Tag Archives: advanced

Four Alternatives to Macros

Macros can do some amazing complex and lengthy tasks in just a click, but you don’t need a macro for everything! Here are four things to try before of creating a macro:

  • autocorrect
  • existing shortcuts
  • custom shortcuts
  • Clipboard

Existing Shortcuts

There are keyboard shortcuts for navigating and selecting text and shortcuts for accessing almost every ribbon function. Search for the one you want online before going to the trouble of creating your own via a macro. And check out the summary of some really handy ones in the book!

Autocorrect

Within Word’s Preferences, you can create Autocorrect correct entries for commonly typed phrases (like your address or turning fnmi into First Nations, Metis, and Inuit), or even entire formatted passages.

Custom Shortcuts

Create your own keyboard shortcut for any function.

Mac users: look at the bottom of the Tools menu and select Customize Keyboard.

Windows users: right-click on a blank grey area of the tab on the ribbon, then select Customize The Tab on the ribbon… from the context menu that pops up. Then, click the Customize… button beside Keyboard Shortcuts: at the bottom of the left-hand list.

Clipboard

In this example, we see the Clipboard contains some standard text that I have to paste frequently.

This great tool was a constant favourite when it was available for Mac. Now it’s only found in the Windows version of Word.

Open the Clipboard by clicking the expand arrow in the Clipboard group of the Home ribbon (see figure). Every time you copy content, it will be added to the list in the clipboard. It even works for pictures and other graphics.

You can then select items from the list to paste as they are needed (just click on them) or paste them all together.

Troubleshooting

The Clipboard works only during a single session. When you close Word, the Clipboard is emptied.

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Learn more about these alternatives, starting on page 93 of the 2nd edition of the book.


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Horizontal Review Pane for Mac

Call it a glitch, but if you’re missing the horizontal Reviewing Pane option in MS Word on your Mac, you can turn this glitch into a happy hack!

Create a macro for adding a comment and assign a shortcut to it. That’s it. You don’t have to add anything else to the macro. Using the macro will automatically open each new comment in a Reviewing Pane along the bottom of the screen (see figure).

You can even assign the existing New Comment shortcut, so this macro overrides the in-built action: cmd + opt + A.

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For instructions on recording a macro, see page 76 in the 2nd edition of the book.

Troubleshooting

To reply to a comment, place the cursor in the “parent” comment then use the button on the Review ribbon to add a New Comment. Do not use the new macro you created; that results only in an error message.

To close the horizontal Reviewing Pane, click the Remove Split button on the View ribbon.

For Windows Users

Select your preference for the Reviewing Pane in the Tracking group on the Review ribbon (shown below).

Windows users can set the Reviewing Pane preference on the Review ribbon.


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Find and Replace, Not Search and Destroy

Prevent Find and Replace from turning into “search and destroy” by using the Whole Word Only, option (“Find whole words only,” for Windows users). This feature helps you replace only whole words, and not matching fragments within other words.

Like a refined Find and Replace, the red-billed oxpecker picks parasites off an impala without hurting the host.

By simply selecting Whole Word Only, the software will identify only “man” and not “human“, for example. This helps to avoid replacement errors such as “inclient services” when attempting to replace instances of “patient.”

Mac users can click the gear icon in the F&R pane to access this option.
Windows users should look for the “Find whole words only” option (greyed out here because wildcards are in use) within Advanced Find and Replace.

Troubleshooting

This option is not available in the simple Find field at top right of the Word window (a feature now for Mac users only). It is accessible only from the Search/F&R panel (for Mac users) or within Advanced Find and Replace (for both Windows and Mac users).

This option isn’t compatible with wildcards.

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Find out more about Find and Replace, starting on page 49 of the 2nd edition of the book.


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Photo of impala and oxpecker by Bernard Dupont, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Wildcards Are Nitro for Your Find & Replace

You know how to search for exact words and phrases. Add wildcards to your terms and you’ll give Find and Replace a nitro boost!

What Wildcards Are

Wildcards are sort of tiny code that can stand in for a category of characters, letting you search for more than exact matches. You may have already use the wildcard in an online search: the asterisk (*) can be used to say “any character”. That makes a search for Adri*nne show results for Adrianne as well as Adrienne and even Adrionne or any other character where the * is, for example. Wildcards can also be used to create a search for a range, such as values between the numbers one and seven: [1-7].

Expand the Advanced Find and Replace dialog to access the wildcards option.

How to Use Wildcards

In Word, expand the Advanced Find and Replace dialogue box and then select the Use Wildcards option (see figure).

For a summary of some of the wildcards most useful when copyediting, look at the table on page 50 of the book. One of the more advanced uses is to break content into “expressions” that can then be rearranged.

Troubleshooting

Turn off Track Changes before doing a Find and Replace using wildcards to avoid messy errors.

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For more tips on working with Find and Replace, start on p. 47 of the book.


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Image by Onur Ömer Yavuz from Pixabay.

Regular Expressions Will Turbo Boost Your Find & Replace

Find and Replace is both an essential tool in the editor’s toolbox and the source of ruination. (Into every editor’s life, a hilariously bad Replace All will fall.) You can use “regular expressions” to turbo boost your F&R!

No need to learn the special codes for regular expressions: use this list.

The simplest way to think of “regular expressions” (regex) is as that list of options for types of content we find in that the drop-down menu in the Find field (see figure). The list gives you an easy selection of regex special codes, using descriptors. Click on one of those and the code for the regex appears in the field—^p for Paragraph Mark, for example.

These regex are particularly useful for finding section breaks, footnote markers, and graphics that have jumped out of sight. They also remedy multiple paragraph breaks used for spacing.

These special codes are available for use in the Replace field as well. The one I find most useful there, however, is not one of the options in the list. It’s ^&, which means, essentially, “what’s in the Find field.” Using ^& in the Replace field saves me from retyping (or mistyping) the entire search criteria just to change formatting (e.g., to apply or remove highlighting), among other uses.

Troubleshooting

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This tip comes from page 46 of the book. Find more on Find and Replace starting on page 45.

Regex sometimes malfunction when Use Wildcards is selected. Learn more about that in the book.

Regex are not wildcards. Next week, we’ll look at some wildcards and how they can add nitro to this turbo boost.



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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Magnifying glass image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.