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How to Use ASTM Standards Development Templates

To make easier to write a new ASTM standard, Draft Standards Templates are available online. ASTM Standards Editors Rich Wilhelm and Kathy Peters tell you how the templates can help you.

You have identified the need for a new standard and a task group has been formed and approved by the subcommittee. All the information you need to write an ASTM standard is sitting right in front of you. But where do you begin? Start at the ASTM Web site. Putting together any type of ASTM standard is now easier than ever thanks to the ASTM Draft Standard Templates.

Templates have been created for each type of standard (test method, specification, guide/practice, classification, and terminology). Once the templates have been downloaded, it is easy to use them to shape your standard in accordance with the Form and Style for ASTM Standards manual (the “Blue Book”), also available on the Web site. This is important because a standard written with the template will not have any missing mandatory sections that could adversely affect the balloting process.

Template Features

No matter which type of standard is being written, all templates share certain features. The most prominent feature of each template is that certain section headings are in red type. Why? The red type isn’t merely decorative—it indicates that these are mandatory sections for whichever type of standard you are creating. Other headings (those not in red) can be deleted if they’re not applicable to your standard. However, you must have a completed section for each red heading.

What if you don’t see a heading that you want in the template? No problem. If a more specialized section is needed in your standard, simply add it by typing it into the appropriate spot in the template. All templates have an auto-numbering feature.

In addition to auto-numbering, there are four special-function buttons that were created especially for ASTM templates.

Update: This button initiates a pop-up window that prompts you for the draft title, committee jurisdiction, and subcommittee jurisdiction. This information is then inserted automatically into Footnote 1 of the draft. The information given in the pop-up window may be updated at any time by pressing the Update Button.

Create Table: This button will create a table in ASTM style, based on your specifications, and insert it at the end of the draft. If table data has already been completed in another file, the table may be manually inserted or pasted at the end of the draft without using this button.

Insert In-Text Table: This button will create an in-text table, in ASTM style, based on your specifications, and insert it directly after the introductory text.

Insert Figure: This button will insert electronic figures from your computer at the end of the draft. Figures should follow tables, and should be inserted after all tables have been created, when possible.

Creating an ASTM standard can be rewarding but frustrating at the same time. Using these new templates can remove the frustration factor, resulting in standards that conform to ASTM style and move successfully through the balloting, editing, and production processes. //

Copyright 2001, ASTM

Richard Wilhelm is an editor in ASTM Editorial Services.

Kathy Peters is a standards editor in ASTM Editorial Services. She has been with ASTM for 22 years.