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RFC 3285 - Using Microsoft Word to create Internet Drafts and RF

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Network Working Group                                          M. Gahrns
Request for Comments: 3285                                     Microsoft
Category: Informational                                          T. Hain
                                                                May 2002

        Using Microsoft Word to create Internet Drafts and RFCs

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  It does
   not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of this
   memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (C) The Internet Society (2002).  All Rights Reserved.


   This document describes the steps to configure the Microsoft Word
   application to produce documents in Internet Draft and RFC format.

Table of Contents

   1. Overview.......................................................2
   2. Conventions used in this document..............................2
   3. Instructions for producing Internet drafts and RFCs............3
      3.1 Defining Microsoft Word Page Layout and Styles.............4
      3.2 Positioning the document identifiers on the first page.....7
      3.3 Automatic date.............................................8
      3.4 Automatic reference numbering..............................9
   4. Final fixup: the CRLF program.................................11
   5. Known problems................................................16
      5.1 Margins...................................................16
      5.2 Printing..................................................16
      5.3 The Underscore character..................................17
   6. Formal Syntax.................................................17
   7. Security Considerations.......................................17
   Authors' Addresses...............................................18
   Full Copyright Statement.........................................19

1. Overview

   This document describes the steps to create a Microsoft Word 97 or
   later template to assist those producing Internet drafts.  The
   resulting configuration allows for simple WYSIWYG editing of drafts
   and RFCs while producing output that is in accordance with IETF draft
   and RFC submission specifications.  (72 Characters per line, 58 lines
   per page, each line terminated by a CRLF, and each page followed by a
   LF, etc.)  Using Word's text justification and table capabilities may
   facilitate creating ASCII stick drawings.

   While the authors happen to have been employed by Microsoft during
   much of this document's evolution, it is not a product of Microsoft
   and is unsupported.

   Included is a detailed description of how the RFC Text and RFC
   Heading styles are defined.  This should prove useful to those
   wishing to do further customization work or to create a similar
   template for other versions of Microsoft Word.

   It also includes a description and the source of the CRLF.EXE program
   that is used to create the final text file output.  Feedback about
   this program is consistent with the fact that each version of Windows
   has a slightly different Generic Printer driver.  Since this document
   will not be kept current with every Windows revision, the code sample
   is provided as a basis for personal customizations.

   Copies of the template in Microsoft Word format and the CRLF.EXE
   program can be found at:


   While the process described in this document can be used to create
   Word format documents, using the editions of Microsoft Word for
   Windows or the Apple Macintosh, the actual text format file for
   submission to the I-D or RFC editors is only available from the
   Windows edition.  This limitation is due to the lack of a Generic
   Printer driver for the Macintosh.

2. Conventions used in this document

   In this document the steps for walking a pull-down tree are indented
   on subsequent lines.  This allows abbreviation rather than a barrage
   of 'then click' or 'select' strings in a paragraph form.  Example:

            About Microsoft Word

3. Instructions for producing Internet drafts and RFCs

   1) Microsoft Word's "auto-formatting" can result in some undesired
      characters when creating the IETF standardized format.  (I.e., it
      will insert special characters for quotation marks, add special
      formatting when creating lists, etc, which will appear as
      unintelligible character sequences when displayed by plain-text
      readers.)  To avoid this, turn off "auto formatting."


      On the property pages, 'AutoFormat' and 'AutoFormat As You Type',
      turn off all of the auto formatting options.  If you forget, or
      frequently switch between IETF format and not, typing a ^Z after
      each auto-format event will undo the formatting change.  This of
      course requires awareness of the event.

   2) Two special styles need to be defined: RFC Heading and RFC Text.
      If you choose automatic reference numbering or table of contents
      (defined below), the style for Endnote Reference, Endnote Text,
      and TOC need to be modified.  The entire draft must be written
      using these styles for the spacing to come out correctly.

      This RFC has been produced using the styles & procedures defined
      within.  You may follow the instructions below for creating the
      RFC Heading and RFC Text styles or simply acquire a copy of the MS
      Word (.rtf) file from one of the locations above, delete the body
      text, insert your rfc text and apply the styles to the body and
      headers as appropriate.

      *** Do not use bold, underlining, italics, etc., or you will lose
      the WYSIWYG editing feature since these settings affect the number
      of characters that can occur on a line.  When the resulting
      Internet draft is saved as plain text, all that formatting will be
      lost anyway. ***

   3) Print the document to the Generic Text Printer, and save the
      output to file.  If you do not have the Generic Text Printer
      driver installed, install it from the Control Panel.  (Printers,
      Add Printer, local/My Computer, any LPT port (you will be printing
      to a file), select Generic, Generic/Text Only from the combo box).
      When you print to a file, a pop-up will ask for the file name.

