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'[OT] MS Word, was Ideas for books on PIC'
2005\04\11@062201 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

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> > Is there a real life example of a Word document of 200+ pages with
> > embedded tables and minimal graphics (like header and footer lines)
> > that can be loaded on another system with a different
> version of Word
> > and edited ?
> >
> > There are at least several dozens of equivalent TeX
> documents on the
> > internet, most of them distributed formatted as ps or pdf, but the
> > sources are available.
> >
> > Peter
...
>
> About 3 months ago I could had given you some very well done
> stuff, 1000 page docs etc.  The woman who did those knew her
> stuff, you could spot later changes done by others since the
> formatting didn't match...

Well, then put some 5-10 equations on each page, and add some cross
refferences to the equactions, graphics and tables. Try to make the graphics
and it's captions float entities that can be automatically placed where they
must be (it can be done in Word; I do it usually), and try to do cross
refferences to this floats. Where did the "marco" gone? (sorry, in my
spanish Word version, the floats can be contained in "marco" and "cuadro de
texto"; don't know the english translation). Try to make footers and headers
in a "book way": different headers for the left and right pages. Left pages
with constant headers (title of the doc) and right pages with the chapter
title. Try to make the chapter title in the right headers all in caps, even
if the chapter title is not in caps. Add lists of tables and figures, add
indexes, and table of contents. Put some footnotes, some of them so big they
won't fit in half page (this happens often in certain environments, latin
transcriptions for example). Try to stuff some vectorial graphics with text
and equations in it. Try to make this text and equations the same styles as
the ones in the main doc. Try to use Word styles to do it. Try to force Word
to treat ligatures right (you know: substitute ft, fi and other special
pairs of letters with special symbols, easier to read) (you think it is
exagerated? Then inspect carefully a well-made book, or any newspaper). Try
to convince Word to keep with the task and do the correct spell check once
'fi' and 'ft' are substituted. And so on... (I think I am getting boring)

Try to define a template that can do all this stuff automatically...

> Word does have style sheets, they're called templates.  A template can be
as simple as a
> collection of styles.  You simply re-apply the template.
> PowerPoint does this better than Word, BTW (but MS didn't write PowerPoint
> ;-) ).

Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it. BUT it is easier in
other more-publication-oriented systems. Is the extra large effort in Word
worth it? I think no.

You can do all of this stuff in Word. You can do much more things: use the
VBA to make all those things word was not designed for. You can add some
"intelligence" to your template with a little VBA code. It is not difficult
to an intermediate level programmer. But there are systems specifically
designed to accomplish this tasks with less effort and, perhaps, better
results. Just my two cents.

Alvaro Deibe Diaz.


2005\04\11@073851 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alvaro Deibe Diaz wrote:

> Try to force Word to treat ligatures right (you know: substitute ft, fi
> and other special pairs of letters with special symbols, easier to read)
> (you think it is exagerated? Then inspect carefully a well-made book, or
> any newspaper). Try to convince Word to keep with the task and do the
> correct spell check once 'fi' and 'ft' are substituted. And so on... (I
> think I am getting boring)

> Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it. BUT it is easier
> in other more-publication-oriented systems. Is the extra large effort in
> Word worth it? I think no.

Well, what you describe is not anymore about writing a common paper. This
is about book or newspaper publishing. While Word can be coerced into doing
much of that, it wasn't meant for that. So yes, I guess I would use a
publishing program for that, too.

But the start of the thread was not about publishing a newspaper. I don't
think that the papers that most produce in their everyday activities
require these complexities. And even if they do, it is probably still the
question whether you necessarily should /write/ the paper using a
professional publishing program -- or whether it's not more convenient to
use the publishing program only for publishing. (How many journalists use
their newspaper's publishing system to write their articles? Probably not
many.) I at least don't care much about ligatures when I'm writing.

Gerhard

2005\04\11@082154 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
> Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it.

I think Alvaro deserves a medal!!! :-)

I'm encouraged to look further into Word's capabilities. Thanks.


       Russell McMahon

2005\04\11@082702 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
[AD] tag removed (as someone requested, and I agree) so I guess Olin will
not see this.

>I've noticed newer versions are geared towards idiots who apparently
>(at least so Microsoft thinks) prefer to have that annoying paper clip
>wink at them than actually (insert horrified gasp) *learn* something.

Not only that, but no matter how you phrase the question, it can never find
anything vaguely like what you want to know - well that is what I find
anyway. Somehow the MS help has gone downhill - maybe there were too many
links so they thought they could cull a heap to keep file sizes small.

