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User Interface Specification Templates

We have created two types of templates for user interface specifications, a style template and a content template. The style template determines the appearance of the document. The content template describes its content.

The templates have been produced in Microsoft Word 97. Microsoft Word is not the best document creation system available. It has a number of shortcomings. Technical communicators generally prefer Adobe FrameMaker. We have chosen Microsoft Word for these templates because it is more widespread. We hope to add FrameMaker templates sometime in the future.

Style Template

You can download the style template as a Word 97 document file:


The document illustrates the various style tags. In order to use the document as a template, delete the content of the document and save it as a template:

  1. From the Edit menu, choose Select All to select the entire contents of the document.
  2. Press Delete to delete the contents.
  3. From the File menu, select Save As. The Save As dialog appears.
  4. At the bottom of the Save As dialog in the Save as type combo box, choose Document Template (*.dot) to save the document as a template.
  5. Select the Save button.

In order to use the template, you can either select it in the New dialog when you open a new document or you can attached it to an existing document.

To attach the template to an existing document, from the Tools menu choose Templates and Add-Ins. In the Templates and Add-Ins dialog attach the template as Document template.

The template is already attached to the content template discussed in the next section. So you can simply use the content template.

To define the style of a paragraph-like piece of text, place the text cursor somewhere in the text and select a style. You can select a style in either of two ways:

  • Select a style in the Style combo box which is located on the right side of the Formatting toolbar.
  • From the Format menu, choose Style. In the Style dialog, select a style from the Styles list and select Apply.

Content Template

You can download the content template as a Word 97 document file:


The content template describes the various sections of a user interface specification. Its format has been developed over a number of projects.

To use the content template, simply save it under a different file name, remove the descriptions in each section, and start entering your design specification.