Monday, 8 December 2014

Hand-drawn Process Flows: Part2 - Basic Shapes

A Free Document Productivity Tool For Visio

This post describes the basic hand-drawn process flow shapes: Start, End, Task and Gateway. With these tools you can model simple process flows using Visio's swimlane template. 

The Hand-drawn post series looks like this:

  • Part 1 - Introduction - How the hand-drawn look is created. Shows all shapes.
  • Part 2 - Basic Shapes - Good for most process flows.
  • Part 3 - More shapes - For more advanced models.
  • Part 4 - Building a hand-drawn template.
  • Part 5 - Quick posts - Three more great hand-draw shapes for process flows.

The Task Shape

The task shape is a basic hand-drawn rectangle that is the basis for many of the other shapes.

There are two variants on the basic rectangle that you can control by right clicking the shape.

Collapsed indicates that there a detailed definition of the process task. I use this when the process is in another page in the Visio document.  

Loop indicates that the process is repeated.



I don't use the variants very often, they can be too BPMN specific for some audiences, but you might find them useful.  

The text box uses Comic Sans for a  hand-drawn look, and the text box itself is bounded by the shape. I decided not to let the text box expand the size of the box.

Design Note:
Each of the variant icons is a separate geometry in the shape. If you follow the ShapeSheet links, you'll see how clicking the action entry reveals and hides the icons. The user section of the shape has sizing constants that mean the icons grow or shrink as the shape size changes.





The Gateway Shape


The gateway shape has a similar geometry to the task shape in that it is a rectangle with the same 3 section randomised side as the task shape.  


There is one variant, the plus sign, which is very BPMN specific, so use appropriately.  













Design Note: 
If you look at the geometry of the main shape, you will see a special "Line to" the previous geometry point.  This is an important point.  Without line rounding, Visio "draw" conventional rectangular shapes, however, I need line rounding to smooth out the randomising.  This has the effect of rounding the shape corners too.  By adding a specific line back to each corner, the rounding is cancelled out.

The geometry of the plus sign has User values to control the gap between the sigh and the corner of the shape.  I've added the hand-drawn effect to the plus sign too.










The Start Shape

The start shape is the most complex shape in the palette, it is actually four separate shapes grouped, one for the main shape, one for the intermediate inner ring, and one each for the timer and message icons.

The intermediate icon can be used with or without the other icons, but you can have one one of either timer or message. 



















Design Note:
Since I'm using randomised shapes, the challenge is to ensure the inner shapes dont cross over into the outer. To solve this I drew the four shapes at the right size separately. I then created a group with just the main shape ("Start a Group"), then added the first inner shape to the group ("Add to Group"). The inner shape is subordinate to the main, so I could refer to the main shape's randomised values, this means that you get the exact same outline, only a little smaller.

The clock face is easily the most complex shape, I needed a refresher on my high school trigonometry to get the hour marks pointing towards the centre, and each the same length.

The message icon is based on the rectangle with the extra angle.



The End Shape


The End Shape is a cut-down start shape.  I left the message icon, but removed the Timer.

The additional thickness of the outline means that I had to tweak the sensitivity of the "wavy-ness" down a little for this shape.
















Downloading the shapes

You can download s stencil with these shapes from the Visio Downloads page here.

See the following post for more hand-drawn shapes.

I am keen to hear how you find the shapes, so please leave a comment.


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Hand-drawn Process Flows - Part 1 - Introduction

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Visio

This post introduces a set of process flow shapes in a "hand-drawn" style. 

Producing process models using these shapes helps convey a “work-in-progress” feel that signals informality and encourages discussion. 

The are suitable for simple flows aimed at a business audience, who should be able to follow them with minimal understanding. I often use them to confirm conversations and draft processes before recording them formally once I have got agreement.

You can use them to prepare standard flowcharts, but they are ideally suited to swim-lane diagrams using the standard Visio template.  See the following example:




The main shapes are a task, start and end circles, and a decision or gateway diamond.  They have a wavy appearance around the edges as if drawn by hand. 

