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In Word 2007, I was the program manager responsible for driving both the changes in the styles user experience and the investment made in lists. There a number of decisions that were made by those of us involved in those efforts that folks are still talking about (including in recent comments on this and other blogs). This post gives you some of my personal insights as to why we went in the directions we did. The goal is to provide a bit more information about both how Word works and why it works the way it does in these areas.
The organization of the Home tab of the Ribbon had two primary driving forces from my perspective. The first was to get the most commonly used commands readily available to the user. The second was to present the style features of Word in a UI that matches their design (separating text styles from list styles from table styles). The underlying reasoning for this second focus was to subtly guide users in properly using these features.
The UI is very much biased towards applying text styles, with both visual and semantic cues to guide in the selection of the appropriate style. We made this change for three reasons. The first two relate to taking advantage of new user experience technologies – galleries and live preview. For the first time, users could see what applying a style would do to their content. The other was to separate text styles (which can be applied to any range of text) for the more specialized list and table styles (which should only be applied to those structures).
Note that List Styles are on the Home tab – but in the UI that emphasizes how they are meant to be applied. And Table Styles are on the contextual tab for a table – out of the way except for in the cases where they have meaning. One of the benefits of this organization was that we could add more specific UI around these styles. For example, when you apply a list structure from the Multilevel List gallery, we highlight the list that you are formatting. (Note that the Multilevel List gallery includes both list styles and unnamed multilevel list structures – a topic discussed in other blog posts.)
We also ensured that we continued to support two of the most common ways that power users applied styles. We updated the UI that you see when you use Ctrl+Shift+S, adding a bit more power to that dialog box. And we made sure that you could still add the old Style combo box to the QAT if you preferred that model (which has the advantage of reporting the dominant style for the current selection).
Linked Styles is functionality introduced in Word 2002 as the default definition of new styles. Its purpose is to allow the easy creation of “run-in” headings where only the first few words of the paragraph are formatted as the heading. This meant that the style could either be used on the full paragraph (as a traditional heading paragraph style) or on a range (as a heading character style) and both would pull to the same level in a Table of Contents.
In conversations with various people, including several MVPs, we agreed that being able to turn off the ability to apply to a range was very useful in some cases. This led to exposing the concept of a Linked Style a bit more aggressively in the UI so that people could explicitly define a Paragraph Style (prior to Word 2007, any paragraph style was automatically a linked style). And to allow me to add the “Disable Linked Styles” option to the Styles pane, which forces any linked style to behavior as a paragraph style – applying to the entire paragraph even when a range is selected.
The number structure in Word is extremely complex for a variety of reasons including the need to support scenarios that require that list structures and paragraphs each independently have indents. The most common scenario that I can easily describe is one where bullets are used to imply meaning and indentation is used to indicate importance. The classic of this might be red/green/yellow bullets for status and indent for priority. It’s not the core scenario but it is one that Word has always supported.
Restart is one of the most challenging aspects of lists and I admit I can see several different ways we might have implemented it. Word treats restart as part of the definition of how the automatic behavior of the list should behave – you can think of it as training Word how to number. The reason for our current model is that in many list structures (most notably in legal), the restart is not based on the level immediately before but rather a higher level. Thus, you see structures like the following:
1. Level 1
a. Level 2
b. Level 2
i. Level 3
ii. Level 3
c. Level 2
d. Level 2
iii. Level 3
iv. Level 3
2. Level 1
e. Level 2
f. Level 2
In this example, the second level (the lettered list) does not restart based on the first level but the third level does. Certainly these are not the most common structures – but they are ones that Word needs to support to appeal to its breadth of users.
One of the things that’s not obvious about this type of structure is that you needn’t actually have any bullet or numbering at a level. This allows you to define a level of plain text that will trigger the restart of a list. (Of course, using this sort of model is one of the cases that then pushes the need for more than nine levels of numbering – something we’ll definitely consider in the next version).
Restart is very different then from a Start at value, which is used to associate a specific numbering value with a paragraph. You can’t associate a Start at value with a paragraph style because in almost all cases, it is a better model to have all of the paragraphs within a given list level share the same paragraph style.
The most common lists, those that have one or two levels with consistent formatting are easy to define. It’s even relatively easy to see how several of these might work within the same document. And these are generally managed by our simple list UI, not needing the added complexity of a list style (or multilevel list). In these cases, the list is managed by the numbering being associated with the paragraph. And the UI for creating a paragraph style reflects this simple relationship. Multilevel lists (including List styles) exist for when the structure of the list is complex and when the ability to promote and demote among levels in the list is important.
