Comments feature added to v1.76

After getting completely muddled up with Word comments yesterday, I took a fresh look at my code and realised where I was going wrong.  I was trying to be too clever and today I removed the bulk of the routines that dealt with the comments and rewrote it from scratch.

This is the current GUI (subject to change) of a test document I created and asked a colleague to add a comment into it, so it wasn’t just my name on display :)


You can see all of the comments in your document, delete them or toggle them between ‘Awaiting’ and ‘Complete’.

Too quick at coding …

The trouble is that I now feel I need to add an extra feature into v1.76 so that the full release (v1.77) will have an extra few more ‘mini features’ to make it feel like a ‘proper’ release.

I’m sure there’s another Word annoyance that I’d like to code a fix for :)

10 days of no coding whatsoever!

It’s been bliss, if I’m being honest!

However, my break from VBA is over and I’m slowly starting work on the next feature for my Word Add-In.

This time, in a similar vein to the recent bunch of features, I’m going to tackle comments in a Word document.  At first I thought this would be a fairly easy function to add (based on my scribbles on various Post-It Notes!) .. but it hasn’t been as easy as I thought.

The more I read the numerous forums and websites that mentioned comments, the trickier it became and I’ve binned my first GUI layout already.  I can get the list of authors up into one listbox and, when you click on their name, their comments are filtered in the second listbox.  That was working very well .. until I tried to start extracting the extra info that comes with each comment, e.g. the date / time it was made.

That’s when the command ‘Scope’ came into view.  Each comment is given a magic number so that Word knows about it.  This is stored in that particular comment’s ‘Scope’.  The downside is that I now have to re-code the comments listbox so that there are two columns and hide one of them as that will be used to store the ‘Scope’ value.

The theory being that when a user clicks on a comment, I pick up the hidden ‘Scope’ value and that will be the pointer to where Word can find it.

v1.75 is now available (inc. the full source code!)

It has taken a while to get to this point, much longer than I’d planned.  But once you start messing around with Table Styles in Word, it can drag you in and keep hold of you.  I’ll be honest in that I still don’t understand some of the intricacies of how they work, but I know a lot more now than I did!

The main function that has been added, is the Table Inspection.  The original request was for “something like your Section Break Inspector, but so that it works with tables”.   The two work colleagues who became my official beta-testers ensured that I went through revision after revision.  Each new mini-function that was added was critiqued, pulled, prodded and eventually given the nod to say that it was OK to be released.

There are other changes in the code too.  The first form that appears when you click on the Toolbox icon has had a complete overhaul too.  It was one of the first functions that I coded back in June of this year and it was beginning to show its age.

I will be demoing this add-in to the other technical authors who attend the ISTC North West meeting tomorrow (October 2nd) at MadLab in Manchester.

Oh .. I nearly forgot!  This version is also the first time that I’ve released the full VBA source code to the add-in.  I welcome contact via the Gmail address listed in the source code.  A warning though .. the code is probably a mess and please finish laughing before you contact me :)