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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    I would like to add "user instructions" or tips at various points in a document similar to the Comments in Excel. However I don't wish for these instructions to be printed. I've tried the text box inside an Autoshape trick, but I have found this to be time consuming as you have no ability to edit your comment once they have been inserted into the Autoshape.

    Most of the documents are pretty 'liberal', allowing the user to do whatever they like and the instructions are simple so going down the path of user forms, protection and help text really isn't practical.

    Is there another way I add non-printing simple comments and instructions in a document?

    Regards,

    Matthew

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Formatting text as hidden? As long as displaying hidden text is on, and printing hidden text is off (both can be set in Tools/Options...), you can use hidden text for comments, instructions etc.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Word has comments, too, but the comment marks are inline with the text, and formatted as hidden. Thus, they don't stand out in the same way as the red-triangle-in-the-corner style of Excel. And if the reader isn't viewing hidden text, she or he won't see them at all.

    I generally use paragraphs of hidden text in a distinctive color (dark green) for my nonprinting instructions. If users are trained to always view hidden text, it works pretty well.

  4. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Thanks Hans.

    Ideally I would love a callout style of comment but having these hidden text comments in a protected section or header/footer would be sufficent.

    Regards,

    Matthew

  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Hi Jefferson,

    With the hidden text paragraphs do you run the risk of the user accidently typing in the text formatted as hidden and therefore their own text is hidden when printing? If that is the case I suppose its a matter of training the user to be hidden text aware, use styles instead of just changing the font colour from green to black as most of my users would currently do. <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39>

    Regards,

    Matthew

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    You could set off the comments dramatically, as in the attached example...
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Thanks Jefferson,

    That's exactly the look I am after. I didn't realise the paragraph shading and border could also be hidden. i.e. viewed on screen but hidden when printing.

    Regards,

    Matthew

  8. #8
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Hi Mathew:
    I'm glad you found what you want, but I don't understand your statement that you can't edit text within a callout. First of all, you don't have to enter a textbox into an autoshape in order to enter text.

    If you create a callout, you can type text inside. You can subsequently edit the text by clicking inside the callout, or clicking the border & selecting Edit text. You can format the text inside the box as hidden & can right click the callout border & choose No line. The callout will then be invisible when you have hidden text not displayed & you will see the text inside the callout when you display hidden text. The difference between this approach & Jefferson's is that his will "disappear" from your document entirely when you turn off the hidden display; the callouts will leave a blank space.

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    HI Phil,

    I don't recall where I learnt this but my previous attempt at adding non-printing instructions involved creating a text box with a single character formated as hidden and then pasting a autoshape/textbox with the user instructions inside the first, which converted it to an inline shape. ie a picture in which the text can't be edited. The advanage of this was i could format the text box with shading and a border which would only be visible on screen.

    Your method certainly gives me another option. Though I must admit I do like the border around the text to help differentiate it from the text of the document. Though Jefferson's idea of different coloured text helps. The ideal would be to have a callout with hidden text and a visible non-printing border. i.e. just like an Excel Comment

    Regards,

    Matthew

  10. #10
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    <hr>The ideal would be to have a callout with hidden text and a visible non-printing border.<hr>
    But you can do just that.
    1. Create a callout with a visible border.
    2. Select the paragraph mark inside & format it as hidden (Ctrl+Shift+H).
    3. You can set the fill to another color if you wish from the Format/AutoShape dialog box.

    You can even save the above as an AutoText entry so that once formatted, you only need to type the entry's name & press F3. (First, set the alignment to relative to character & paragraph, not absolute as to page or margin).

    When you print, go to Tools/Options/Print tab & deselect "Include with document" Drawing objects. If you want, you can record a macro that switches this printing option on & off.

  11. #11
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Non-printing user instructions in document (97 - 2002)

    Thanks Phil,

    This gives me the callout style I was looking for.

    By deselect "Include with document "Drawing objects it doesn't matter how the text inside the text box is formatted as it won't appear in the printed document. Of course the only downside is that all Drawing objects hidden or not, will be left out of the printed document. As I rarely use drawing objects in my documents this shouldn't be a problem for me.

    An auto open and close macro could be used to set the Drawing objects off and on.

    Regards,

    Matthew

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