Hide comment references (Word 2002 and later)

In earlier version of Word prior to 2002, comment references in the text (the user initials plus comment number, such as: [cm1]) could be hidden on screen and did not print out. Since the introduction of Word 2002, with the new Reviewing functionality, when you turn off the display of ballons the comment reference is always visible. This is because the style CommentReference was formatted no longer contains the "hidden" attribute in its defintion.

If you change the style definition to include the "hidden" font attribute, the identifiers should disappear when the display of hidden text is suppressed on screen (Tools/Options/View) or not selected for printing (Tools/Options/Print).

In order to change the style definition:

Removing "Char" styles from a document

Since the introduction of Word 2002, we've been plagued by Word creating new character styles that look just like an existing paragraph style, and have that style name plus the word Char (any number of times).

This problem occurs when you apply a paragraph style to a selection of characters, rather than to an entire paragraph (either by selecting the paragraph + paragraph mark or leaving the insertion point blinking in a paragraph). Word creates a new character style, and links it to the paragraph style.

If you try to delete the "Char" styles, the paragraph style to which it is linked will also be deleted. The only way around this is to use a macro to break the link. The following sample code creates a new style ("Style1"), links the "Char" style that bases on "Heading 2" to this new style, then deletes the new style.

Sub DeleteHeading2Char()
Dim styl As Word.Style, doc As Word.Document
Set doc = ActiveDocument
Set styl = doc.Styles.Add(Name:="Style1")
On Error Resume Next
doc.Styles("Heading 2 Char").LinkStyle = styl
End Sub

Create a TOC for a Binder

Even though Microsoft has not included the Binder in Office XP or Office System 2003, so many people rely on it to manage and print projects containing documents from multiple Office applications (primarily Word, Excel and Powerpoint) its object model is still fully supported in both newer Office versions, and it can work with documents from these versions. Binder.zip contains the code with short explanation in a Word document, plus a sample Binder file (430 KB).

Note that you must install the Binder support explicitly in Office Setup.

Taking control of language formatting in Word

There are many questions about language formatting in Word. Often, spell check either marks words that are correctly spelled (because they're formatted with the wrong language) or Word doesn't mark incorrectly spelled words (because they've been formatted "no proofing"). The problems all began in Word 97, when Microsoft decided to override Word's internal default language settings with the Windows default language...

These instructions enable you to more predictably set the language of new documents in Word, and tell you how to reformat existing documents.

Format spelling errors for print out

Since Word 95, spelling errors can be displayed on-screen by activating the option "Check Spelling as You Type" in Tools/Options/Spelling and Grammar. There is no way to view the errors in a print-out, however. And the red underlining is difficult for some people to see. A bit of VBA code can format spelling errors in the main body of the document. You can modify the code to use the formatting most convenient for you.

Sub FormatSpellingErrors() Dim spErr As Object
For Each spErr In ActiveDocument.Range.SpellingErrors
spErr.Font.Color = wdColorDarkRed
spErr.Font.Underline = True
End Sub

Set the default position of the envelope delivery address

We all know the frustration of having to reset the position of the delivery address whenever an envelope is generated. The "Default" button in the dialog box simply does not work. You can change the default setting, however. The first clue is to realize that the delivery address format is controlled by the style "Envelope Address"; the second is to know that the address is positioned using a frame.

Here's how to change the default:

  1. Insert an envelope into a document (Tools/Envelopes and Labels)
  2. Click in the delivery address in order to see the frame
  3. Drag the frame in order to position the address
  4. In the Format/Frame dialog box, note the horizontal and vertical settings
  5. Go to Format/Style

If Word asks you about saving changes to the global template "Normal.dot" at any time before the current session is ended, be sure to answer in the affirmative.

You can use the same principle to change other formatting attributes of the envelope delivery address.

Word97: Remove all table borders with a single keystroke

If you've ever been annoyed by the fact that Word97 inserts every table with borders, and that there is no way to change this default, you'll appreciate the command I stumbled across a while back:Immediately after inserting the table, press Ctrl+Alt+U. (It need not be immediately following insertion, the only pre-requisite is that the cursor is in the table.)
   If you're using Windows 98 this combination will not work for you, because the system keyboard assignments for accents will override. All is not lost! Go to Tools/Customize/Keyboard, Category: All commands. Find TableUpdateAutoFormat and assign it to the keyboard combination of your choice.

Word2000: Set table default to no borders

Finally, in Word2000, Microsoft has given us the option to set defaults for new tables. While there is no direct option to specify inserting new tables without borders, there's a way to do it:

  1. Table/Insert/Table.
  2. Click the "AutoFormat" button.
  3. Select the first format in the list ("Simple 1", not "None").
  4. Deactivate all the check boxes (unless there's an option you'd like to keep).
  5. Click "OK".
  6. Activate the "Set as Default for new tables" checkbox, then click "OK".