The shapes are actually a subset of the full BPMN suite. Limiting the BPMN
palette reinforces the the “simplicity” intent, but if you right click on many of the shapes you'll see additional display options which provide more BPMN-like models.  In the example above you can see the collapsed and loop icons, and the timer.

Each shape is subtly different from the others of its type. I have optimised the "wavy-ness" of each shape for scale and line thickness, but sometimes the shape may look too extreme. If you right click on the shape you will see the option "Redraw Shape". When this is click,ed a new randomised outline is generated.


Here is a sample of each of the shapes


Inspiration

I liked the idea of hand drawn shapes, several of the major process modelling

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Taking Stock

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

I have been working on some process documentation in the past few weeks, so I'll give the Word macros a break and post some of the Visio tools that I have developed over the last couple of years.


Hand-drawn Process Flow Shapes

My first Visio post will be a set of process flow shapes with a funky hand-drawn look. This signals informality, and promotes discussion. I think they are fun to use too.

The shapes can be used for flowcharts, but there are extensions so you get a decent subset of the BPNM shape palette with shape variants you can switch on and off.

Other Upcoming Visio Posts

My Visio tools provide efficiency improvement features that you can use everyday.  They are especially useful for people laying out process flows, context diagrams and preparing simple graphic designs for summarising business issues and solutions.

The Visio posts coming soon are:
  • Hand-drawn process flow shapes - stencil and template
  • SmartAlign - Enhanced Horizontal and Vertical alignment tools
  • SmartSize - An smart tool for consistently sizing shapes
  • SmartLink - Connector link tools used when adjusting process flows

I'll also be adding a range of smart shapes for reducing the effort when BPMN diagrams - I'll publish a stencil and template for these too.

I also regularly use a set of page re-size and layout tools which I'll also publish.

Word Tools

I have not finished with Word, I have the following tools yet to publish.  Let me know if you want any expedited.  The upcoming tools are:
  • SmartAnnotation - Enhanced annotation
  • SmartBrowse - Extensions to the standard browse tools for managing reviews.
  • Advanced document review tools for managing editing tasks
  • Advanced Table formatting - quickly inserting tables, formatting subsections and making tables consistent across the document.
There are one or two other small items which I use a lot - things like cleaning up double spaces, dropping bookmarks, 

SmartTable Insert Update

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

I have added logic to the SmartTable Insert tool to improve the way Word inserts columns

When Word adds columns, it adds them with the same size as the column at the start point.  

I find that inconvenient, especially if auto resize is switched off, the new column can be created off the width of the page.


The SmartTable Insert routine has been altered to add a modest sized new column to the right if the cursor is just outside the first row. 





To insert a column, make sure the cursor is just outside the table at the first header row.




The new table is of modest size, not the monster sized column that I usually get.



Summary

This is an update to SmartTable Insert.  The latest copy of all Tool code can be found in the Downloads tab.

SmartTable Number Update

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

There have been a number of improvements to SmartTable Number, the tool that renumbers and tidies tables in Word.

The highlights are:
  • Ability to handle multi-row headers.
  • Suffix codes e.g “7a, 7b, 7c..” added for rows that follow from the one above.
  • Continue numbering from a previous table.

Handle Multi-row headers

SmartTable Renumber is designed to start numbering from the first row after the header. Previously, only single row headers were supported. Having worked on some complex tables lately, I added logic to handler multi-row headers.

You can now use the “Repeat Header Rows” option in the Table Layout tab to define multi-row headers. Numbering will start from the first regular row after the header.

Using the "Repeat Header Rows" sets a flag on each header that ensures the header gets repeated on each page.  The numbering routine tests for this flag and skips header before starting to assign numbers.

Suffix Codes

The routine now numbers rows that have a blank cell in column 2.  It does this by appending “a, b, c…” to the previous row number.  


In this example, since there is no text in column two, the routine has added the suffix a, b, c... to the previous row. 




To switch this on, a new entry in the table control list has been added.  A value of S adds this suffix.  If a value of “N” is entered, rows with a blank column 2 are not numbered.




