People like (and want!) my article :)

The Communicator is the quarterly magazine for the ISTC (Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators) and their most recent issue (Summer edition, June 21st) has my first article covering the basics (if you’ll excuse the pun) of writing VBA macros in Word.

I’ve also had a request from someone at The Society for Editors and Proofreaders, who’ve requested a copy of the article sending to them for it to be published on their website. I’ll sort that out in the next few days and then post a link on this blog afterwards.

In other news, whilst I was hoping to get v1.83 out the door this week, I’ll have to delay it. An attempt at including a counter operation into the various ‘search and replace’ functions just hasn’t worked. So some re-work and a re-issue of the same beta, but with a different take on the counter code has been sent around my colleagues. If that works, then this will be the v1.83 that will see the light of day.

Last week (or so) of beta-testing started for v1.82

I’ve been busy beavering away fixing, improving and generally tidying up my code so that I can release a new version (v1.83) sometime before the end of July. This update will definitely work under Word 2010 – unlike the cock-up I made in v1.81!

Along with the bulk fix changes mentioned in the previous blog post, I’ve also added the same checks of Shapes and Inline Shapes onto the Information tab. It seemed daft to me that the general Information tab contained less information than was included in the Back To Basics function!  This may lead to (yet another) tab which splits the Shapes and Inline Shapes into separate lists and including *all* of the 20-or-so possible types. Currently I’m only detecting 3 types of Shape and 4 types of Inline Shape.

Other minor changes include me removing my attempts at calculating how many hyperlinks were in a document – but splitting them between how many were in a TOC, and how many were genuine hyperlinks for websites etc. I need to revisit this option when I’ve got my head around the calculations required.

There’s probably other fixes that are in the code, but I can’t remember them all ;-)

More bulk fixes added

Along with the Bookmarks Inspector that will be going into the new release, I’ve been playing with the addition of drop-down menus on the Ribbon. This has enabled me to add four new features to the Bulk Fixes area of the menu, but only losing one bit of menu real estate.

I’ve added the reversal of the ‘two spaces after a full stop into one space’ for those who (like me) were taught to use double-spacing, two new functions which will swap the ‘&’ and ‘and’ around. This is a company standards thing as when we’re editing documents, we always have to fix these. I’ve also added the reversal of the ‘non-breaking spaces into spaces’ function so those who are using Word for copy-editing text destined for the web, can change all of their spaces into non-breaking spaces.

None of the above are earth-shattering functions, but to abuse a (UK) supermarket’s tagline: every little helps! :)

Spare laptop acquired ..

Thanks to the generosity of a friend from the old Atari ST days, a Toshiba laptop turned up at my workplace yesterday. And just in time too!

I’m doing a demo of the latest preview (v1.82k) of the toolkit tonight at MadLab. It’s the monthly meeting for the North West ISTC (Institute of Scientific & Technical Communicators) in the centre of Manchester. Each month a different subject is covered and you’re talking to your peers within different industries, but all are technical authors in some way or another.

The laptop has got just enough grunt for a Windows 7 and Office 2010 installation, which allows me to develop and test in the two most recent copies of Microsoft Office: 2010 on this laptop and 2013 in work.

This will be a ‘good thing’ as my last release (v1.81) had a few problems with Word 2010 (see previous blog post), for which I’m still going to apologise as it was my lack of access to Word 2010 that enabled the bugged release to get out there.