2005\04\11@100944 by Tony Smith

picon face
>
> Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it.

Have a rummage on your system for a template called Manual.dot.  I suspect
it only comes with the Pro version of Word.  It covers what you describe.
As you say, it can be done.

Tony

2005\04\11@102409 by Tony Smith

picon face

{Quote hidden}

Word is concerned with a single document, whereas a newspaper deals with
multiple documents (aka articles).

Newspaper/magazine editing is a whole new game where you get to learn about
frames.  (Word does frames, btw).  For that you'd use Publisher, Quark or
FrameMaker.

A frame is like a text box, it just sits there, and you fill it up.  A
typical magazine page with 3 columns is in fact 3 separate frames.  The
frames are linked.  When one fills up, the text flows to the next.  If you
have too much text, the excess is lost (well, not visible).  If you do that
in Word (using columns), you end up with a new page.

The frames can be anywhere so long as they are linked, and can include that
sad last page in some publications that contains the last few paragrahs of a
dozen articles (continued on page...).

Now you know why journos are obessed with word count.  They write to fill a
pre-determined amount of space.  If they miss it, either the editer gets
annoyed, or their article gets hacked.

Tony

2005\04\11@104314 by Dave Lag

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:
>>Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it.
>
>
> Have a rummage on your system for a template called Manual.dot.  I suspect
> it only comes with the Pro version of Word.  It covers what you describe.
> As you say, it can be done.
>
> Tony

I see it was not loaded during my initial install (office 2000), so make
sure you have the original CD handy.
D

2005\04\11@110508 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
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Alan,

On Mon, 11 Apr 2005 13:26:59 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> Not only that, but no matter how you phrase the question, it can never find
> anything vaguely like what you want to know - well that is what I find
> anyway.

Me too - I can't imagine who writes this tripe, but I have yet to find anything that I need to know from it.  
It tells you the obvious things that you could find any number of other ways, but nothing that needs you to
"know" where to find the particular thing you are after.  It seems to be a system that is intuitive only to
the people who wrote it...

> Somehow the MS help has gone downhill - maybe there were too many
> links so they thought they could cull a heap to keep file sizes small.

ROFLMAO!  And yet they include things the so-called "Easter Eggs" such as the flight simulator in Excel!

Cheers,



Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2005\04\11@113956 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> Well, what you describe is not anymore about writing a common
> paper. This is about book or newspaper publishing. While Word
> can be coerced into doing much of that, it wasn't meant for
> that. So yes, I guess I would use a publishing program for that, too.

Lists of figures and tables, twosided pages, floats with mixed
graphics/tables and text in them, cross refferences, equations, headers and
footers, complex vectorial graphics with text and even equations in them,
ect. are the norm in my everyday work (teaching mathematics in engineering).
A whole of my books are written the way I mentioned. Even with ligatures.

{Quote hidden}

I Agree. Ligatures are only an example.

Newspapers are, of course, another thing. I missed the original message of
this thread, so I don't know for sure if the OP wants to write a book or a
newspaper. I inferred it from the thread title: "...Ideas for books on PIC".
By the way, aren't we getting way too far from the original question?  :o)

Anyway, sorry for being so controversial. I thought I had the chance of
sharing my experience with Word in the fields of the thread: I am really
persistent using Word, it is my everyday tool for text editing. Even with
some complex tasks. But I have to migrate to LaTeX (or SGML) sometimes,
because Word is not to the task. It can be done in Word, but It need too
much work to do some tasks that are much effortless in other systems.

It seems to me that selecting between word processing or specifical editing
tools have a great amount of 'religion' faith. Don't know a better way to
say it in English.


2005\04\11@114045 by Chris

flavicon
face
A flight sim in Excel. Can I ask where and how?

-Chris





--Chris
http://www.rocklizard.org
<myname>@rocklizard.org
myname = chris
------------------------------------
12x2 LCD displays & serial LCD
interface chips available.
Visit http://pic.rocklizard.org
------------------------------------
{Original Message removed}

2005\04\11@114132 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
> > Now the good news: IT CAN BE DONE in Word. I've done it.
>
> I think Alvaro deserves a medal!!! :-)
>

Thank you very much, Russell. I really appreciate your words. :o)

> I'm encouraged to look further into Word's capabilities. Thanks.
>
>
>         Russell McMahon

Think twice!  :o)


2005\04\11@115030 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
> Have a rummage on your system for a template called
> Manual.dot.  I suspect it only comes with the Pro version of
> Word.  It covers what you describe.
> As you say, it can be done.
>
> Tony

I've found it where you mentioned. Nice document. Thanks.