   4) Run the CRLF program in a DOS window to automatically add carriage

         Usage is CRLF <source> <destination>

      Where <source> is the name of the file produced by printing to the
      generic text printer, and <destination> is the name of the text
      draft you are producing.  An example (where the files CRLF.EXE and
      draft-00.prn are in the C:/TEMP directory) would be:

         cd c:/temp
         crlf draft-00.prn draft-00.txt

   5) Check to see if any non-ASCII characters have slipped in by
      viewing the document with a simple text viewer.  The Unix program
      'less'[1] will highlight non-ASCII characters.  If a non-Microsoft
      operating systems is not available, the Notepad program will
      display and not-try to re-interpret any special characters.

3.1 Defining Microsoft Word Page Layout and Styles

   These are settings used to define the RFC Text and RFC Heading
   styles.  Note: the menu options to set these are enclosed in
   parenthesis and are listed for Microsoft Word 97.  They may differ
   slightly for other versions of Microsoft Word.

   1) Set measurement units to points.

               Measurement units = points

   2) Set margins as follows: (File, Page Setup, Margins)

      Top:         24 pts
      Bottom:      0 pts
      Left:        0 pts
      Right:       93.6 pts
      Gutter:      0 pts
      Header:      0 pts
      Footer:      0 pts

   The right margin is what determines 72 characters per line.  Using 12
   pt font, 10 chars/inch, 72 chars = 7.2".  Using paper that is 8.5"
   wide.  8.5" - 7.2" = 1.3" = 93.6 pts   If you get "one or more
   margins are outside the printable area" message, select Ignore.  This
   seems to depend on the printer you currently have selected.

   3) Set paper size as follows:

         Page Setup
            Paper Size
               Width:  612 pt (8.5")
               Height: 660 pt (12pt * 55 lines per page)

   The height of the paper is what determines 55 lines per page.

   4) Set headers/footers to be different for the first page.

         Page Setup

   5) Define a RFC Heading Style.


   RFC Heading: Heading1 + Font:  Courier New, 12pt, Not Bold, Line
   spacing exactly 12pt., Space before 0 pt after 0 pt, Level 1

   NOTE: Line Spacing Exactly 12pt is very important.  Set this through
   Format: Paragraph

   Additional Heading levels can be defined by repeating this step and
   incrementing the Level #.  If Numbered Headings are desired:

         Bullets and Numbering
            Outline Numbered
               Select preferred style
                     Link level to style RFC Heading

   6) Define a RFC Text Style.


   RFC Text: Normal+Font: Courier New, 12pt, Indent: Left 21.6pt, Line
   Spacing Exactly 12 pt.

   Line Spacing and indent are set through Format, Paragraph.  This
   leaves a 3 character left indent for the RFC text

   7) Fix the Header Style.


   Header:  Normal+Font: Courier New, 12pt, Line Spacing Exactly 12pt,
   Clear the tabs previously defined, and add Tabs 252 pt Centered, 504
   pt Right Flush

   8) Fix the Footer Style.


   Footer:  Normal+Font: Courier New, 12pt, Line Spacing Exactly 12pt,
   Tabs 252 pt Centered, 504 pt Right Flush

   9) Define your headers and footers for the first page.

         (  on first page)

      Header: No Header
      Footer:  Blank line
               Blank line
      AuthorName <tab> <tab> [Page <page number field>]

   10) Define subsequent headers and footers.

            (on second page)

      Header: <tab> Title <tab> Month, Year
               Blank line
               Blank line
      Footer:  Blank line
               Blank line
      AuthorName <tab> Expiration <tab> [Page <page number field>]

   11) Set Tabs to be every three spaces.

            RFC Text
               Tabs: Left 21.6, 43.2, 64.8, 86.4, 108, 129.6,
               151.2,172.8, 194.4, 216, 237.6, 259.2, 280.8,
               302.4, 324, 345.6,367.2, 388.8, 410.4, 432,
               453.6, 475.2, 496.8

   12) Fix the Table-of-contents Styles.  Repeat for each level.