I think the core confusion is the belief that you would ever apply a List Style to a paragraph – that’s never been the intent or the internal structure. A List Style is used foremost as a structure for formatting a collection of paragraphs based on “level.” You might apply a list style to a group of paragraphs and that’s why it has its own gallery on the Home Tab (which neatly highlights the members of the current list when you go to change the applied formatting). The second purpose is as a container to relate a set of paragraph styles—to define how one moves among them using promote and demote actions. In that case, one applies the paragraph style, not the list style, to any individual paragraph.
To be clear, in earlier versions, it was possible to associate a paragraph style with a single level of a list structure. This was a flawed model in that it did not explicitly define the promote or demote behaviors for that paragraph style while given the illusion that more than the formatting of the single level had been created. The UI is reworked to emphasize that if you want a list format as part of a paragraph style, you need to be associating only the simply number formats (not a list structure).
Using Adjust List Indents should be updating the indents stored in the list structure. However, if you have created paragraph styles linked to levels within a list structure (rather than a list structure that contains paragraph styles at the various levels), then changing the indent would indeed change the relationship (because you’ve in effect redefined the list that the paragraph is associated with).
Word 2007 introduced a variety of ways for the style creator to organize the styles in the UI, stepping away from the solely alphabetical listing of previous versions. Part of the reason for that was to provide the sort of control that people had expected from the “In Use” string. At its most well-behaved, the “In Use” functionality reports any built-in style that has ever been used in the document and any custom-defined style in the document (whether or not it has ever been applied). I think the naming is unfortunate but so far no one has come up with a better description that wasn’t significantly longer.
This entire article is in Times New Roman. really?
now that the new AP styles - eg for these submissions - have a crazy style with an run-in inline heading that's extraordinarily hard to work with, there's going to be a need for Linked Styles to be much clearer to find and use. but why not call them run-in styles for clarity?
Sushovan - I'm not sure what came over me. I normally use Calibri for most online content and Constantia for printed document body text. Perhaps I was going to a retro look? Mary - I think that would be excellent naming but the feature had been added in Word 2002 and we didn't want to change a term that many people already knew. Also, the Linked style has the advantage that it can be used both for a run-in and a paragraph style heading so to some I think "run-in" might have seemed a bit limiting.
Thanks for a very important keynote on styles.
1.)The Home Tab of Word 2007/2010 rather reflects the UX of Ad-hoc Word users designing one way documents. To overemphasize visual appearance instead of the semantic meaning of formatting by hiding the names of table and list styles is not good for structured (= having the semantic meaning of all formatting in mind) editing - which should be the “professional editing” approach for longer douments and long living documents. As Microsoft supports different types of UX at least the possibility to design user defined drop-down lists for the different kind of styles (except list styles!) should be made possible without programming. 2.) "…second was to present the style features of Word In a UI that matches their design (separating text styles from list styles from table styles)".
With regard to the term "styles" all types are similar: a name and a corresponding object (text, paragraphs, table). For a template designer in order to easily manage all kind of styles it would be much better to have a styles pane showing all kind of styles (by their names!) with checkboxes to activate/deactivate the shown types. As a Word template development is not a static one time action, the UI should at least give the possibility to reach the modify style dialog in an easy and consistant way (i. e. a context menu modify style, that is also for list styles). 3.) “Note that List Styles are on the Home tab – but in the UI that emphasizes how they are meant to be applied.” That’s not true for completely styles based usage of formatting. I’ve learned that the definition of list styles now define the link to paragraph styles all alone: In order to manage and control these links it would be a much more consistent design to define and to show a new icon of “real” linked styles that is a combination of the paragraph icon and the list style icon in the styles pane and to give the possibility to display the name of the list style near by the paragraph style in the styles pane.
All Word MVP explained for years: “Don’t use the Buttons intended for “Direct Formatting”. As a Word template designer and a document editor mark different user roles which very often are carried out by the same person, I don’t understand why you defined the Multilevel List Button as the primary access for list styles.
And you encourage a confusion between unnamed multilevel lists and list styles which may result in document disasters: How can you reliably transfer lists from a template to a document without using list styles? How can I check and repair documents where I mistakenly have attached list templates instead of named list styles? And the most important thing is: A template designer typically wants to link an existing list paragraph style with a certain list style not the other way round!
At least in existing documents when you want to modify list styles then you typically place the cursor in an existing list paragraph you want to modify the (multilevel) list style and then the paragraph indents if necessary.