Misses some things, though: no ligatures, no floats with cross-refferences,
no different even/odd headers, even no different even/odd pages, no complex
equations, etc. I think it needs a lot of work to make a good book with it.


2005\04\11@115436 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
{Quote hidden}

Word have linked frames, too. You can easily configure linked frames and
'pour' in them the articles. Work wonderfully. Then, try to make a decent
newspaper with it. I'm sure it can be done. But, is worth the extra time?


2005\04\12@081232 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alvaro Deibe Diaz wrote:

> Misses some things, though:
> no ligatures,

If ligatures were important for me, I'd probably use a different program.
One that just "does" them. Or be happy to write my own (VBA) programs to
post-process Word documents. (Which might be trivial, but probably isn't --
things involving human language, even written, usually are not trivial :)

> no floats with cross-refferences,

This is one I don't understand. You've said that before. So far, I haven't
had problems with cross-references in Word.

The main gripe with references to headers ("Numbered Items") I have is that
I need two inserts to get both the number and the text in place. (At least
I haven't yet found out how to do that in one swipe, if it is possible.)

> no different even/odd headers, even no different even/odd pages,

If I understand you correctly, this one is IMO quite easy to do -- at least
it's been for me. File | Page Setup; it's all there: Margins | Pages |
Multiple Pages = Mirror margins, Layout | Headers and footers | Different
odd and even = checked. I'm not sure it can get any simpler :)

> no complex equations,

I assume you're using the Word Equation Editor. I don't do a lot of math,
and the little I had to do, it did it. I can imagine, though, that it's not
as flexible as I would like it if I had to do it more. But then, you can
embed a lot of stuff in a Word document. So if you have an equation editor
that produces ActiveX objects... (I know, that's calling for a flame suit
:)

Where did you find that it lacks?

OTOH, I'm pretty sure that outside of a university and scientific context,
most publishing /professionals/ would not know how to deal properly with
complex mathematics, having all the necessary software for that.


> I think it needs a lot of work to make a good book with it.

Word is not a publishing program, not even a desktop publishing program;
it's a word processor with some publishing features. So you're right, of
course. I still think that you are looking for publishing features in a
word processor, and that it (almost) works, but not quite, because as a
word processor it's quite powerful, but as a publishing program it lacks a
bit.

> I missed the original message of this thread, so I don't know for sure if
> the OP wants to write a book or a newspaper.

Neither... the original question was something like (I cite that from
memory, so it's not quite the real thing) "Word sucks, it can't do the
simplest things, so what do you guys use to create a simple technical
paper?" To which the answer was (basically, again my own words) "Word may
suck, but most of the complaints about Word are because people didn't take
the time to learn what it can do and how to use it -- which wouldn't yield
a different result with any publishing program either."

>From what it seems, we're on the same page here... :)


One of the general problems I'm having with Word is (but this goes for
pretty much all Windows programs) that the domain of the individual
configurations is not well defined or documented. It's sometimes not clear
whether a configuration is a system configuration or an application
configuration. Between the system configurations it's often not clear
whether it's system wide or user specific. Between the application
configurations it's usually not clear whether it's application/system wide,
or application/user, or application/template, or application/document. That
goes for Word, but it goes for many others, too -- just exchange "template"
and "document" for the relevant terms (like with MPLAB).

Gerhard

2005\04\12@095142 by Tony Smith

picon face
{Quote hidden}

It is only an example, after all.  As is, it more than covers 99.9% of books
I see.

You obviously had a closer look than I did, I didn't look at the
header/footer setup, as different first/even/odd pages are standard, and
Word handles those as well as the others you mention.

The equation editor is apparently easy to use, but is an optional component,
so not everyone has it.  Adding it as standard leads to complaints about
bloat.  Sigh.

Shame you're not local, I'd wander over for a chat.

Tony

2005\04\12@095145 by Tony Smith

picon face
>
> Word have linked frames, too. You can easily configure linked frames and
> 'pour' in them the articles. Work wonderfully. Then, try to make a decent
> newspaper with it. I'm sure it can be done. But, is worth the extra time?

I did mention that Word does frames like Quark etc (don't think I said
linked), but I'm not silly enough to use Word to write a newspaper.