               TOC1: RFC text +, Automatically update, Clear all tabs,
                  Add tab Rt. Flush, 504pt, ... leader
               TOC2: RFC text + Indent: Left 43.2pt,
                  Automatically update, Clear all tabs,
                  Add tab Rt. Flush, 504pt, ... leader
               TOC3: RFC text + Indent: Left 64.8pt,
                  Automatically update, Clear all tabs,
                  Add tab Rt. Flush, 504pt, ... leader

3.2 Positioning the document identifiers on the first page

   The 'Table' tool can be used to assist with justification of the
   document identifiers on the first page.  Each cell in the table
   maintains its own justification characteristics, so getting left and
   right justification on the same line is simplified.  On the Toolbar
   select the icon that looks like a grid with a dark bar across the
   top.  This will pop-up a table array.  Drag the mouse across to
   select the number of rows and columns (for the opening header 4 rows
   x 2 columns, unless there are several authors).  Select the table
   that was just inserted by click-and-hold in the left margin, and then
   clear the boarders.

         Borders and Shading

   Select the cells on the right (position the cursor just above the top
   cell, when the cursor becomes an arrow pointing down, click) and set
   justification right.  (The default is to take justification from the
   line it is being positioned on, so the left column shouldn't need


   If necessary, move the center divider to the right for the document
   title.  Select the left column of cells, then position the cursor
   over the dividing line.  When it changes to parallel bars with
   right/left arrows, click-and-hold, then drag the line as necessary.

3.3 Automatic date

   For those who frequently update drafts, and find they occasionally
   forget to update the current save and expire dates, there is a way to
   automate those fields.  While it is rather complex to set up the
   expire-month field, it only needs to be done once in a template file,
   and all future drafts benefit.

   To automatically set the current date on save, select the lower right
   cell in the table created above, and insert the save date.

            Date and Time
               In the box below the sample "field codes",
                  modify as necessary to make it look like:
                  - SAVEDATE \@ "MMMM YYYY" - (between the -'s).

   The field will have a gray background on the screen, but will not
   affect the printed version.  Double click on the field, copy, and
   then replace the Month, Year in the header (10 in Layout Styles
   above) with a paste.

   Setting up the expire-date is similar, but requires inserting nested
   fields.  Select the location for the month then insert an IF field.


   This will result in an error.  Right click on the error message, and
   select Toggle Field Codes.  This will allow further editing.  Select
   the space after the initial IF, then insert another field: SaveDate
   (as above but this time only the month digit is used "M").  Right
   click on the number it inserts and Toggle Field Codes again.  Follow

   the right brace } with =, then the month to test, followed by the
   month name 6 months later.  At this point loop and insert another IF,
   until all 12 are done.  Follow the last one with a "" to complete the
   syntax.  The resulting expanded field code will look like:

   { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 1 July { IF { SAVEDATE  \@
   "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 2 August { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \*
   MERGEFORMAT } = 3 September { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT} =
   4 October { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 5 November { IF
   { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 6 December { IF { SAVEDATE  \@
   "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 7 January { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \*
   MERGEFORMAT } = 8 February { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } =
   9 March { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 10 April { IF {
   SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } = 11 May { IF { SAVEDATE  \@ "M" \*

   Space over and set the expire-year with a field in a similar manner.
   This time there are only 2 IF fields, comparing halves of the year.
   The printed value on true will be the SaveDate year value and the
   expanded result will look like:

   { IF { SAVEDATE \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } < 7 { SAVEDATE \@ "YYYY" \*
   MERGEFORMAT } { IF { SAVEDATE \@ "M" \* MERGEFORMAT } > 6 { = {

   Revert the field codes to normal text by right click, Toggle Field
   Codes or Update Field.  Select both of these fields by clicking on
   one, then shift click on the other.  Copy, then paste in the footer
   (9 & 10 in Layout Styles above), replacing the Month, Year.

3.4 Automatic reference numbering

   To support automatic updates of reference numbers, make the following
   changes.  (Requires the document to be a single section prior to the
   Reference heading.)

   1) Insert a section break on the line after Reference heading.

            Section Break

   2) Format the style of the Endnote References and Text.

            Endnote reference
               Based on 'underlying paragraph'
               Format Font
               clear the check box for 'superscript'
            Endnote text
               Based on 'RFC text'
               Format Paragraph
                  Left    21.6
                  Hanging 21.6

   3) Set up the location of the references, and number style.

               Place at 'End of section'
               Numeric style '1,2,3'

   4) Select the location for the first reference.  Between the user
   typed [ ] characters, insert an endnote.

         Footnote (endnote will already be selected,
             as will auto 1,2,3)

   When the endnote is inserted, the lower pane will appear.  Type in
   the text describing the reference.  The first time a reference is
   inserted, the Endnote Separator should be cleared (the continuation
   separator may need it as well).  Find the pull down, just above the
   reference text, and change it to each of the options to make sure all
   but the 'All Endnotes' are cleared.

