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  1. #1
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    Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    Does anyone have any experience changing the behavior of the new Office "task pane"?

    In Word 2000, File.. New.. would pop up a dialog box with all of the templates. This worked well for us, since we have a lot of custom templates that we all use for the office. These were kept in a sub folder of the shared templates.

    Now, in Word 2003, a user executing File New,. doesn't get that dialog. Instead the task pane pops up on the right, with "generic" options. To get the templates dialog that we need, the use needs to find the "On my Computer" icon hidden in the middle of the list. Since our templates aren't "On my (their) Computer" at all, this is certainly likely to be confusing. Worse, if the task pane is already open, A File New doesn't necessarily seem to do anything. It merely changes the options on the task pane, something that seems likely to go unnoticed.

    Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with this issue. In my initial reasearch, I can turn the Task pane off, but I can't do anything about it starting back up again on File New.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    In Word 2002 (Office XP), you could customize your File menu with a new New item which calls up the old dialog. It was called "Other..." and could be dragged from the New "fly-out" menu and then customized to respond to pressing the letter N. I have no idea whether this is relevant to Word 2003...

  3. #3
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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    For Word, see <post#=313719>post 313719</post#>. The other Office apps don't have Word's convenient override-the-built-in-command feature.

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    In Word, go to 'Tools|options|File Locations', select 'Workgroup Templates' and modify this to point to your sub folder of the shared templates. Click on OK. Now when you select a template from "On my computer" in the task pane, you will see all the templates in that folder under the 'General' tab. If you want to separate these from the templates that actually exist in 'On my computer', create a sub-folder and put them in there. The new sub-folder will show as a separate tab with name of the folder and all the templates will be listed in there.

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    Thanks, but that doesn't really solve the problem. The user still has to notice that the task pane has changed somewhat when he chose "file New" and then seek out the "my computer" button and know to click it. Maybe if I could add items to this task thing, it would be more uesfull.

    The big problem is that we use variety of custom Word templates all the time, because we, like a lot of professional companies, have documents that _have_ to be based on a template. Hiding this will screw up our business processes.

    It' snice to have new features, but why make it impossible to do something the original way, especially since the taskpane is obviously a "Marketing Department" feature.

  6. #6
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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    Have you looked at the post I linked to in my reply higher up in this thread?

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    Yeah, thanks. I was starting to play with that, and that may be the way we have to go.

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    > Maybe if I could add items to this task thing, it would be more uesfull.

    Have you had a look at the Task Pane Wizard ?
    It allows you to add your own templates to the Task Pane.

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    I finally got around to installing the Task pane wizard, adn trying it out on my Word files. Unfortunately, the results weren't very satisfactory. First of all, I could only add individual template files to the task pane. In my case I have a few dozen template files in a subdirectory of the shared templates F:appsOffice2003FILESPFILESMSOFFICETEMPLATEWTW Std.

    TPW won't add the folder, I have to add all the individual templates, which fills up the task pane. I would rather just add the folder to the task pane, but that doesn't seem possible.

    Licensing is another issue. There's no clear indication whether I can create one "task pane file" and distribute to all my users, or whether I am expected to license the wizards on every workstation that is customized (this would probably cost too much).

  10. #10
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    I think the author would be interested in tweaking the product if he gets this kind of feedback.

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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    I actually left a comment for Msr. Soldaat yesterday afternoon, and he has already repsonded with some suggestions. Sadly, it apears that adding folders to the task pane is not possible.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Fighting 'taskpane' (2003)

    Uh-oh, everyone who has the "engineer gene" saw "not possible" and immediately started imagining possible solutions. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15> But Soldaat is very deep in his knowledge of Office, so I suspect that he wouldn't have overlooked anything easy and reliable...

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