Close All open documents

You can close all open Word documents in one step without closing the Word application itself: Hold SHIFT while clicking the "File" menu and the Close command will change to "Close All".

Remove HTML codes from a webpage

Open the webpage in Word97. Go to File/Save As and select "Text Only" as the file type. Save the file and close it; when you re-open it all the HTML code will have been stripped out.

Jump quickly in a list

If you've often been frustrated by having to use the mouse or down-arrow key to move through a long, alphabetized list because every time you type a letter the selection jumps to words starting with that letter, then you'll love this:

   Type the letters of the word very quickly, and the list will scroll to the typed combination.

Note that this does NOT work in Web-page type lists, such as Help and Task panes in newer versions of Word use.

Open Equation Editor in separate window

Warning: requires editing the Windows Registry!

Set the Registry key "Force Open" to 1 to force the Equation Editor to open in a separate window. If the value is set to 0, the Equation Editor will work within the document file in which you wish to embed the equation object, if the environment allows. (For example, if you display the field codes rather than field results in Word the Equation Editor will be forced to open in a separate window, no matter what the Registry setting is.)

In the Registry Editor find the key:

Word 7 (95)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Equation Editor\2.0\Options\General

Word 8 (97)

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Equation Editor\3.0\Options\General

In order to open the Registry Editor, click Start, select Run, type RegEdit, click OK.

Reregister Word97

For various reasons, the *.doc extension can become disassociated from the Word program. Then you get error messages when double-clicking a document from Explorer or my computer that Word cannot find and open the file, if the file path contains spaces or long names.

In Word95 this problem could be solved by double-clicking the file WinWord7.reg to register Word. Unfortunately, this capability is not available in Word97, and the documented method is to run setup with the /y switch.

It is much more convenient, however, to use an undocumented switch in the startup command line for Word: the /r switch. For example:

C:\MSOffice\Word97\winword.exe /r

Running WinWord.exe with this switch re-registers Word without starting it.

If you run Word from an icon or a shortcut, right-click it, select Properties and under the Shortcut tab add this switch. After Word is re-registered, simply backtrack and delete the switch.

Extract and Use Spell Check Dictionaries for Different Languages

Since the release of Office 2000, all 30+ languages that Word supports for spelling/grammar checking are available on a single CD that can be purchased retail.

Word 2002

Information on the Word 2002 language proofing tools

Word 2000

Information on Word 2000 proofing tools is here (unless Microsoft has removed it). But do note these tools are no longer being manufactured. You may be able to purchase them on the Internet, somewhere (like EBay).

Word 97

For Word 97, each language had to be purchased separately, and the tools are no longer available commercially. If you have Outlook 98 you have a spell check dictionary for many languages available on the CD. Copy the *.lex files you want to use to your current PROOF folder, then format the text you want to check in this language with that language using the Tools/Language command.

Steps to extract dictionaries from Outlook 98 CD:

  1. Insert the Outlook98 CD in the CD drive.
  2. In Explorer or My Computer look for the *.cab files that start with "X". These contain the dictionaries for different languages. The next two characters are the language abbreviation. The fourth and fifth characters are the dialect, if any. Xfrlu is French/Luxembourg, for example.
  3. Copy the *.cab file to your hard disk.
  4. Bring up an MS-DOS prompt window.
  5. Type the following command line, substituting the path where you copied the *.cab file:
  6. Extract D:\tmp\Xfrfr.cab *.* This will run the DOS-Extract tool. View the messages, then close the MS-DOS window after Extract has executed.

  7. Now run extract again on the cab file with _1 in the name. For example:
  8. Extract D:\tmp\xfrfr_1.cab *.* In the list of files you should see a *.lex file, such as MSSP_2FR.LEX.

  9. Copy the *.lex file to your PROOF folder.

Note: the Extract command may put the files somewhere else, such as on your Desktop. If you are proficient at the MS-DOS prompt, you may prefer to work from an MS-DOS window, because then the extract command will put the files in the same directory where you extract them.

Type a ***** password in a WordBasic dialog box

A frequent request for Word 6.0 or 7.0 (95) WordBasic dialog boxes is a text box for typing a password, where one sees *** or another character instead of the actual text being typed. This is possible using Windows API, as explained in the Knowledge base article Q114299 "Creating a Password-Style Macro Dialog Text Box".

And if you've never used the Windows API don't shake your head - try this one :-)! It's a nice simple one for getting started.

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