It hasn’t been a misunderstanding of the list style concept it has been nothing than (UI?) bugs, that editing list styles starting from the paragraph style dialogs didn’t reliably work, see for example: www.microsystems.com/.../wordtip019.php - so a bugfix would have been the right choice not a UI redesign… 4.) “Ctrl+Shift+S” (or the click in the old Styles Drop-down List) – yes this is the only efficient approach to quickly attach modifications to a style – phantastic!
But what about changing indents by the ruler and then using these power user shortcuts: If the paragraph is linked to a list style – are the list indents changed automatically? And why do lists have indents anyway, from my point of view one of the biggest faults in Word’s functional design. You can explain the reasons for this design, but you cannot dismiss the billions of Word users for screaming on the strange change of list indents they never wanted! 5.) Linked styles: Your blog is the first time for me to understand why linked styles may have a function: run-in heads – but on the other hand the correct use for these would be the style separator if it reliably worked. I would be nice if the disable linked styles feature would work together with the Format Painter button (a nicee shortcut for styles application!) – but it doesn’t, very bad. 6.) “The number structure in Word is extremely complex”: Yes the wishes of the users are complex, but the implementation of the numbering features is nothing but “Jurassic Parc”.
6.1) I think the first important thing to get is a stable and reliable numbering solution, which survives updates by templates! We didn’t get this reliable numbering feature until Word 2007 (and one of the most well-known Word MVPs says Word 2007 is only “a little more stable”) and this is a real tragedy as other tools simply show: The numbering stability could be easily reached!
6.2) You said: “Restart is very different then from a Start at value, which is used to associate a specific numbering value with a paragraph. You can’t associate a Start at value with a paragraph style because in almost all cases, it is a better model to have all of the paragraphs within a given list level share the same paragraph style”
Why? For a Word user “Restart” has a semantic meaning, for whim a new list starts! What the most important thing is: No direct formatting, no template update never ever should be able to remove the “Restart” and to combine the numbering with the previous list instances except the user decides this semantic change by applying a paragraph style i.e. standard list style. If you use the Includetext Feature for up-to-date modularized documents the restart feature doesn’t work anyway, as Word thinks "Restart" is not necessary at the beginning of a new document, so the marker is removed (or not inserted) and the text module continues numbering from the previous list instance. 6.3) I understand of course the idea of having all list entries defined by the same style: But the consequence is to define “Restart” as a style override. Up to Word 2003 this style override “Restart” made lists completely unreliable. Tons of documents caused in Word crashes if “restart” has been extensively used. And once again: Ctrl+q removes the restart option – a night mare! The numbering disaster had been one reason for other billions of Word users crying for other numbering solutions until they finally left Word! If lists wouldn’t contain indents and restart(or Numbering at) would be part of a paragraph style, and list prefixes would be treated either as styles or as overrides but not as a kind of hotchpotch then billions of mailings hadn’t be written and almost all Word clinics could have been closed… You write: “The most common lists, those that have one or two levels with consistent formatting are easy to define.(…) The UI is reworked to emphasize that if you want a list format as part of a paragraph style, you need to be associating only the simply number formats (not a list structure).”
Is that really true? Can I - in documents which may be updated/modified (I mean lists also !!!) - reliably use lists without named list styles? And is this process reliable across the Word versions 2003/2007/2010? And how can I really control lists across documents - having no style names for the list properties? Dieter
The kind of list that does not restart numbering of level X+1 directly after a level X list item is the exception rather than the rule. I would rather see an override "continue numbering" for those exception than a "restart numbering" for the more frequent cases.
When I am developing a template for a design that has the lowest-level heading run-in, I want to prevent the user from running-in the higher-level heads. The decision whether to run-in a heading is part of the document design, not an end-user option. So, I would need to make some headings paragraph-only styles, and one heading a character style. But, it seems like Word 2007 prevents me from "unlinking" the built-in Heading N styles.
loren stafford -- The only time you use a Restart setting is when you are continuing number and the setting tells which (if any) level should be used for the trigger (rather than the immediately preceeding level). A continue feature wouldn't allow that flexibility of either always continue or continue until some other level changes. We use the verb Continue to join a list that previously was broken with the use of a Start At value. But I think the functionality that you are describing is still part of our default model. lstafford -- yes, the built-in heading styles are always defined as Linked (somewhat for backwards compatibilty reasons). The work-around would be to create your own sequence of styles based on the heading styles but you might have already discovered that some features (such as outline level promote/demote) only work with the built-in styles correctly.