Tony

2005\04\13@053726 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
> > no floats with cross-refferences,
>
> This is one I don't understand. You've said that before. So
> far, I haven't had problems with cross-references in Word.
I'll try to explain. Sorry if my english is not up to the task. I call
"float" an entity that can be placed anywhere in the document, and is not in
the normal text flow. This can be done wonderfully with text boxes in Word.
One typical float I use would have a graphic in it, with a title for it in
the bottom, saying something like "Illustration 1: Representation of a
vectorial space". No problem. Word hands it with ease. Even copes with the
authomatic number in the title field. But now, in the main text, anywhere in
the document, I would like to make a refference to the illustration: "...in
Illustration 1, on page XXX, you can see a representation...". This is where
the problem arises. Word is capable of making this kind of cross
refferences, even place automatically phrases like the "...on page XXX...",
and number it acordingly. BUT Word can not do it if the original refference
is INSIDE a text box. The only workaround I found was to rescue the "marco"
(frame?), hidden somewhere in the inners of Word, and easy to find only to
those who've seen it before. Even the name of the button of the frame is not
representative: "marco horizontal", but there is not a "marco vertical" nor
a "marco". Of course, all this happens in my spanish version, and it can be
different in yours. The dialog boxes for the frames are the ones from the
Word 6.0 version. They have limited information, and it is scattered over
the Word, without a coherent order (for example, the borders of the text box
are in its own dialog boxes; in the frames, you have to find them...).
Frames are somewhat limited compared with text boxes.

Things like this make the newcommer puzzle, and dessesperate.

> The main gripe with references to headers ("Numbered Items")
> I have is that I need two inserts to get both the number and
> the text in place. (At least I haven't yet found out how to
> do that in one swipe, if it is possible.)

I need even three inserts, to get the page number in the refference (the
page refference is useful if you are refferencing an objet several pages
away; it does it easier for the reader to find the reference). I use macros
to place all this stuff at once. You can touch up the VBA code of the macro
to fine tune it to your needs. This gives you a little more power. The VBA
code to insert a cross refference goes something like this:

Selection.InsertCrossReference
 ReferenceType:="Ilustración", _
 ReferenceKind:=wdOnlyLabelAndNumber, _
 ReferenceItem:="1", _
 InsertAsHyperlink:=True, _
 IncludePosition:=False, _
 SeparateNumbers:=False, _
 SeparatorString:=" " _
 Selection.TypeText Text:=": "

The good news are that you have new possibilities to choose from each of
this parameters. In ReferenceKind, for example, the predefined valid
constants are:

wdContentText wdEndnoteNumber wdEndnoteNumberFormatted wdEntireCaption wdFootnoteNumber wdFootnoteNumberFormatted wdNumberFullContext wdNumberNoContext wdNumberRelativeContext wdOnlyCaptionText wdOnlyLabelAndNumber wdPageNumber wdPosition
(This is take directly from microsoft web:
msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/vbawd11/htm
l/womthInsertCrossReference1_HV03076924.asp )

> > no different even/odd headers, even no different even/odd pages,
>
> If I understand you correctly, this one is IMO quite easy to
> do -- at least it's been for me. File | Page Setup; it's all
> there: Margins | Pages | Multiple Pages = Mirror margins,
> Layout | Headers and footers | Different odd and even =
> checked. I'm not sure it can get any simpler :)

You are right, of course. I was only trying to say that the example template
would need a little of rework to get the right one to my needs.

{Quote hidden}

The Word Equation Editor is a limited version of MathType. I use MathType.
It is more powerful.

> Where did you find that it lacks?
>
> OTOH, I'm pretty sure that outside of a university and
> scientific context, most publishing /professionals/ would not
> know how to deal properly with complex mathematics, having
> all the necessary software for that.

That's essentially true. That is just the reason that forced Donald Knuth to
write TeX.

> > I missed the original message of this thread, so I don't
> know for sure
> > if the OP wants to write a book or a newspaper.
>
> Neither...

Well, I was wrong. Now I'm on track, I think. Thanks.

{Quote hidden}

Yes, that's true, I think. Microsoft made an important effort in ordering
the information, and this effort gave its results: from Office 95 (98?)
there is a more ordered way of doing most things. But it needs more work and
thinking.

2005\04\13@054720 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
Tony Smith wrote:

> I did mention that Word does frames like Quark etc (don't
> think I said linked), but I'm not silly enough to use Word to
> write a newspaper.

Never thought something like that. Only that everyone of us have different
needs, tools and knowledge. This is, of course, good. Diversity is basic for
progress.

> It is only an example, after all.  As is, it more than covers
> 99.9% of books I see.

Not in my case, but that's life...

> Shame you're not local, I'd wander over for a chat.

