinking along a different line because within the instructor details that I want "hidden", I would still want to use some sort of other formatting styles (i.e. Title Styles, Sub Titles styles, etc.).  So how do you have "two" styles assigned to something...???

To ddhamm - I had thought about that, but there is no way that I am going to be able to convince everyone to apply a different style for every list level (and all the instructors would be using the same styles and templates) - I don't even really want to do it!!  Unfortunately our material changes all the time - if it was static, I probably would put this kind of effort in, but alas, it is not.
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Author Closing Comment

by:bcad
ID: 31502636
I think I'm going to make 2 - 3 different style for Background info (i.e. BackgroundTitle, BackgroundSubTitle, BackgroundBody, etc.), then have a macro on a button that just sets all of these to hidden.  So, good idea EricFletcher!
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