While your technical description of all styles being named collections of formatting (an object if you will) is quite accurate, from my perspective, the three groups of styles are very dissimilar – text styles are much as you describe them, list styles are simply containers for structures with some formatting included that structure, and table styles are purely formatting (with contextual rules of style options to determine how they are displayed). Only text styles were designed to have semantic meaning. I can say that does reflect the intent of those of us who are involved in designing and evolving Word. For working with managing styles, I strongly encourage you to use only the Manage Styles dialog, which does work in many of the ways you describe. It doesn’t have the filter for types of styles but it does have many other ways of navigating the style list. The other approaches for updating styles are meant for far more casual uses (such as making a style match a particular look). And, yes, this is a dialog that I would personally like to see develop further in its user experience. When you ask for an icon, I think you are using the term “linked” to refer to a style that has a relationship between a list structure and a paragraph style (which in other articles I referred to as bound). What’s get tricky is that any given paragraph style can actually be bound to more than one list structure. So we’ve explored this idea but never come up decided the confusion it introduces is problematic – the preview given for the style (or semantic meaning in the style naming) seems the better cue that it is part of the list. It sounds like what you’re wanting from Restart is best served by the two lists having two distinct list structures – so that they are never merged together. But I’m still not quite clear on your scenario so please feel free to provide more details. (And I did just recall that we do use Restart in the end-user UI to mean Start at 1, which is different of course from the Restart command in the list structure UX. Again, a confusion introduced by trying to use language friendly to the typical user. Restart at 1 / Start At is definitely not intended to create separate list but rather restarting the counting within the same list.) There was quite the debate about what to call the new numbering control. Multilevel list was the best choice that we heard for the overall gallery. I made the decision to stop using the term “Outline” list for the unnamed list structure because it masked the fact that the lists could be used for many things other than outlines. Unfortunately, we ended up with the control name and one of the list structures sharing the same name. I now wish we’d done more to avoid that confusion. As a side note, the primary difference between a multilevel list and a list style is simply that a list style has a name – in most other ways, they are inter-changeable. I’m a strong advocate of using list styles whenever possible; many of the MVPs are advocates of the multilevel list structure. Two of your points are ones that we definitely need to address as the product continues to evolve. The first is the complexity inherent in having a model where you can set formatting (notably indents) both through the paragraph properties and through the numbering properties. This is a problem that has challenged me for the last several years and I admit to not yet having a clear solution that still enables us to open and work with existing documents. The solution you propose is one I really like but it does mean that legacy documents wouldn’t be usable. The second point that I agree is challenging is copying list structures between documents. Here in particular is an area where we continue to need to better understand customer goals. For example, should copying a list structure automatically copy any paragraph styles bound to that structure? What about if you want to re-use that list structure in a document with different paragraph style definitions? Right now, copying lists between documents can be a very fragile part of the workflow and I can’t guide you to a solution that will work 100% of the time. I do understand how tempting the UI model is that lets you link from a paragraph style to a list structure – but there is no way in that user experience to help guide the user in understanding that the list structure should be completely defined and, more important, that the list structure is what creates the relationship among the paragraphs. I saw far too many “broken” documents that were a result of the earlier Word UI that allowed paragraph styles to link to outline lists and continue to believe we made the right decision to remove that path. “Broken” both in terms of not being logically structured to match the user’s intent (paragraphs meant to be in the same list actually mapped to separate structures) and in terms of not being internally structured to work with other features (most notably adding more complexity to the mixture of paragraph and list indent properties). We continue to investigate ways of making the entire user experience of working with numbering and bullets easier for the user to understand. As to how easy it is to make particular changes, I have to rely on my developer and test peers here within the organization to help make that judgment. Our external partners can often describe a problem quite crisply but that does not (unfortunately) equate to there being a straight-forward solution. So, one person’s bug may be another person’s feature rewrite. Fortunately, it works the other way as well – I’ve been pleasantly surprised on more than one occasion when features that I thought were far too complex to implement were quickly and precisely crafted by our teams.
As a writer I want to control the look of my novel or non-fiction book. I don't want it dictated by the software. Like an artist who starts with a blank canvas and then decides to work in oils, and what kind of pallet knife, what color paint, etc. Currently styles in word controls completely the look of everything and I have no control. Thus when I write the book it looks different almost every time I open it. I can't get total and complete control over how I want my quotes to appear on the page, or how I want my title page and chapter headings to appear. I want to know how to complete and totally shut off all style features except if and when I choose one to use. How can I do this? Word 2007 and I am guessing word 2010 thinks it knows better than me and will force my document into its own predetermined format. I can't find a way to shut if off and keep it shut off. Each time I open the document it looks different than what I selected. Help!!!!!