Well, I'm affraid we have some water between us. Atlantic water. But we can
have a virtual beer, or even a real one!

:o)

Regards,

Alvaro Deibe.


2005\04\14@082144 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alvaro Deibe Diaz wrote:

>>> no floats with cross-refferences,
>>
>> This is one I don't understand. You've said that before. So far, I
>> haven't had problems with cross-references in Word.
>
> I'll try to explain. Sorry if my english is not up to the task. I call
> "float" an entity that can be placed anywhere in the document, and is
> not in the normal text flow. This can be done wonderfully with text
> boxes in Word. One typical float I use would have a graphic in it, with
> a title for it in the bottom, saying something like "Illustration 1:
> Representation of a vectorial space".
I don't use text boxes for that. Illustrations (and other inserted
graphical elements) have pretty much all the placement options of text
boxes. So when I add an illustration, I just set the positioning and text
flow properties how I want them and add a caption (typically "Figure 3:
Position Switch Wiring" or something like that). Then I can use this in
references.

> BUT Word can not do it if the original refference is INSIDE a text box.
I've never really had the need to place anything I had to refer to inside a
text box. As I said above, illustrations usually don't have to be. But yes,
this seems to be one of the inconsistencies that can drive you crazy.

> Things like this make the newcommer puzzle, and dessesperate.
Word definitely could be quite a bit better structured and documented.


{Quote hidden}

Thanks! Just out of curiosity: here everything is in English. Yet above you
talked about the "marco". Do you have a mix of English and Spanish names
for things inside Word?

Gerhard

2005\04\14@121805 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
> > I'll try to explain. Sorry if my english is not up to the
> task. I call
> > "float" an entity that can be placed anywhere in the
> document, and is
> > not in the normal text flow. This can be done wonderfully with text
> > boxes in Word. One typical float I use would have a graphic in it,
> > with a title for it in the bottom, saying something like
> "Illustration 1:
> > Representation of a vectorial space".
>
> I don't use text boxes for that. Illustrations (and other
> inserted graphical elements) have pretty much all the
> placement options of text boxes. So when I add an
> illustration, I just set the positioning and text flow
> properties how I want them and add a caption (typically "Figure 3:
> Position Switch Wiring" or something like that). Then I can
> use this in references.

Sorry. I think I don't undestand you. If I place an illustration with a
caption, and then I tell the illustration to be, say, floating at the top of
the page, then the illustration goes to the top, but the caption remains in
the same place, in the middle of the text, where it was before. This is the
reason I have to place both the illustration and its caption in a "floating
container". In my Word 2003 I have 3 containers: text boxes, frames, and
"lienzos de dibujo" (literally: "picture canvas", or something like that). I
am missing something here?

> Thanks! Just out of curiosity: here everything is in English.
> Yet above you talked about the "marco". Do you have a mix of
> English and Spanish names for things inside Word?

I suppose Microsoft translated only the elemental user interface. The kernel
remains untranslated. My VBA code talks english, and my interface (both Word
and VBA) spanish. Sometimes this gives me some "interesting" problems.

If you want to take a look at both my Word and VBA, you can see it in the
photo I placed in:

ftp://anonymous@193.144.52.77/untitled3.jpg

In it you can see a full mixture of both languages. In the Word window you
can see the situation I just mentioned above: the caption and the image are
broken. And yes, I am the one playing behind the cell phone  :o)

Regards,

Álvaro Deibe Díaz.

2005\04\15@081949 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Alvaro Deibe Diaz wrote:

> Sorry. I think I don't undestand you. If I place an illustration with a
> caption, and then I tell the illustration to be, say, floating at the top of
> the page, then the illustration goes to the top, but the caption remains in
> the same place, in the middle of the text, where it was before. This is the
> reason I have to place both the illustration and its caption in a "floating
> container". In my Word 2003 I have 3 containers: text boxes, frames, and
> "lienzos de dibujo" (literally: "picture canvas", or something like that). I
> am missing something here?

Probably not, I'm not sure. To say the truth, I don't work a lot with
illustrations that are not in the flow of the text, and with the ones that
are, this problem doesn't happen. So I just assumed that the caption would
go with it when changing the positioning -- which it doesn't :)

But you can create it when the illustration is correctly positioned, it
gets created as a text frame, you position it next to the illustration, and
group the two together in an object -- and bingo, the caption is gone from
the index of figures and generally not available as reference anymore :)

I've never encountered this, and I'd classify it as simple bug. Which made
me research a bit... and I found "frames". That's a typical
Microsoft-approach: they add a workaround instead of solving the issue. So
references don't work in text boxes? The code architecture sucks, so we
can't add that feature easily? Let's introduce frames, with features that
are a sub-set of text boxes (so they are essentially not necessary), but
they may contain references.

