Zhaba Zhournal
Wednesday, October 08, 2003 
Evil Microsoft Word 
Update: Since combinations of "VBAWRD8.HLP," "VBAWD10.CHM," and "download" are by far the most popular search strings for my Web site that don't involve Li'l Kim, and because Microsoft sucks and I like to help people, I'm going to belatedly provide a link for the elusive VBAWD10.CHM file. It turns out you can actually download it from a non-Korean, non-bootleg-looking Web site—I was able to get it today (9/15/2004) from the IST department at Marshall University, who I hope aren't going to come after me with lawyers and hockey sticks for linking to them.

On their IST: Download page, under "Documentation," you can download the .CHM files for Microsoft Office, Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. If you got here with a "VBAWRD8" or "VBAWD10" search, their link for "MS Word Object Model" is the one you're after.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled entry...
I hate Microsoft Word. I hate it more than most government officials, more than the public transit authority, more than menstrual cramps. If it were a person, I'd hire someone to beat it up or set its car on fire or have an affair with its spouse. I. Hate. It.

Since our clients insist upon using this evil thing, however, I have to deal with it. And I am, slowly but surely, bending it to my will. Today, for instance, I achieved something that I have hitherto only dreamed of: turning those God-awful automatic numbered lists into actual paragraphs with actual text numbers in front of them.

How? Well, I looked in all the menus. I looked at the included "Help" file. I dug up a Word 97 manual and read everything about lists and numbers. I looked at the "Help" file some more. I did a Web search. I checked the O'Reilly Hacks page. I checked the Microsoft Help page. I checked the Microsoft Help discussion lists. I was directed to use the VisualBasic Editor. I opened it and found out I didn't have the elusive VBAWRD8.HLP file. I looked for it on my hard drive. I looked for it on the office server. I tried to find our original installation CDs. (Of course we don't have them anymore.) I did another Web search. I found a Korean Web page with a link to a download that was, well, sort of like it. (VBAWD10.CHM.) I downloaded it. I read it. I ignored the constant "Internet Explorer Script Error" pop-ups I got on every page. I put together a macro. I ran it. It didn't work. I tried again. And again. And again. And finally—finally—after only three hours of not getting any frippin' work done—I had a macro that would do what the frippin' program should be able to do anyway.

And here it is, in all its deceptive simplicity:
Sub convertnumber()

ActiveDocument.ConvertNumbersToText (wdNumberParagraph)

End Sub
Yeah, it doesn't look like much. And no, it doesn't solve everything. And the programmers among you are probably entirely unimpressed. But I'm not a programmer. And I shouldn't have to be.

And now, back to the editing I was supposed to be doing in the first place...

[ at 1:47 PM • by Abby • permalink  ]

Yes, that's me.


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