In response to Gary: There are a couple of things you can do to take control of your documents. One is to avoid +Body and +Heading fonts -- in other words, make sure you are using a specific font, such as Arial or Times New Roman -- since +Body and +Heading are "place holders," and you will end up with a body or heading font determined by the "Theme" that Word is applying to your document. You can create your own Theme (using your preferred font face, font size, and font color) and make it the default, which will help ensure that Word doesn't apply font settings you haven't chosen. Formatting for certain parts of a document -- such as headers, footers, and footnotes -- are always determined by a style. However, you can modify the style for those specific features (making certain to click the "New documents based on this template" button in the "Modify Style" dialog so that your changes apply to all future documents you create that are based on the underlying template). Taking those steps should help you regain a great deal of control over your documents. Jan
Stuart, As you might know, last year I wrote a book called "Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007." I'm working on a similar book for Word 2010, which I'm hoping to publish around the time the software is officially released. Needless to say, it would be extremely helpful to have a clearer idea of what the final product will look like (and how different it will be from the beta). Is there any way that someone on the Developer team could contact me and provide me with more information as I near my publication date? You can find my e-mail address by visiting my blog or my main web site (compusavvy.com). Thanks in advance. Jan
@Gary -- Your document should never change layout from saving it and then re-opening it as long as you are using the current file format (DOC for older versions of Word and DocX for Word 2007 and later). If you are using another file format (or the DOC format with Word 2007), some formatting may in fact be changed when you save -- because the file format you are using doesn't support that formatting. If you are talking about Word making changes as you type, those are the AutoFormat rules. You can disable those features by going to the Word Options->Advanced->Proofing->AutoCorrect Options (which opens another dialog)->AutoFormat as you Type tab. @Jan--Using the theme fonts shouldn't create a document that is any more or less stable than one that using specific fonts. The theme fonts will only update if you expicitly change your theme. I think your advice about creating a custom theme is the best approch. The greatest trouble comes from mixing the theme font tag and the same specified font face [for example, Calibri (Body) and Calibri] because then you can't tell which one will change if you update your theme. If you want to avoid using themes entirely with fonts, then of course the best approach is to update your document defaults to use the specific fonts that you prefer. (As to your question about contacting us about book content -- that's something your Publisher would need to handle working with our marketing department.)
Hi, Stuart, I'm the publisher as well as the author. So... how would I contact your marketing department? Thanks much,
@Jan -- I've forwarded your request to our marketing contact.
I think we must go a step backward in order to evaluate the Word UI and functions correctly that is from the different kind of user roles and use case scenarios:
I know that many Word functions and the UX Design has been derived from the user role “Ad-hoc design and editing of short documents” No real life cycle which may include reviews and co-working scenarios on different computers are included in these scenarios – and yes I appreciate many of the new exciting functionality which has been implemented up to Word 2010.
My argumentation is for longer document use case scenarios where the most important cornerstones are:
a) Logical distinction between a tasks of a template designer and a document editor/writer (even if both roles are carried out by the same person)
b) Strict structural formatting, that is formatting derived by logical semantic means
c) Reliability and possiblity to use controlling functions to check the document design and document structure (i. e. all use cases scenarios of creating, applying, modifying deleting, updating all kind of styles and of course reliable management functions for checking and updating documents attached with a template (and an easy removing of format overrides)
The aspect c) is more than important and up to now Word UX is too far away from these use case scenarios as teh Word UI strongly encourages direct formatting and it’s very difficult to control format overrides especially with regard to lists. And although implementing Word templates for more than ten years I wasn’t successful in reaching really reliable document lifecycles: At least the list instances in documents became corrupt over the time. The current situation with Word 2010 is better but still inacceptable. The situation is not only dramatic for me but I bet for the majority of word users editing longer, structured documents. I fully understand that you will ignore the opinion of a “Word outsider” but you might sit up and take notice: Word is the only tool I know having these complex numbering dramas. If you take a sideways glance how other tools fulfill the mentioned demands you will see: FrameMaker or even more InDesign implemented much of the numbering functionality of Word but for example restart numbering alwasy is part of the paragraph style. FrameMaker sees the whole numbering scheme as part of a paragraph style only. Your insistency upon differentiating the different types of styles is understandable from the user role document editing and as you overemphasize the visual effects of a style. For a template designer who wants to check all defined styles the former styles pane had been a good and important starting point. And especially the UI of Word 2007/2010 for table styles is very bad, as a named table style can and should have a semantic meaning in contrast to your opinion: table styles for “Technical Data”, “Schedule” etc. are proper names with a semantic meaning but the “third green table on the Ribbon” is certainly not a good identification for a table style.