      Endnote Separator
         Select and delete any text

   The reference number in the text and the endnote table will
   automatically track as changes are made.  If the endnote window is
   closed and changes need to be made, select:


   To automatically add updated cross-references for previous footnotes,
   select the location of the cross-reference.  Between the user typed
   [ ] characters insert a cross-reference.

            Select reference type 'endnote'
            Clear the checkbox for 'Insert as hyperlink'
            Select the reference from the endnote list

4. Final fixup: the CRLF program

   Each line needs to be terminated by a CRLF, but when printing your
   document to the Generic Text Printer driver, some blank lines will be
   terminated only with a line feed.  Consider a traditional text line
   printer, printing a line of text, followed by 3 blank lines.  The
   output would look as follows:

   Line of Text<CR><LF><LF><LF>.

   This was done because there was no need to move the print carriage
   head for the blank lines, only line feeds were necessary.

   The following example provides the source for a CRLF fixup program.

    * CRLF.C - Sample source code to format documents produced by
    * the MS Word IETF template so that they comply to IETF draft
    * and RFC guidelines
    * Change CR/FF ; FF/CR/LF ; FF/LF ; CR/FF/CR/LF  into CR/LF/FF

      #include <stdio.h>
      #include <io.h>
      #include <fcntl.h>
      #include <sys/types.h>
      #include <sys/stat.h>
      #include <memory.h>
      #include <string.h>
      #include <stdlib.h>

      #define CR 13
      #define LF 10
      #define FF 12
      #define TRUE 1
      #define FALSE 0

      typedef int BOOL;

      int main(int argc, char *argv[])
           int fSrc, fDest;
           int iNumBytesRead;
           int iNumLines;
           char cr = CR;
           char lf = LF;
           char ff = FF;
           unsigned char buff[3];
           BOOL bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
           BOOL bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
           BOOL bPrecedingFF = FALSE;

           if(argc != 3)
                   printf("    crlf <srcfile> <dstfile>\n\n");
                   return 0;

      fSrc = open(argv[1], O_RDONLY | O_BINARY);
      fDest = open(argv[2], O_CREAT | O_RDWR | O_BINARY |
         O_TRUNC, S_IREAD | S_IWRITE);

      if(fSrc == -1)
         printf("Could not open file (%s) for reading.\n",
               printf( strerror(errno));
                   return 0;

           if(fDest == -1)
                   printf("Count not open file (%s) for writing.\n",
               printf( strerror(errno));
                   return 0;

           // Using the MS Word with the generic text printer, an
           // extra CR LF starts the file.  Skip over these first 2
           // bytes,
           iNumBytesRead = _read(fSrc, buff, 2);

         bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
         bPrecedingLF = TRUE;
         bPrecedingFF = FALSE;
         iNumLines = 0;

           // Prepare to parse through the file
           iNumBytesRead = _read(fSrc, buff, 1);
           while(iNumBytesRead > 0)
            if (buff[0] == FF)
               // Found FF
               if (bPrecedingCR == TRUE)
                  // Some drivers write CR/FF w/o LF
                  // Insert LF between
                  _write(fDest, &lf, 1);
                  _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
               else if (bPrecedingLF == TRUE)
                  // If driver writes LF/FF, assume preceding CR
               else if (bPrecedingFF == TRUE)
                  // If we just set FF from line count, ignore this
                  // one
               else if (bPrecedingLF == FALSE && bPrecedingCR == FALSE)
                  // Some drivers write FF alone ; insert CR/LF
                  // for RFC rule of FF on line by itself
                  _write(fDest, &cr, 1);
                  _write(fDest, &lf, 1);
                  _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
               // reset flags
               bPrecedingFF = TRUE;
               bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
               bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
               iNumLines = 0;

            else if (buff[0] == CR)
               // Found CR
               if (bPrecedingFF == TRUE)
                  // Some drivers write CR/FF/CR/LF
                  // ignore second CR/LF as it creates a 59th line
                  // This CR counts
                  bPrecedingCR = TRUE;
                  bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
                  bPrecedingFF = FALSE;
                  if (++iNumLines < 59)
                     // Not end of page write it out
                     _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
                     // Some drivers write 66 lines per page as LF
                     // write end of page & skip to next CR in LF test
                     _write(fDest, &cr, 1);
                     _write(fDest, &lf, 1);
                     _write(fDest, &ff, 1);
                     bPrecedingFF = TRUE;
                     bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
                     bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
                     iNumLines = 0;
            else if (buff[0] == LF && bPrecedingFF == TRUE)
               // Ignore up LF to next CR
            else if (buff[0] == LF && bPrecedingCR == TRUE)
               // Found a LF after a preceding CR
               // write it out and reset flags
               bPrecedingLF = TRUE;
               bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
               bPrecedingFF = FALSE;
               _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
            else if (buff[0] == LF && bPrecedingCR == FALSE)

