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


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.

Key concepts

This post describes some key concepts relating to macros and shortcut keys.  It also outlines the rationale used for some of the methods used.

Read this before using the Document Productivity Tools for the first time is recommended.

Related Posts: Welcome to Document Productivity


The Document Productivity Tools are built using macros. Macros are programs written in Office's programming language, Visual Basic (VBA).  As an analogy, think of a macro as an App written in VBA.  

There are two ways to create a macro:
  • You can record a regular task as a macro and then repeat the actions over again by running the macro.  This is common in Excel, but possibly less so for Word and Visio where layouts and actions are less likely to be repetitive.
  • Macros can be written using the VBA editor that comes with Office.  Later posts will describe how this is done.
The two methods can be mixed, you might record a macro to get the basics and then use the editor to refine the process. This approach is a good way to start learning the basics of VBA programming.

Macros run on installed versions of Office, so if you are using Office 365 from the Cloud then you wont  be able to use them. 

Shortcut Keys

Office programs allow you to assign shortcut  keys to functions that you use regularly so that you can invoke them in the quickest way possible.