Rick and Art,

Thanks for your insights. Both sensible approaches and at least 
somewhat less painful than rebuilding the entire thing from scratch 


>==Rick's Reply==
>Hi Karen,
>Here is how I would approach the problem. Find the component the book that
>is the most solid as far as styles. Make a copy of this and call it your
>"template." Delete all of the paragraph format formats in this document that
>still need work, leaving only the solid formats.
>For each of your other components, identify a one or more styles that you
>know that are in good shape. Think in terms of categories; for example,
>maybe you spent a lot of time getting your list styles in place in a
>particular document. Make a temporary copy of this document and delete all
>paragraph formats except the list styles. Now import these paragraph formats
>into your template and discard the temporary document.
>You do not necessarily have to do this in one sitting; you can do it over
>time as you work on your book. What you are doing is building up your
>template by adding solid formats to it. Since the paragraph catalog only
>contains your good formats, you can at any time import the paragraph formats
>from this document into all of the other components in the book. Once your
>template's paragraph catalog has the same number of formats as the book's
>components, then it should be pretty complete.
>You can do this process with your template's other categories of styles,
>like character and table formats. To round out the template, you could make
>this into a style guide for your book. When you want to modify or add
>formats in your book, do it in the style guide (template) first, and then
>import the formats into your book's components.
>Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you very
>Rick Quatro
>Carmen Publishing Inc.
>rick at frameexpert.com
>==Art's Reply==
>I think any method you choose depends on having one known-good file
>that you can use as a template for the others. It may be a true
>template or one of the chapters, but it should exist so you can clone
>it to the others and enforce consistency. Depending on the version of
>FM that you're running (you should provide that information, and your
>OS, when you post).
>There are a couple of methods you can use to reconcile the tags and
>other styles -- tables, colors and so on. I'd recommend the Clean
>Import plugin because it removes all existing styles from all catalogs
>and then pulls in the set from your template file. Simply importing
>formats will add the "good" tags to the existing ones but not remove
>what's there.
>At that point you need to apply your good tags to the content in the
>files if there's a difference in tag names and remove any manual
>over-rides. There are several other tools that can help with that,
>although you can often just work with the Global commands in the
>paragraph and character designer tools.
>Art Campbell
>art.campbell at gmail.com

On Thu, Jun 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM, Karen Robbins<karendesign at gmail.com> wrote:
>  Hello Frame Gurus,
>  I'm rather new to the list so please bear with me.
>  I have a book containing 12 files. Over time (starting before I ever
>  worked with these files), each file's paragraph style sheet has been
>  modified so that now the book's styles are a sea of inconsistency.
>  Using Paragraph Tools I can reduce the mess to what's actually in use
>  and eliminate what I don't need. I still need to re-name/spec what
>  remains more consistently.
>  To get one file's formats into another, I know I could import
>  paragraph formats to individual files. But I would have to re-create
>  all the formats in one document first (even though they already
>  exist, spread throughout several documents). Will this give the same
>  result as if a single merged style sheet had been applied to all
>  files in the book? Is there another (more
>  effective/efficient/reliable) way?
>  Anticipating your wisdom....
>  Karen
>  _______________________

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