I needed this logic to handle some complicated tables where the second cell was sometimes a header for several rows that follow.

Continue numbering from a previous table

To continue numbering from the previous table type ”-1” in the first number cell and then select SmartTable Number.

The routine will go to the previous table and get the last number (and prefix, if any) from the previous table and continue numbering.

The “-1”refers to the number of tables to go back, If you type “-2”, the routine will get the number and any prefix from the table before the previous one.  This allows me to insert small tables between the main numbering sequence


In this example -1 has been added to the first row of the second table.  










After selecting SmartTable Number, the numbering from the previous table has been copied down.












I needed this logic to handle several tables that needed to have a common numbering. 

The routine is not smart enough to automatically renumber a series of tables, you have to do them one at a time. This isn't a limitation of coding, its more of a limitation in the way Word works. There are no spare fields in the table properties to permanently store the relationship between tables, this makes building repeatable process tricky.

Summary

This is an update to SmartTable Number.  The latest copy of all Tool code can be found in the Downloads tab.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Select List

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word


This tool selects an entire bulleted or numbered list ready for further editing or formatting.

It is based on code used by SmartPunctuation, a tool that automatically punctuates a bulleted or numbered list.


The instructions are relatively simple, place the cursor anywhere in the list and select the shortcut key.  The list will then be selected.


The key selection routine used for Select List is also used for by SmartPunctuation. The routine has a number of special features

Handle bulleted lists inside tables. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

SmartPunctuation

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool automatically punctuates bulleted or numbered lists, and reapplies this punctuation when the layout or order of the list changes. 

The methods supported by this tool are given in the following table.

There are several standard ways of punctuating bulleted lists, whether with ‘,’ or ‘;’  or ‘.’ marks. Some methods require an ‘and’ too.

All of the methods are invoked in the same way. Place the cursor in the bulleted list and press the shortcut key. The correct punctuation is applied.



If the rule has a " and", this will be inserted in the second to last line as shown.

The method works in regular text and inside table cells.






The routine also strips out unwanted punctuation and applies the correct one, including ‘and’s .
In this example, the order of the list has been changed and  the ", and" has been removed before the correct punctuation applied.





Methods 1-3 leave the character of the first letter unchanged, so that sentence-like lists are supported.  Switching off “Capitalize the first letter of sentences” in the AutoCorrrect options helps for these methods too.  

Friday, 22 August 2014

Track Changes Handling for Tools

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This release allows the user to switch off track changes for edits made by Document Productivity Tools.

If Track Changes is switched on, the system asks if you wish to record the changes by table renumbering, moving rows and other Document Productivity Tools. You might decide that these sorts of changes are cosmetic, and that the number of changes that would be recorded would be distracting, and therefore decide not track them.

The tracking rule is reset each time you start Word, and the first use of a  Document Productivity rule will bring up the dialogue shown. 


If “N” is selected, the system will temporarily switch off track changes, run the routine and restore the track changes setting.



If “Y” is selected, track changes remains on, and any changes made are tracked as normal.

The track changes decision made remains set for the remainder of the Word

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Typing Productivity - Part 4 - AutoCorrect Import and Export

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This part describes the AutoCorrect import and export tool that allows you to add new Typing Productivity abbreviations to your system.

It is the way you can use the library of nearly 1000 entries already prepared, and it allows you to move your abbreviations from one PC to another.

You can use this tool to move spelling AutoCorrect entries, even if there are no Typing Productivity entries involved.

Preparation

Download a copy of the Typing Productivity Import and Export Tool from here

You may already have some spelling correction entries in AutoCorrect which you want to preserve.   If you do, carry out Part 1 – Preserve Current Spelling Entries before proceeding to Part 2.
If you don’t care about any existing spelling entries go straight to Part 2.


Part 1 - Preserve Spelling Entries

Spelling entries are the AutoCorrect entries used to correct typing errors.  You will want to preserve them, carry out these steps.

Step 1. Take a copy of the Import Export Tool document and delete the entries in Table 1 – Spelling entries, making sure that the header row remains. 

