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  1. #1
    rcochranjr
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    Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hello,

    This post references Woody's Office Watch #6.19 and Bill Coan's feature therein on using the Autosummarize Word feature. If you follow the procedure Bill specifies in the WOW issue, Autosummarize will unexpectedly update the Comments portion of the Summary tab of the document properties. Specifically Autosummarize inserts the text of its output into the comments area, replacing any existing comments without warning. If you then save the document (Word will prompt you to save the document after you use autosummarize even if you have not otherwise changed the document) you will have lost any text in the comments area of the Summary tab of the document properties.

    You do not have to make the Visual Basic macro changes Bill suggests for this to happen. They happen just by using Microsoft's autosummarize tool.

    I've so far been able to make this happen in Word 97 SR-2 and Word 2000 with no service releases applied.

    I have notified Mr. Coan of this privately by email. Don't blame him for this, he has nothing to do with it. This is just another (disgusting) Microsoft issue. I do not know if this is a "feature" or a "bug". A quick search of the Microsoft KB doesn't disclose this issue. I can only attest to my great annoyance at losing all the comments I had carefully added to the document properties for one high-level document I'm working on. I wouldn't have noticed this at all because I don't normally update the properties of a Word document with comments. I'm starting to do so, however, and by chance I wanted to see if I had mentioned some point in the comments of a document I had used the autosummarize trick on. I saw all my comments gone and I freaked!

    Since this happens to involve WOW issue 6.19, I hope that Peter Deegan is made aware of this.

    Thanks

    Bob Cochran
    Beltsville, Maryland, USA
    cochranb@clark.net

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Bob, I hope you've emailed Peter and Woody at wow-feedback@woodyswatch.com to tell them about this. They may want to pass it on to other WOW readers.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  3. #3
    rcochranjr
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Eileen, thank you for your reply. I did email the address you suggested. If you read the Administrivia section of recent WOW issues under the heading Reader Feedback, they seem to suggest that this email address isn't often checked. So I posted this to the Lounge hoping a more in-the-know associate might be able to contact Woody or Peter.

    Bill Coan has reported the comments issue to Microsoft but has not heard back from them yet. He has been very gracious about staying in touch with me and I gather from his emails he spent ages working on this problem. He even sent me some VBA code to work around the problem. So I guess we have another Word bug to marvel at!

    Bob Cochran
    Beltsville, Maryland, USA

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Bob, thanks for keeping us up to date. I'll be surprised if we don't see that piece of code in WOW sometime soon. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  5. #5
    BAM
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hi Bob,

    In the AutoSummarize dialog box, turn off "Update Document Statistics".
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers!

  6. #6
    RLCochranjr
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hi there! This appears to preserve comments in the Summary tab of the document properties, but Autosummarize is still changing something in the Word document (I don't know what.) When I try to close the document after doing only an Autosummarize action, Word asks me if I want to save my changes. That means Autosummarize has changed the document in some way. The only thing that should change is what the user sees on the screen, right? (I'm nowhere near as expert as you Lounge folks are with Word.)

  7. #7
    BAM
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hi Bob,

    I don't get a prompt to save changes unless I select the "executive summary/abstract" option with "Update document statistics" turned off.

    Do you have any fields such as a Date field that is being updated upon opening the document?

    If you open and close the document without using the AutoSummarize command are you prompted to save changes?

    Watch the Undo command in the toolbar and see if an action occurs. If so, then open the list of actions to see what it is.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers!

  8. #8
    RLCochranjr
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hi BAM,

    I'm sorry I didn't reply to this earlier. You are correct that if you turn off the checkbox for "Update document statistics", do an autosummarize, and then close the document, all is well. I had one case where Word would ask me if I wanted to save changes, but I must have updated the document myself in some fashion. I apologise for not correcting myself sooner. I got a little tied up after my earlier post.

    Mr. Coan has also been in touch with me. He says the updating action of Autosummarize is not a bug, since there is sketchy documentation for it in Help. He does seem to think elements of the design and implementation of this feature leaves something to be desired. I agree with him on that. I still think Autosummarize should not be updating comments without explicitly informing the user.

    Bob

  9. #9
    BAM
    Guest

    Re: Autosummarize Feature Updates Properties Tab

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the update. Personally I don't like the idea of "Update document statistics" being selected by default. I think it should have a sticky setting, e.g. default to the last choice.

    I would say that Bill's macro can be modified (if it hasn't been already) to circumvent this option.

    btw, if you click the "What's This" Help tool (?) in the upper right corner of the AutoSummarize dialog box and click the "Update..." option you should get further details on what the option actually does. (That's how I figured it out. <grin>)

    Here are a couple of additional notes that may be of interest to you:

    If you do want to save the document with the AutoSummary turned on then you need to make a change in the document (such as a space and then backspace) so the document is viewed as "dirty" when enables a Save to actually take place. (There needs to be an action to Undo for Word to save a file.) Otherwise the AutoSummary is discarded when the file is closed.

    The same goes for removing a previously saved AutoSummary. For example if you Close the AutoSummary toolbar, the AutoSummary is removed. However if you close the document without making another change that creates an action to Undo, then the AutoSummary will still be in place when you reopen the document.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Cheers!

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