THE TOOL KIT – A BAG OF TRICKS
The latest technology update from the Tool Kit. BY JOST ZETZSCHE
Just Now Updated to Office 2010?
If you own an English, German, Chinese, or Japanese version of Microsoft Office, that’s the language that you’ll get for all the menus—oh, sorry, “ribbons”—dialogs, error messages, and other user interface controls. You do have more than one spelling and grammar checker installed with your particular language version of Microsoft Office (here you can check what kind of spelling checkers are included with what language version of Office), but if you are intent on using a spelling language that is not covered by your language version, you’ll have to look into purchasing an additional language pack. This is, unless you are a user of one of approximately 60 “minor” languages (I just recently learned that the politically correct term here is “languages of limited diffusion”), in which case you might find a link to a free download of an LIP (Language Interface Pack). This includes the ability to run Office in that language and use the spelling checker and sometimes even a help system and templates in that language.
If you’re not one of those blessed “lesser diffused” people, you can purchase an additional language pack (which includes the ability to run Office in an additional language plus proofing for three or four languages) and you can even choose to buy and install it right from within any Office program by selecting File > Options > Language where you can find the respective link.
I have always found it annoying that it was not possible to search and replace something but leave the original text untouched. Doesn’t make any sense? Well, here is a good example: Imagine someone who grew up using a typewriter and still adds those dreaded two spaces after periods in an English document. Before you process this with a translation environment tool, you need to take all those spaces out. So you could just make a search for two spaces and replace that with one space. That’s easy. But let’s imagine that this is a long and convoluted document where some of the double spaces that don’t follow a period actually need to remain. So you could do a manual search and decide for every instance whether this needs to be replaced or not. But did I mention it’s a long document?
So here is a (relatively) easy way to conduct a find-and-replace action for every instance where a period is followed by two spaces and a capital letter (as in the beginning of a sentence).
Press Ctrl+H to open the Find and Replace dialog in Word, select the More button to open up the extended options, and select Use Wildcards. Enter (.) ([A-Z]) in the Find what field. This expression stands for “one period, followed by two spaces, followed by any capital letter.” There are parentheses around the period and the [A-Z] expression to make them referable in the Replace with field. Because if we enter \1 \2 into the Replace with field (first referable field, followed by one white space, followed by the second referable field), the second spaces will be removed but the periods and first letters of the following sentences will not.
Still doesn’t make sense? Imagine this: You are working on a table where names are listed with the family name first, followed by a comma, followed by the given name:
Smith, Roland Doe, Jane Kulongowski, Vladimir
Now your client wants you to change that for the translated version, and you need to sort this into family name following the given name. Here is how you can do this really easily.
Copy the table into a standalone Word document, press Ctrl+H, select Use wildcards, and enter (<*>), (<*>) (< = beginning of a word, * = 0 or more characters, > = end of a word, followed by a comma and a white space, followed by another beginning of a word, 0 or more characters, end of a word). Replace it with \2 \1
The result will be this Roland Smith Jane Doe Vladimir Kulongowski The comma was taken out and the family and given name entries were switched.
If you still don’t see any usefulness in this, file this topic under “fancy search and replace tricks that will come in handy one day at which time I will express my heartfelt gratitude to Jost for this great tip” and don’t trouble your poor mind anymore.
Fun With New Search Engine
just stumbled on a new search engine called DuckDuckGo.com (if that’s too much to type, dukgo.com will also get you there). DuckDuckGo is not necessarily a replacement for Google or Bing, but it has certain features that make it a nice addition to those engines.
DuckDuckGo specializes in quick answers. It calls those answers “zero-click info,” data that is presented to you on the top of the page without the need to further click on something. For example, try entering “age of yo-yo ma” and you’ll get his exact age to the day, or you could enter “weight of egg” and get the average weight of an egg.
DuckDuckGo derives these kinds of functions from WolframAlpha.com, the search engine that likes to make you feel stupid. But there are also other things that are specific to DuckDuckGo. Say you can’t decide on whether to go out on a date tonight or not. Type in “yes or no” and you’ll get the randomly generated answer faster than plucking the petals from a daisy. Or you can’t think of a new password? Type in “pw”. Forgot your IP address? Type in “ip”.
Some of these actions are actually useful, and you can find a list of all the magic right here: http://duckduckgo.com/goodies.html.
Little Tricks Make Us Happy
Terry Oliver sent me a little trick that might make some of you happy.
In a German add-on producer’s newsletter, I just found the following trick that might be useful to any who frequently copy PDFs, e-mails, etc., into Word and then find themselves plagued with unwanted spaces at the start of many lines:
- Mark the lines (or paragraphs) from which you want to remove the leading spaces.
- Click on the “centered” symbol (or press Ctrl + E). Word centers the relevant lines and automatically deletes the leading spaces.
- With the text still marked, click on the “left-aligned” symbol (or press Ctrl + L) to return the text to normal alignment.
This saves a lot of manual or semi-automatic Find and Replace operations.