Wednesday, April 1, 2009 Best Practice

1. Introduction

This document describes best practices to improve operational efficiencies in creating and exchange of office electronic documents. This list is not meant to be lengthy and too technical. Only the Writer, Calc and Impress is covered in this document.

Comments are invited to improve this list.



  1. Provide a standard version of installed on all stations.

    1. There are many distributions of such as Sun, StarOffice and Go-OO that provide the latest stable versions.

  2. Provide a list of standard extensions and its version that should be installed in all installed.

  3. Ensure that the version of is kept updated.

Default Documents

  1. The standard file formats for saving must be determined.

    1. Currently Open Document Format (ODF) 1.2 is recommended.

    2. For archiving purpose, the Portable Document Format (PDF) is to be used.

  2. In the User Data option, all fields must be filled correctly.

    1. This allows tracking of changes in documents correctly.



  1. The following is to be made available to all users

    1. A template of default styles. Users can load the template or just the styles from the Styles and Formatting dialog box.

    2. Relevant templates of commonly used documents should be made available to users.

  2. The templates are to provide the default values for formatting. This includes;

    1. Page size

    2. Font Type and Size

    3. Amount of line spacings

Creating documents

  1. All new documents should be created from an existing template.

  2. If no suitable template is available, the user may use the default template.

  3. Intial stage of document creation should emphasize on its contents and flow. Once the basic structure of the document is ready, use the Styles and Formatting dialog box to apply the required styles.

Using MS Office documents

  1. Use the Document Converter tool to identify possible errors.

Format layout

  1. Paragraphs should be format using pre-defined styles. Where possible, avoid formatting characters and paragraphs directly.

  2. Use Heading styles for grouping of topics into logical structures. The order should be Heading 1, Heading 2, and so on.

  3. Change or create heading styles to suite the document.

    1. Do not skip heading levels.

  4. All hyperlinks must be descriptive.

  5. Use bullets or numbered list. Manual characters used as bullets or numbering should not be used.

  6. When copying bullets or list from another document, paste as plain text to avoid loss of current formatting.


  1. Graphic elements such as images, diagrams or charts in a document must have information about those graphics in the text of the document.

  2. When copying graphics into documents that are to be sent out, ensure that the links are broken.

    1. In Writer menu choose, Edit ->Links.

  3. Avoid flashing, blinking and similar animated text.


  1. Rows in a table that is the heading must be format as Table Heading style.

  2. Normal rows in a table must be format as Table Contents style.

Printing documents with Writer

  1. In the print option, uncheck the “Print automatically inserted blank pages”.



  1. Each slide should use the predefined slide layout.

    1. Tables should be added with the tables layout.

    2. Charts should be added with the chart layout.

    3. Column arrangement should be done with the predefined layout where possible.

  2. News slides should be built with the Outline View. This will focus on content before beautification is taken place.

Audio and Movies

  1. All audio and movie embedded must use the standard format that is supported by

    1. Audio: MPEG, OGG, 3GPP

    2. Video: Quick time, AVI, MPEG, OGG, Divx, FLV

  2. Audio and Movies should be only one for each slide.

    1. This will reduce the need for extremely high memory usage.



  1. Use row and column headers extensively and avoid ambiguity within these headers. Make them clear and self-explanatory.

    1. Use the Heading and Heading 1 styles

  2. All sheets must be given descriptive names.

  3. Use region names for individual or group of cells.

    1. This allows functions to refer to specific cells.

    2. Users can use the Go-To tool, to quickly moved around the spreadsheet.



  1. Usage of macros should be minimized.

  2. Use the extensions to add functionality to

    1. Extension support the programming language in Java, Python and C++

1 comment:

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