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  1. #1
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    Hello,

    I am using MS Word 2003 and need to create a unique type of MS Word document for handling different styles.
    I would like to have drop down menus or single selections available for table cell entries and procedural steps. This way, I
    can give this pre-filled template to a writer and they can simply paste in the text that would go into a table cell or procedural step.

    A table cell may have more than one type of option available. So when necessary, I want the writer to have the ability to select the appropriate table cell style, based
    on what they need.

    In the end, if there are only 15 styles in this template, then I would receive a completed template back from a writer with exactly 15 styles that are based on the drop down menu (or single menu cell options).

    Any ideas on how to create this type of protected MS Word template, is very much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Jim

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    Jim,

    There's nothing built in to Word that would directly allow you to do what you're describing.
    It might be possible to build a solution with a bunch of custom programming, but that might be more trouble than it's worth in this case.

    A couple of things that you could do, working with Word's built-in tools:

    • Create your set of 15 styles and set them so they display in the Styles and Formatting Pane (set it to 'Available styles'). Instruct users of your template to work with this pane showing. You could also create a custom 'Apply Styles' toolbar if you wanted.
    • Set document protection with formatting restrictions and indicate your 15 styles as the only ones that can be used. This will limit users to only those styles, and will prevent them from deleting or modifying them.

    Gary

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    Hello Gary,

    Thanks for the detailed response. I appreciate it. Please tell me more about the custom programming.

    I am quite familiar with creating and limiting styles (protected template or document) in both MS Word 2003 and 2007. My real goal is to take hundreds of word documents and batch process
    them over into SGM files. I have engineers writing chapters using MS Word and I am then doing the conversion to SGM format. The problem is, that the current
    process is to copy and paste MS Word text line by line into a valid SGM template (Adobe FrameMaker 9). As you can imagine, that process takes a very long time.

    I figured there has to be a way to do a little VB Script programming to batch process a folder full of documents into SGM format, once a working (fill in the blank type) template has been developed.. In fact, I read that at one time, Microsoft was going to have full support for the SGM format, then XML came along.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to save directly from .DOC format to the SGM format?
    Can a DTD be embedded into a Macro/template?

    I ask these questions because I have to think like the engineer/writer, who will simply want to open up the template and write procedures. I need an open the template and fill in the blanks type of document.

    Thanks once again for any suggestions.

    Regards,

    J

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    J.,

    It's been years since I've worked with (or had access to) FrameMaker, but Adobe's site says that FrameMaker can "Import content created in Microsoft Word 2007" - is there some means from within FrameMaker that will do the kind of import you need?

    Gary

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    Normal Word content is easy to import into Framemaker but not so straightforward to import into Structured Framemaker SGML unless the authoring follows very strict rules.

    Perhaps you should investigate using the XML functionality of Word to force authors into structured authoring and then run a transformation on the XML data to get it into SGML. Word uses XML schemas rather than DTDs so if you already have a DTD, you can track down the same thing as an XML schema for use in Word.

    I'm yet to be convinced that Word is the best tool for rapid XML authoring but perhaps it can be relatively painless if you work carefully with the implementation and author training aspects.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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    Hello all,

    First of all, thanks for your insights. I really appreciate it. I have been really busy lately, so apologies on the delay in responding.

    I import MS Word documents in FrameMaker 9 all the time and then use a FrameMaker conversion table to convert styles to elements and apply rules/hierarchical relationships using a FrameMaker Element Definition Document or EDD (like a DTD).

    Anyway I am able to successfully migrate MS Word files into FrameMaker and move things along. The problem is that downstream, a table may be made of many types of elements. With that said, I would like to create the same number of styles (in MS Word 2003) that will correspond to the elements that I work with in FrameMaker 9 - a one to one relationship for complete coverage when migrating data.

    So to simplify things, I would like to do the following (with VB Scripts/Macros - Custom Programming):

    1. Create HTML like drop down menus in the MS Word template such as in table cells, procedural step numbers and warnings or cautions or notes. The writer simply chooses the option they want and then that style is applied and they input the text.


    Is this possible to do? Are there any HTML like drop down menu examples for Word 2003, that have already been created? I searched already on this forum but did not find any examples yet.

    Note, I have tried attaching a DTD to the MS Word document and it did give me all the element tags, but I prefer the drop down menu, select option and input text. This is because I know that the engineers/writers who use this teimplate are not going to want to focus on where the cursor is placed. They simply want to paste or input data into the various parts of the template, add steps and so forth. It will be asking a lot to get them to even use the drop down menus, but that is a better option I think then trying to get them to paste data in betwen tags in a document.

    Any ideas on how to create HTML like drop down menus in a MS Word protected template (where the drop down menu equates to a specific style) is very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jim



    In the event that there is only one style to choose from, then I would like the table cell to reflect that one table style (e.g. Part Number style instead of a generic table text named style).

    The more I can control things in the beginning, the easier it will be to migrate things downstream.

    There may be multiple styles to choose from in table cells or in other parts of a document, such as procedural steps, and warnings or cautions or notes.