Step 2.  Click the Export Spelling button.  All existing AutoCorrect entries will be loaded into Table 1.  It might take a short while and the update counter in the status bar may get a bit behind, but it will finish eventually.

Table 1 now contains all current spelling corrections.  This table should replace the Table 1 in your downloaded version of the Import and Export Tool.

Part 2 - Import Typing Productivity Entries

To import the Typing Productivity entries, click the Import All AutoCorrect button.  This will import the contents of both Table 1- Spelling Entries and Table 2 - Typing Productivity  Entries.  

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Typing Productivity - Part 3 - Automated Entries

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool describes uses an abbreviation system to reduce the typing load for business and technical documents. 

See Part 1 for information on dealing phrases and acronyms. It also contains information abbreviation systems in general and discusses typing expanders.


Part 2 deals with abbreviations for long words and words that are very frequently used.  

This part describes the SmartCorrect tool that automates the job of looking up and adding new abbreviations.

Part 4 allows you to bulk import and export your abbreviations, and includes a dictionary of over 1000 abbreviations.

The B2E System – Part 3 – Automatic Entries



The SmartCorrect tool automates the addition and lookup of Typing Productivity abbreviations. 

When adding, the routine determines the default abbreviation to use for the selected text.

The AutoCorrect dialogue is automatically loaded with the appropriate fields filled in.



  • If the text selected is 6 characters or less, SmartCorrect assumes that the value entered is an abbreviation, finds the associated full text equivalent and loads the Autocorrect screen.  This is a simple and effective lookup of an existing abbreviation.  If there is no corresponding full text, the full text field is blank
  • If the text word (longer than 6 characters) SmartCorrect assumes that the highlighted text is the full text.  If the text already has an abbreviation, both values are presented.  If there is no corresponding abbreviation, the first and last characters of the abbreviation are shown, and the user simply completes abbreviation to add the entry. See Part 1 for rules for determining the abbreviation.
  • If the selected text is a two or more word phrase, SmartCorrect assumes

Monday, 12 May 2014

Typing Productivity - Part 2 - Long Words

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool describes uses an abbreviation system to reduce the typing load for business and technical documents. 

See Part 1 for information on dealing phrases and acronyms. It also contains information abbreviation systems in general and discusses typing expanders.   
Part  2 deals with abbreviations for long words and words that are very frequently used.  Part 3 provides a tool that automates the job of looking up and adding new abbreviations. Part 4 allows you to bulk import and export your abbreviations, and includes a dictionary of over 1000 abbreviations.

The B2E System – Part 2 - Long Words

Rule 4 - Long words

For long words use the beginning letter, three characters from the second syllable and the last letter.  For example:

clabe = collaborate (colaborate)

epert = experiment (experiment)

acren = accreditation (accreditation)

acumd = accumulated (accumulated)

ctifg = certifying (certifying)

The name of the B2E system is derived from this rule, the characters in the abbreviation are b222e, where b = the beginning of the word, 222=start of the 2nd syllable, and e=end.

The rule works because all you need to do is sound the word out in your head as you type. The abbreviation naturally falls out of this process without intruding on the flow of content.

It produces remarkably few collisions, and focuses on long words (3+ syllables) where the accuracy and speed payback is greatest.


Rule 5 – Compound Words

For hyphenated words, treat them like two work phrases For example:

self-service (self-service)


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Typing Productivity - Part 1 - Phrases

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool describes an abbreviation system to reduce the typing load for business and technical documents.  

Part 1 deals quickly entering multi-word phrases that are often repeated in such documents.    Part  2 deals with abbreviations for long words and words that are very frequently used.  Part 3 provides a tool that automates the job of looking up and adding new abbreviations. Part 4 allows you to bulk import and export your abbreviations, and includes a dictionary of over 1000 abbreviations.

An abbreviation system has two important benefits:
  • Using abbreviations increases your typing throughput, regularly used phrases and long words can be typed with just a few characters.
  • Abbreviations makes typing more accurate because shorter words are easier type and the chances of needing to edit the word later are reduced.