Stuart said: “What’s get tricky is that any given paragraph style can actually be bound to more than one list structure”. Where is the logical meaning of this “feature”? And is that still true if I’m use using named list styles? I think that’s only true for the strange Word concept of “List Templates”, which I call the sweet poison of direct formatting. List templates are very difficult to understand as they seem to be a kind of style but not in the way the other named styles are defined – and the can’t be reliably updated by a template, am I right?
Stuart said: “It sounds like what you’re wanting from Restart is best served by the two lists having two distinct list structures – so that they are never merged together.”
Seen from the semantic meaning: Yes. Thinking in Terms of "XML light" all these lists are defined as separate lists. From the list style point of view: No. The list style is the same, so removing the “Restart style option” will continue the numbering scheme
What is important: The manual restart option must not be a simple override as in this case I cannot update the attached styles by a modified template.
Stuart said: “Restart at 1 / Start at is definitely not intended to create separate list but rather restarting the counting within the same list.”
I think that’s ok. What is not ok, that this restart option is so fragile and may be removed by a styles update (and cannot be used in modularized environments using the includetext feature). The other “restart” in multilevel lists” is an “automatic” feature which exactly fits to typical numbered headings 1/1.1/1.1.1 You may use it by a certain kind of “misinterpretation” of the word “multilevel” in order to restart a numbering of any other mentioned simple list, if you define this list as a part of the mentioned multilevel list. Up to now I’m forced to use this “misinterpretation” in order to avoid too many “restart” markers which make Word instable (at least up to Word 2003). Stuart said: “The solution you propose (list styles without list indents options) is one I really like but it does mean that legacy documents wouldn’t be usable.”
Why? I think it’s a question how to automatically attach (legacy) list indents to paragraph indents, isn’t it?
Stuart said: “The second point that I agree is challenging is copying list structures between documents. Here in particular is an area where we continue to need to better understand customer goals. For example, should copying a list structure automatically copy any paragraph styles bound to that structure? What about if you want to re-use that list structure in a document with different paragraph style definitions?“
If I use styles only then a list structure is always bound to one or more paragraph styles. Typically I always want to update all styles in a document from a modified template which must reliably work. The direct copy of paragraphs where list styles are attached may result in difficult cases to distinguish. I think it would be technically much easier to implement the opposite functionality than you did with Word: Multi-level lists should be nothing but a named multi-flow of numbering and prefix/postfix strings … including separators or text. Paragraph styles should define the links to this named numbering scheme and include the options for defining “restart”, “start at” and then may give the numbering scheme a hierarchical meaning. Stuart said: “Right now, copying lists between documents can be a very fragile part of the workflow and I can’t guide you to a solution that will work 100% of the time.” This shouldn’t be an issue if I use named styles only and the link between paragraph styles and list styles are technically stable. With regard to the built in “update styles from template” I think it’s necessary that a direct formatting (i. e. by list templates) will be removed automatically if a paragraph style is bounded with a list style and once again: the restart option must not be removed in this scenario.
Stuart said: “I do understand how tempting the UI model is that lets you link from a paragraph style to a list structure – but there is no way in that user experience to help guide the user in understanding that the list structure should be completely defined and, more important, that the list structure is what creates the relationship among the paragraphs. I saw far too many “broken” documents that were a result of the earlier Word UI that allowed paragraph styles to link to outline lists”
I think the main problem are links to list (templates). A link to a named list style shouldn’t be a problem. The following question then might be why not to define the link to a list style as part of a paragraph style only. One could learn this stable concept from other tools ;-).
But the different solution in Word 2007/2010 might work if named list styles and list templates will be strictly separated: A named list style must remove all links to list templates. Up to now the Word UI encourages to mix the usage of list templates and of named list styles.
Stuart said: “Our external partners can often describe a problem quite crisply but that does not (unfortunately) equate to there being a straight-forward solution. So, one person’s bug may be another person’s feature rewrite.” I really understand what you mean. The question is: Is working with styles only and is updating a document by a modified template a typical use case in Word, then lists must not become corrupted and if a link between a paragraph style and a list style is broken I must get the easy chance to check that and to repair the link by reapplying the styles all instances in a document.