               // Found a LF without a preceding CR
               if (bPrecedingLF == TRUE)
                  // Inject a CR to precede the LF only
                  // if still in the first col
                  if (++iNumLines < 59)
                     // Not end of page write it out
                     _write(fDest, &cr, 1);
                     _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
                     bPrecedingLF = TRUE;
                     // Driver writing longer than page
                     // write end of page & skip to next CR
                     _write(fDest, &cr, 1);
                     _write(fDest, &lf, 1);
                     _write(fDest, &ff, 1);
                     iNumLines = 0;
                     bPrecedingFF = TRUE;
                     bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
                     bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
                  //ignore the random LF and clear flag
                  bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
               // Other text, write it out and clear flags
               bPrecedingCR = FALSE;
               bPrecedingLF = FALSE;
               bPrecedingFF = FALSE;
               _write(fDest, &(buff[0]), 1);
            // Read next byte
            iNumBytesRead = _read(fSrc, &buff[0], 1);

         return 0;

5. Known problems

5.1 Margins

   During the development of this document there were reports that some
   version combinations of Windows and Word cut off characters on the
   left.  One approach to resolve this is to set the left and right
   margins to 36 and 57.6, thus shifting the text right.  If text
   clipping was not a problem for the version combination, these values
   produce leading spaces.  This doesn't affect the overall appearance,
   but makes the file larger than necessary, and violates the RFC line
   length rule.  Adjustment of the margins for any specific version
   combination of Windows and Word will have to be locally appropriate;
   just make sure to move both in equal increments of 12 to the point
   where all characters appear.

5.2 Printing

   If you try to print the draft you are working on from within
   Microsoft Word to an actual printer (not to a file using the Generic
   Text printer driver), you may receive an error message indicating the
   margins are outside of the printable area of the printer.   If you
   continue printing, the first 2 characters of each heading will be
   truncated.  It is recommended that you produce a printed copy of the
   draft you are working on by using the CRLF program to produce a text
   file, and then redirect it to a printer (so that you do not need to
   deal with other programs like NOTEPAD, etc. adding their own
   margins.) Example:

   -  Print to a file using the generic text printer
   -  CRLF draft.prn draft.txt
   -  NET USE lpt1 <\\printername\sharename>
   -  TYPE draft.txt > LPT1

   As an alternative, if the final draft.txt file is opened with Word,
   setting all 4 margins to .65" will position it on the page.

      Page Setup
      Top    .65
      Bottom .65
      Left   .65
      Right  .65

5.3 The Underscore character

   If you use the underscore character "_" within the RFC Text and RFC
   Heading style, it will not be displayed on most screens.  (It appears
   as a blank space.)  It will print correctly and will appear as an
   underscore character in the final draft output.

6. Formal Syntax

   The formal definition of RFC format is defined in RFC 2223 [2] and
   Internet Draft instructions are available at [3].

7. Security Considerations

   Caution is advised when opening any document that may contain a macro
   virus.  The template files originally provided to the Internet-drafts
   & RFC editors did not contain any macros, and unless tampered with,
   should not now.  If there are concerns about using the template doc
   file, the instructions provided here will allow the creation of one
   from scratch.  Further details about Microsoft Word macro virus
   concerns are available at: http://www.microsoft.com/.  To find the
   current documents, search for 'macro virus'.


   [1] http://www.greenwoodsoftware.com/less/

   [2] Postel, J. and J. Reynolds, "Instructions to RFC Authors", RFC
       2223, October 1997.

   [3] http://www.ietf.org/ietf/1id-guidelines.txt


   The authors would like to acknowledge the comments from around the
   community in helping refine this document.  We would like to give
   particular recognition to DJ Son and Aaron Falk, of the RFC Editor
   staff, for aligning the details of this document with the current RFC
   Editor process.

Authors' Addresses

   Mike Gahrns
   One Microsoft Way
   Redmond, Wa. USA

   Phone:  1-425-936-9833
   EMail:  mikega@microsoft.com

   Tony Hain
   500 108th Ave
   Bellevue, Wa. USA

   Phone:  1-425-468-1061
   EMail:  ahain@cisco.com

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