AutoCorrect

AutoCorrect provides a general purpose tool for expanding an abbreviation to full text. For example the abbreviation "typpro" is expanded by AutoCorrect to be "typing productivity". 

I had used AutoCorrect concept in the past, but found the experience frustrating because I could only remember a handful of abbreviations.

I propose the B2E system – a set of simple rules that allow you to generate the abbreviation in your mind as you generate content.  They need to be simple so you can use them without being distracted as you type.

The B2E system – Part 1 - Phrases

The B2E system is intended for general purpose rather than specialist or high volume.  It focuses on the big ticket items – speeding up the entry of regularly used phrases and long words.

To use B2E, the abbreviation and its corresponding full text need to be loaded into the Word dictionary. This can be done manually or imported via a spreadsheet (see part 3).  Once this is done, the abbreviations will be available in all Office apps (e.g. Excel, Visio ) provided you keep using the same dictionary.


Rule 1 – Three or more word phrases 

Use the beginning  letter of each of the words in the phrases.  For example:
  • rar  = roles and responsibilities
  • isra = Information Security Risk Assessment

You can capitalise the full text if that is the way it is normally expressed
See also Rule 3 – Acronyms


Rule 2 – Two word Phrases


AutoCorrect - How to Access and Record Entries

A Free Document Productivity Tip for Word

This post shows how to load the AutoCorrect maintenance tool onto the Quick Access Toolbar so that it is available for use with a single click.  It then describes how to enter an abbreviation and its corresponding full text.

These tasks lay the foundation for the following posts that use the abbreviation concept to reduce the typing load of repetitive text.


Adding AutoCorrect to the Quick Access Toolbar

Step 1 - Open Quick Access Toolbar maintenance tool.









Friday, 4 April 2014

SmartMove Up/Down

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool moves a single paragraph up/down inside a table cell, and is useful for changing the order of bulleted items in a list.

It also supports the standard reordering tools that move paragraphs up/down in regular text or rows up/down in tables.  Details of this standard functionality can be found in the Moving Table Rows post.

The tool uses the context of the selected text to determine what to move. 

If the cursor is in a table cell and there is no range selected (i.e. just an insertion point) then the function will move the paragraph up/down.  
 
If the cursor is in a table cell and a range is selected, or a whole row (or rows) is selected, the standard OutlineMoveUp/Down  will be used to move the rows up/down.

If the cursor is in standard text as an insertion point or a range is selected, the standard function moves range up/down.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

SmartTable Cell Format

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool formats a table cell by adding punctuation and removing empty paragraphs at the end of the cell.  It operates on selected cells or the current cell if no range is selected.

It adds a "." character to paragraphs that do not already end in a punctuation mark. 


It does not add the "." character in the following situations:

Friday, 7 March 2014

SmartTable Insert

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

This tool is one of a set that provides advanced features for adding, deleting and moving rows in Word tables. When used with SmartTable Number, they allow rapid entry of information into a table without the distraction of inefficient standard editing functions.

A full list of all the SmartTable tools can be found here.   See also SmartTable Delete



SmartTable Insert

SmartTable Insert places five empty rows below the current and positions the cursor in the first of the new rows ready for data entry.  


It handles special insert situations when inserting rows below the header and section headers, and ensures that the formats in these special rows are not copied down.







SmartTable Insert makes quick entry of content into tables a breeze.  Adding five lines at a time means that you can enter a good deal of information without having to concern yourself with  creating more space.

SmartTable Number simply removes any unused lines with a single shortcut key.


SmartTable Delete

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word


This tool is one of a set that provides advanced features for adding, deleting and moving rows in Word tables. It is a companion tool to SmartTable Insert described in the previous post.

A full list of all the SmartTable tools can be found here.

SmartTable Delete

SmartTable Delete uses the current context to decide what to delete.  It sounds like there are lots of rules but in reality its intuitive based on where the cursor is and what is selected.


Rules Applicable When In a Table

If you are in an table and you hit the shortcut key:
  • When an entire row is selected, the row is deleted. You can select multiple rows and delete them together.
  • When the cursor is in an empty cell, the row is deleted.
  • When a range of cells are selected, the contents are deleted.

