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    Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Hi

    I develop manuals (amongst other things), and use comments to record notes for future documentors (eg, "This text is duplicated in the XXX manual"). I don't mind users reading the comments, but don't want the comments to confuse or irritate them. This was no problem in older versions of Word, but seems to be using 2003.

    Am I correct that all the options in the following relate to the user, not to the document:<UL><LI>Reviewing toolbar, Show drop-down
    <LI>View menu, Markup option
    <LI>Tools menu, Security tab, "Make hidden markup visible ..."[/list]In other words, there's no way I can use comments, and stop them being displayed when a user opens the document (assuming they have "Make hidden markup visible ..." on).

    And, if all that's true, can someone suggest an easy-to-use alternative to comments.

    Thanks
    Dale

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Could you record a macro that changes the view to Final when the document is opened? You have to name the macro AutoOpen if you want it to run whenever that document is opened. That way at least users would start with the view you want them to, even if they could change it if they wanted. See this microsoft guidance on these macros.

    Ian

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Hi Dale:
    What if you simply make a copy of the document, in which you delete all the comments before sending it out. You will still have preserved your comments in the original version for other documentors, but will not confuse the users.

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Thanks Ian and Phil

    An AutoOpen macro would work for documents saved on a file server, but auto macros don't run when you download a Word document from an intranet. Another issue is whether it's appropriate to change a user's settings, especially since those settings affect all documents they open.

    Keeping a separate master copy for documentors doesn't fit well with the now pretty standard approach of making the intranet copy the master (which has various advantages).

    Thinking more about the problem, the core of the issue is the DEGREE of visibility of the comments:<UL><LI>In Word 97, the fact that a comment exists is evident (to anyone with ShowAll on) because a small unobtrusive indicator appears next the the word the comment is attached to. A documentor would know to read the comment; an ordinary reader mightn't even notice it.
    <LI>In Word 2003, the balloon is extremely useful for documentors, but very intrusive for ordinary readers. (This only applies to PrintLayout view, but PrintLayout view is more effective for reading highly-structured documents like manuals.)[/list]I guess what I'd really like is an equivalent to Excel's vbSheetVeryHidden setting; except this would be vbCommentsIndicatorVisibleButBallonsHidden.

    Anyway, I think my question has been answered. There is no comments-controlling setting that applies to the document (rather than the user), and I'm going to have to find a different approach.

    Thanks for your help
    Dale

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Dale

    The efficacy of AutoOpen and Document_Open macros may be browser-dependent. Using files created with Word 2002, I can get these macros to run if I download them from an intranet using Mozilla (1.7.3) or Opera (7.11) or Netscape (4.79). But neither works if I use IE (6.0.2...).

    For the problem you've got, could you use the Versions feature in Word? Perhaps by creating a separate version for your documenters, that gets activated automatically (with notification) once opened?

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Hi William

    If I remember right (I can't find the post where it was discussed):<UL><LI>If a file type is configured to open in IE (rather than in the application, eg Word), then auto macros fire when triggered from a web page.
    <LI>But if the file type is configured to open in the application, then auto macros don't fire.[/list]I didn't realise it was different for non-IE browsers, but I live in a Microsoft world anyway.

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    Dale

    What I had in mind was a macro-driven process that lurked in the background, checked each opened file, and did its magic once a file with one or more versions was opened (and used the Comment property and the existence of certain text to identify the relevant multiple-versioned files). I've never tried to do this, however, and I've no idea if it's possible and practical. Perhaps someone from above the equator may be able to help once they come online.

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    Re: Markup and balloons (Word 2003)

    One setting that avoids the visible problem is to leave the file in Normal View rather than in Page Layout View. You don't get harassed by the comment balloons when the document is in Normal View.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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