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    Hello again,

    Here is a screen shot that I took from the following website.

    http://www.nqtraining.com/MicrosoftO...rosoftWord.asp

    The screen shot shows that drop down menus are possible, but rather than text being displayed, I need a specific style to be applied, based
    on the drop down menu option that is selected.

    Thanks again for any suggestions.

    -J

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    [attachment=88319rop Down Menus.jpg]
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    Word 2003 has two different drop-down controls: one on the Forms toolbar and one on the Control Toolbox toolbar.

    The Forms toolbar combobox can be attached to a macro to execute when the user tabs out of the control. However, in order for Forms controls to work, the document must be protected for forms. At least some portion of the document around the control will be locked off and uneditable, unless you add more form controls there. Forms protection also blocks some parts of the UI, so this approach may not offer the flexibility you want.

    The Controls Toolbox combobox is an ActiveX control that provides a great deal of flexibility. (It also is likely to trigger a macro/ActiveX warning when the user opens the document.) I haven't set up one of these controls, but I assume you can program them to do whatever an HTML <select> control can do. Note that before saving the document/template, you should exit "design mode" or the controls may not be active for the next user.

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    [attachment=88320:Menus from Excel.jpg]
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    Hello Jefferson,

    Thanks for the reply. So, it sounds like the second option is a better option to use as I need to have drop down menus that then trigger a specific style (protected of course) and then
    the user simply starts typing away.

    Are there any examples of this around on the WOPR site that you have seen? Any coding suggestions?

    Also, is it possbile to pull in all the drop down menu options from a spreadsheet?

    Thanks,

    -J

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesm067 View Post
    So, it sounds like the second option is a better option to use as I need to have drop down menus that then trigger a specific style (protected of course) and then the user simply starts typing away.
    Hmmm, if by "protected" you mean the user can't apply some other style or ignore your control, I don't think you can do that. But if an occasional user ignores your rules, you would be no worse off than you are now.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesm067 View Post
    Are there any examples of this around on the WOPR site that you have seen? Any coding suggestions?
    I'm sure there are code examples here and on MSDN. But I don't have any personal experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesm067 View Post
    Also, is it possbile to pull in all the drop down menu options from a spreadsheet?
    I don't see why not. But that would add some overhead to the application -- having to instantiate Excel or the ADO database drivers to read an XLS file as a database -- so it might be easier to store them in your template or in a text file (e.g., in the traditional INI format).

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    Hello again,

    So with MS Word, I gather that you can protect regions of the template, while leaving other regions open (Designer Control?)...

    I could protect the entire form based template if after the user selects the specific style, then a text box is available or region on the form, where the writer
    can input the text, insert the graphic etc... If we are talking about procedural steps 2., 2.1, 2.2, 2.2.1, 2.2.2 - then the writer will need to be able to hit return, choose level
    of numbering desired and take it from there...

    How does one take a column of say excel titles, that have been pasted into notepad and then attach it to the MS Word template - so that it is embbedded in the template? You said something about a .ini file. Can you clarify for the beginner that I am (in this area of scripts and so forth)?

    Regards,

    Jim

  14. #14
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesm067 View Post
    So with MS Word, I gather that you can protect regions of the template, while leaving other regions open (Designer Control?)...
    To get a better feel for Word forms, check out the form in this thread: [topic=773125]Recover Password for Protected Document[/topic]. You can have protected and unprotected sections in your form. If you can envision your users entering all of their content into little boxes, or in free-form sections, then this approach has a good chance of working for you. If that is too limiting, then you will not want to use forms protection.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesm067 View Post
    How does one take a column of say excel titles, that have been pasted into notepad and then attach it to the MS Word template - so that it is embbedded in the template? You said something about a .ini file. Can you clarify for the beginner that I am (in this area of scripts and so forth)?
    If you use an ActiveX ComboBox control, you will use VBA code to populate rows into the control. You can hard-code the content into your VBA code, or you can read it from a file. Unless you think it will change frequently, you should hard-code it for performance reasons. If you need to read it dynamically from a file formatted like an INI file, look up the PrivateProfileString property in your choice of reference source: Word PrivateProfileString - Google Search.

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    Jim,

    Here's another idea to investigate: customizing Word's built-in, context-sensitive shortcut menus, to make selections of your predetermined custom styles available when the user right-clicks in specific document contexts.

    Word has dozens of built-in shortcut menus that appear when you right-click, and they are all customizable - to do so:

    • Go to Tools > Customize.
    • Click to put a checkmark next to 'Shortcut Menus'.
    • A small floating 'Shortcut Menu' toolbar will become visible, with 3 dropdowns - for Text, Table, and Draw.
    • Click for example on the Table dropdown, and you'll see that there are several context-sensitive menus available under Table.
    • Click on each menu name in turn, and you will see the contents for that menu, pop up to the right.
    • You can then use the Customize dialog tools to customize the context-sensitive menus, for example, by adding the names of the styles you want to make available.

    So if you have a set of styles you want to have used in tables, make them available in the Table-related shortcut menus.
    If you have styles you want used in the context of lists, make them available in the Text > Lists shortcut menus.

    Don't know if the above fits in with what you need to do, but it's worth a look.

    Gary

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