So what you'd have to do is:
- Add an illustration.
- Position it the way you want it.
- Add a caption. If the positioning is out of flow, that caption will be a
text box. (Which is the obvious choice, of course, but it kind of clashes
with the fact that the caption will be created as a reference -- which it
should be --, but you won't be able to reference that reference from
anywhere, because references in text boxes don't work. So you wonder why
Word creates references in text boxes when it can't reference them... :)
- Position that caption next to the picture the way you want it.
- Open the caption's text box format dialog and convert it to a frame.

Seems to work.

That's probably what you are doing with your "marco" -- not sure though
(see below about translating user interface elements :).

OTOH, the help does state that captions in text boxes are supposed to work.
Maybe there's something /very/ special -- and not at all intuitive, and not
even well-documented -- that you need to do to make it work (again
typically Microsoft :)  Or it might be that the help is simply wrong.


> I suppose Microsoft translated only the elemental user interface. The
> kernel remains untranslated. My VBA code talks english, and my interface
> (both Word and VBA) spanish. Sometimes this gives me some "interesting"
> problems.

I thought they had fixed that some time ago. Apparently they only fixed the
VBA part. That was at the time the reason for me to only use English
Microsoft products, and I've stayed with it. It pretty much sucks when you
always have to translate all VBA macros you find and want to check out. I
can see the reasoning behind naming the interface elements in the macro
language similar to how they appear in the user interface -- but then of
course the program should be able to understand macros in all languages it
has user interfaces for.

I guess as well as Word works for most standard text processing tasks, when
you dig a bit, you'll always encounter those typical Microsoft style
"features" :)

Gerhard

2005\04\15@133107 by Alvaro Deibe Diaz

picon face
> That's a typical
> Microsoft-approach: they add a workaround instead of solving
> the issue. So references don't work in text boxes? The code
> architecture sucks, so we can't add that feature easily?
> Let's introduce frames, with features that are a sub-set of
> text boxes (so they are essentially not necessary), but they
> may contain references.

Actually, IIRC, frames ("marcos") were the only way of doing floats in early
versions of Word (2.0, 6.0, W95). Microsoft then added text boxes, with a
lot more options, possibilities and configurations. With the new text box
tool, the frame option dissapeared from the menus. Nice. But there is that
cross-refference "little" issue with text boxes refusing to work, so the
frames remain accessible to those (like me) who need them. But you must find
them, though, perfectly hidden from the menus.

And this is on the line of my first reasoning when trying to help the OP:
(almost) whatever you want can be done in Word, but is worth the extra
effort?

> So what you'd have to do is:
> - Add an illustration.
> - Position it the way you want it.
> - Add a caption.
...
> - Position that caption next to the picture the way you want it.
> - Open the caption's text box format dialog and convert it to a frame.
>
> Seems to work.

I do it the other way around: first I create an empty frame (*), and then I
throw in it what I need to be floating. Usually a vectorial graph, or a
picture. I usually let the Word place automatically the caption (i add the
text, of course). Last I tell the float where I want it to go. Not too
complicated.

(*) This was an easy task in early versions, because there was a button
"frame" to do just that. This button is still available, but hidden (*@#king
M$!). I rescue it on fresh Word installations, and place it right where it
belongs: in the insert menu, just below text box. To rescue the button:
right click on a
toolbar/customize/commands/Categories->insert/Commands->frames? (in my
spanish version the button name is "marco horizontal", or "horizontal frame"
directly translated into english). Drag it, and drop wherever you like in
the toolbars or menubars. A photo of this action in my system:

ftp://anonymous@193.144.52.77/FrameBut.jpg

> OTOH, the help does state that captions in text boxes are
> supposed to work.
> Maybe there's something /very/ special -- and not at all
> intuitive, and not even well-documented -- that you need to
> do to make it work (again typically Microsoft :)  Or it might
> be that the help is simply wrong.

It is very suspicious that they don't remove the frame from the system, even
in recent versions. I think the text box has this serious limitation, and
the help is wrong.

> That was at the time the reason for
> me to only use English Microsoft products, and I've stayed
> with it. It pretty much sucks when you always have to
> translate all VBA macros you find and want to check out.

I work with an institutional license from Microsoft, so I can't choose...


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