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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Create pop-up/help box in Word

    I'm creating an instructional document with text and images. At certain places I'd like to have an explanation of why to do something. I don't want it there all the time--just when the user clicks on a link. I'm afraid to just link to another part of the document because the user might not find their way back.

    Is this one of those really simple things or one of the "should-be-easy-but-is-actually-impossible" features?

    Lind

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Adding a placeholder and appropriate text means that when a user hovers over the placeholder they can see the instructions.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    I haven't done this, so I'm not sure I get it. Where do I put the actual text? Can the placeholder be either text or a picture?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Lind,

    Maybe this will help. HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    I think you have a few choices to do this.

    1. Add a hyperlink screentip. Select the text that serves as the trigger for the popup and press Ctrl-K. This opens the Insert Hyperlink dialog and you can click the ScreenTip button to add your text. Add an invalid address such as "." and click OK. The selected trigger will probably now have the Hyperlink character style on it but you can clear that if you want the trigger to be more subtle. This method has the drawback of the user seeing an error if the user actually clicks the link rather than just hovering it.

    2. Add a comment via the Review tab. This could be augmented with macros if you wanted an easy way to hide/show the comments. This info method is a sledgehammer approach which either shows all comments or none.

    3. Set up macros to reveal text formatted as hidden or maybe do the same with callouts created from the Insert>Shapes. This would require a bunch of work and require the users to have macros enabled but has the benefit of allowing flexibility in how the popup information is displayed eg including graphics and tables. You could set the text requiring the popups as macrobutton fields to allow the user to double click to see the popup.
    Last edited by Andrew Lockton; 2014-03-24 at 18:59.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  6. #6
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, Andrew. I think I have too much text for your first suggestion, but I'm sure I'll need that option in the future.

    I think the third option may be best--I'll have to get some opinions on whether the users will have macros enabled.

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Placeholder text, in the link provided, is a PowerPoint concept. I think what Retired Geek is referring to, in Word parlance, would be a MacroButton Field prompt. I do not think that is what you want. But, if you just want a place for people to click and type with brief instructions, it works well.

    To add to the choices Andrew provided, I would add that your macro could pop up (1) an entire separate help document, or (2) a msgBox, or (3) a UserForm. None of these would change the text in the document; all would require that macros be enabled. (The macrobutton prompt does not not require macros be enabled, but it then is not a popup, it is just there.
    Last edited by Charles Kenyon; 2014-03-24 at 22:46.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  8. #8
    Platinum Lounger
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    I would try to avoid macros as they are off by default.

    cheers, Paul

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    Star Lounger
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    Thanks, everyone. I think I've found something that will meet my needs. I know I can always count on the great folks here!

    Lind

  10. #10
    Platinum Lounger
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    What did you find? We are always interested...

    cheers, Paul

  11. #11
    Star Lounger
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    Actually, I poked around with all the suggestions as guidance, and I'm pretty sure Andrew and Charles Kenyon's idea is what I need. I still haven't decided whether the macros would be a deal breaker for these particular users. So right now I have end notes. But I still want to try the macros.

    Lind

  12. #12
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    Lind

    I have another suggestion you might want to explore which doesn't involve macros. This is embedding OLE objects in the file.

    If you go to Insert > Object > Object then on the Object dialog's Create New tab, select Display as icon and select a relevant object type (eg Word). You might also want to click the change icon... button and change both the icon and the caption text.

    This results in a small graphic which is clickable to open a separate window which the user can close after reading. If the icon is too large you can right click it and choose Format Object to resize it.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

  13. #13
    Star Lounger
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    Cool

    Andrew,

    What I ended up doing was this:

    I put the parts I wanted to pop up at the end of the document; I gave each one a heading to identify it and to link to.

    I used why? as the link in the text. I made it a heading also.

    I added the text “Back to text” at the end of each help chunk. Then I made it a hyperlink back to the correct “why” heading.

    Now you can ctrl-click on “why,” see what it says, and click back to exactly where you were.

    The only thing the user has to do is ctrl-click instead of just clicking.

    I haven’t rolled it out yet, but I have high hopes. I've attached a short sample. This might get tedious with a long document, but mine is only about 10 pages or so.

    Lind
    Attached Files Attached Files

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