There are two cautions I’d like to give you here.
1. Use Well-Formed Tags and List Entries
The first caution is to be careful in the kinds of tags you use and how your master-list entries are formed. Consider this example:
<@Heavy:<B>This is a test<B>>
Here we have tags for a character style on either side of some text:
Beginning tag: <@Heavy:
Ending tag: >
Notice that we’ve used only a closing angle bracket as the closing delimiter.
We also have tags for some bold formatting.
Now, if you create a master-list entry that looks like this—
—hoping to get that ending > delimiter, you’ll be in trouble, because what it will find is the closing angle bracket on the first <B> tag. It will find this:
And that means your formatting isn’t going to turn out right and you’ll be left with extraneous tags in your text. The lesson is, you’re better off to have clearly delimited, unique tags for each kind of formatting and each kind of delimiter. Quark XPress tags, HTML tags, and many other standard tags will work just fine because they follow this rule.
Note that you cannot apply character styles or character formatting to text with a beginning tag but no ending tag (although you can apply paragraph styles). If you try something like this—
—you’ll find run into problems, because Word will simply apply the bold formatting to zero or more characters (*) after the tag. Since it doesn’t know how many more (because there’s no ending tag), it will simply apply it to zero characters, which means you’ll get nothing.
If you start having trouble with stuff like this, slow down. Don’t panic and wildly start trying to fix entries on your list. Instead, try processing your entries one at a time, or better yet, try searching for an entry manually in Microsoft Word so you can see what it’s actually doing. You’ll soon learn what’s causing the problem.
2. Don’t Tag and Untag at the Same Time
The second caution is that you should not ordinarily tag and untag documents from the same master list. For example, a single list should not usually contain two entries like these:
Heading 2|@Heading 2:^&+P
\@Heading 3:(*)|Heading 3+p
If you mix entries like that, you may run into problems. Either tag documents or untag them. Don’t try to do both at the same time.
Well, all right, you can if you really know what you’re doing. Consider this example:
The first line searches for Heading 3 formatting and tags it with @Switcheroo:. The second line searches for the @Switcheroo: tag and formats it as Heading 2. So the overall effect is to replace Heading 3 formatting with Heading 2 formatting.
This kind of thing may come in handy, so I’ve allowed the program to do it. Ordinarily, however, I don’t recommend it, and if you do it, the program will ask you to confirm the way you are saving your documents (as text or as Word).