Rules Applicable Anytime (In a Table or Not)

If you hit the shortcut key:
  • When some text is selected, the text is deleted.
  • When the cursor is sitting in some text, the text to the end of the sentence or paragraph is deleted.
The last rule is interesting - and yes... I agree I need to get out more.

Often I want to delete the remainder of the text in a bullet point. If I use the normal Word

Moving Table Rows Tip

A Free Document Productivity Tip for Word


How to move rows up or down in a table.


Moving rows up or down in a table is a breeze if you use the standard Word shortcut key.  The function is OutlineMoveUp/Down, and the description does not make it clear what happens when you use it within a table.

If you place the cursor in a cell and then use Alt+Shift+Down, the row will move down one row at a time. Similarly, Alt+Shift+Up moves the row up.  If you select a group of rows, the shortcut key moves them all.

Outside a table, the shortcut key works with paragraphs, and will move a paragraph up and down in the document. 

I use it most in bulleted lists to change the order of the entries. All you need to do is place the cursor in an entry in the list and then use the shortcut key to move the entry up or down the list.  

Saturday, 22 February 2014

SmartTable Number

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

SmartTable Number  renumbers table rows using a range of numbering strategies defined by the user. It also removes unwanted blank rows from the table.

SmartTable Number is the main processing routine for the SmartTable suite of tools described in the previous post.


A control menu allows the user to indicate whether or not a table should be renumbered, and what numbering style should be used.


Example - Before and after using simple numbering. Blank Lines have been removed the rows renumbered

Many other numbering formats are supported




Friday, 21 February 2014

SmartTable Functions

SmartTable: Advanced table editing tools for Word that make using tables quick, easy and efficient. The tools are: 

SmartTable Number: Renumbers table rows using a range of numbering strategies defined by the user. It also removes unwanted blank rows from the table. SmartTable Number is the main processing routine for the SmartTable suite of tools.

SmartTable Control: Controls whether or not the table should be renumbered, and the style of renumbering to apply. The style values including prefixes, separators and number formats.

SmartTable Insert: Inserts a set of blank lines into the table ready for quick entry.  The routine handles some quirky insert scenarios too.

SmartTable Delete: Places the standard row delete function on an easy to use shortcut key. It can be used in conjunction with SmartTable Insert.

SmartTable Cell Format: Formats the text in the cell by applying “.” characters to paragraphs while preserving any other punctuation that may be present. 
This is useful when you have to tidy a bunch of bullet points captured quickly in a cell.

SmartMove Up/Down: This tool moves a single paragraph up/down inside a table cell, and is useful for changing the order of bulleted items in a list. It also supports the standard reordering tools that move paragraphs up/down in regular text or rows up/down in table

SmartTable Section Format:  Table sections provide headings to structure table content into logical groups.  Select a table row as the standard section format, and later, automatically apply this format to another row with a single shortcut key.  The Format can be applied to any table in the document.
This saves time and ensures consistent look and feel within a document.

SmartTable New: Define a table as the master table for a document. Later, insert a new empty table that looks the same, with the same headers and column widths.  
This is used when you need the same table design in several parts of the same document.

SmartTable Align: Define a table as the master table for a document. Later, select another table have the master table column widths and headings applied to it. The routine adds any new columns from the master into the target table while preserving the content already present.  Columns deleted from the master table will also be removed. 
This useful when the same table layout is used throughout a document, and changes to this layout need to be replicated to all.

SmartTable Browse: Browse through a table section by section to review grouped table content.

These tools will be posted over the next few weeks.

Monday, 10 February 2014

SmartCaps

A Free Document Productivity Tool for Word

SmartCaps uppercases the first letter of the current word, leaving the cursor position unchanged and allowing typing to continue uninterrupted. Press it again and uppercases the previous word. It is a real time saver, allowing corrections to be made without breaking the flow of content entry.

In the following example, the M in project manager is capitalised when the shortcut key is pressed.







If invoked again, the Smart Caps function capitalises the previous word. Note that the P in project manager is now capitalised.









