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Engineering > Style Instructions
Countless hours are spent wrestling with format problems in documents.  This is especially true when we try to integrate inputs from many people into a single document.  For this reason, NCSX has established a standard style for the preparation of controlled documents.

Controlled documents shall be prepared in MS Word format.  The preparer is responsible for circulating the document for review and for coordinating resolution of the comments.  Once the preparer is satisfied that the document is in final form, the document should be sent to Systems Engineering (Bob Simmons).  Systems Engineering will archive the final copy of the Word document (in read-only format), convert the document to PDF format, add the signature blocks, set the security level, circulate the document for electronic signature, and post the signed document on the Engineering Web.

The easiest way to prepare a document is to simply download the sample document to your desktop, rename it, remove the comments, and start typing.  The key to avoiding format problems is to keep it simple.  Please follow the following rules:

  • Use the HEADING styles (HEADING 1, HEADING 2, etc.) for all section headings.  These are self numbering so you NEVER have to type the section number.  Generous use of headings makes referencing easier.  Use of the HEADING style allows the Table of Contents to be generated automatically.
  • Use the bullet style (in the style menu) for bullets.
  • Use the Normal style for everything except headings and bullets.  Forget fancy indents and everything else - go Normal.
  • Format tables and figures to be "In line with text".  Avoid the use of text boxes and anchors.
  • Use the Insert Caption... command when labeling tables and figures.  This will automatically number tables and figures so they will always be numbered correctly.
  • Use the Insert Cross-reference... command when referring to tables and figures.  This allows the references to be updated automatically when new tables or figures are inserted.
  • Use the Insert Index and Tables...command to generate a Table of Contents (TOC).  The TOC is generated automatically based on the sections which are identified by the consistent use of HEADING styles.
  • Name the file in accordance with the Document and Records Plan.  For instance, the file name of the General Requirements Document is NCSX-GRD-00_dE.doc.  This file name tells the reader the document (GRD), the revision (Rev. 0), and the current draft (Draft E, not yet approved). 
  • Follow the sample document when formatting the cover page.  Include the title of the document, the document number, the signatures, and the proviso that the user should go to the Engineering Web to assure that he or she has the latest version.  Do NOT add dates next to the signatures lines because these will be added automatically when the document is electronically signed.
  • Follow the required format (outline) when provided.  Specific format guidance has been provided for SOW and product specs.  Format guidance is being generated for other types of specifications.

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