Word 2007 lets you restrict the styles and formatting people can use in documents based on a particular template. I suspect that this will be useful for me in restricting the styles used in SharePoint’s Rich Client Authoring (aka Smart Client Authoring – I wish they’d pick a terminology).
Just as a quick example, though, you get do this through the manage styles dialog. To open this, open the styles menu from the ribbon, and select the manage styles option:
This will open a dialog box for you:
The Restrict tab lets you see the styles in your template or document:
You can sort the styles various ways, view all the styles, just those in use or ‘recommended’ (see below). There are some buttons for quick selection for the styles, (All, Built in, Visible (although I’m not entirely sure what ‘visible’ means…). The ‘Permit’ and ‘Restrict’ buttons, um, permit and restrict the use of the selected styles – restricted styles are shown with a little padlock next to them. In the screenshot above the only visible styles that are permitted are Normal and Heading1 (side note: you can’t restrict the use of Normal!)
Note that at this point ‘restricted’ styles can actually still be used. This was a bit of a surprise to me, but there is one more step…
The other control of note is the checkbox for ‘Limit formatting to permitted styles’. If checked, this disables the Word buttons for controlling the font, text colour, text size, bold/italic/underline (all that stuff) and disables ‘restricted’ styles. Essentially, it makes you style your document using just the permitted Styles in the ribbon. This is good for SharePoint as it means that if you use the Document Conversion Service (or as one of our customers is doing, cut and paste content into a SharePoint Page’s content editor control) you won’t have any inline styles – the document’s styles can be entirely controlled by a style sheet.
Anyway, one further tab is of interest – the Recommend tab:
This tab controls what items are shown on the Style control on the ribbon. It controls the order in which the styles are recommend, and when they should be visible (some styles can be hidden until they’re used). Not that restricting styles and then checking the ‘Limit formatting to permitted styles’ checkbox removes restricted styles from the recommended styles ribbon anyway, but you may want to set the priority or visibility settings for the styles in your template.