A similar function is available that lowercases words in the same way.



Further notes

Each successive use of the function capitalises each prior word until the beginning of the paragraph is reached.  The need to capitalised words in a prior paragraph is remote and it also means that the routine stops processing when the beginning of a table cell is reached.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Shortcut key assignments

This post provides a list of shortcut key assignments for all Document Productivity Tools.

Related Posts: Download the latest Tools for Word describes how to assign shortcut keys.

The list is based on the use of a full keyboard and assumes the presence of a numeric keypad. 

If you don't have a numeric keypad, finding suitable keys that are "spare" will require a little thought. Links to a number of useful sites describing the standard shortcut keys assigned by Microsoft can be found at the end of this post. 

The full list is given to guide the selection of alternatives and to signal the extent of coverage of the tools. Descriptions of each of the tools yet to be publised can be found in the Wish List tab. 

Download the latest Tools for Word

This posts describes how to download and enable the latest release of Document Productivity Tools for Word.

Related Posts: See Key Concepts, Preparing to Use Document Productivity Tools for Word, Download options for Tools for Word 

Preparing to use the Cumulative Update

There are three steps to preparing the cumulative release Document Productivity Tools.dotm for use:
  1. Download the cumulative release template Document Productivity Tools.dotm
  2. Copy Document Productivity Tools.dotm to the Word STARTUP Folder
  3. Assign Tools to shortcut keys. 

Step1 - Download the Cumulative Release 


Click the link on the Downloads Tab.  A preview of the file will open – it will be blank. Look on the top left for the downloads function and invoke it to download the document. 


Step 2 - Copy the template o the STARTUP folder

Copy the Document Productivity Tools template from the Downloads folder to the STARTUP folder using the favourite you created earlier.

Download options for Tools for Word

This posts describes the download options for Document Productivity Tools for Word.

Related Posts: Key ConceptsPreparing to Use Document Productivity Tools for Word.


Download Options

You can download the Document Productivity Tools in two ways. 

  • Download a cumulative release containing all tools published so far. Each release contains the new tools plus all earlier ones, including any improvements or corrections.
  • Download a copy of the Tool VBA code and install it into a code module that you maintain yourself. 

Those who want to keep it simple may prefer the former, while advanced users who already develop their own tools may prefer the latter.


Cumulative Release

The cumulative release is provided in "Document Productivity Tools.dotm", a macro enabled template. It will include the current tool and all earlier tools (with any any improvements to them). Each new template is intended to overwrite the existing one. 


Preparing to use Tools for Word

This post describes the preparation steps necessary to use the Document Productivity Tools for Word.

Related Posts: Key Concepts describes some key concepts relating to macros and shortcut keys.

Step 1 – Switch on the Developer Tab

The developer tab looks is shown in the following screenshot.  If you can see it, go to Step 2. If it is not visible it needs to be switched on.



To switch on the Developer tab in Word 2007














To switch on the Developer tab in Word 2010/2013



If you cannot expose the Developer Tab, contact your administrator.









Step 2 – Change Macro Security

Word needs to be told to run macros. Open macro security and select "Disable all macros except digitally signed macros".  Close Word, and then reopen it to confirm that the setting has been updated.



The Document Productivity macros do not need to be digitally signed because the folder location where they will reside is a trusted location, which means that Word assumes that the macros in the template are safe to use.


If you cannot change the security setting, contact your administrator.



Step 3 - Locate the Word STARTUP Folder

Templates placed in the STARTUP folder will be automatically launched when Word starts.  When the Document Productivity Tools template is placed there, the tools will be available to all Word documents being edited.  

The location of the STARTUP (with your username inserted) is:
Win 7/8/8.1: C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\STARTUP

If you are using an earlier version of Word, then a quick internet search should find you the details you need.

Locate the STARTUP  folder and save it as a favourite, so that to access it quickly again each time a new release is made.  

If you have navigated to where it should be, and STARTUP is not there, open a Word document and it will be created.

The next post describes how to download and enable the latest Document Productivity Tools for Word.