Tag Archives: MS Word

Fixing Tiny Comments in MS Word 2003

I just got to experience the miniiature comment feature of MS Word. Essentially after passing a document around with tracked changes, when it came back to me all the comments are much too small to read.

Google to the rescue, where all the conversations say you just need to change the settings for the Balloon Text style. Apparently this unilaterally decides 1pt is perfectly acceptable.

The problem is you cannot find Balloon Text in the default list of styles, even when you choose “All Styles”. The resolution was in this article: How the Styles and Formatting pane works in Microsoft Word 2002 and 2003 by Shauna Kelly.

Essentially the “All Styles” dropdown option under Styles&Formatting does not show all styles in Word 2003. Instead you need to choose Custom, and from there click a different “All Styles” button. Then you get Balloon Text in the list and are free to reset that stupid font size.

Almost annoying enough to warrant upgrading to that new Word with the ribbon thing. Almost.

Fixing MS Office menus (so you can see all the options all the time)

One regular annoyance with MS Office (the old, pre-ribbon, versions) is its desire to demonstrate it knows more about your work than you do. It does this by hiding most of the options when you try and select from a menu.

Thankfully it’s simple to remind it who’s boss.

  1. From the menu, select Tools > Customize (sic).
    If you need to expand the menu to find this option, say a quick thanks that this will be last time you’ll need to do that.
  2. In the dialog, select the Options tab.
  3. Check the Always show full menus checkbox.
  4. Close the dialog. And relax.

All is well again.

Managing MS Word file bloat

Sorry. There are more reasons for file bloat in MS Word than we can possible manage. So this article will focus on just one that we tend to run into regularly. Problem we had was when writing training materials and including images of overheads. We”re firm fans of the “Send to MS Word” option in Powerpoint. This gives great looking pictures of each slide that you can just drag and drop into your document. However what tends to happen is after you’ve dragged a few into the document the file size suddenly jumps from something reasonable (for MS Word!) to a behomoth; we were regularly having to manage files of 50+ megs.

But after suffering one more time, found a solution at University of Queensland. And it worked like a charm.

Issue is that the “Send to Word” option does not create images of each slide but instead creates individual Powerpoint objects. Solution is to convert each slide object to an image:

  1. select the object – just click on it
  2. press CTRL+SHIFT+F9

To fix the whole document in one swoop, simply select everything (CTRL+A) before entering the special shortcut code above.

Including MS Powerpoint images in MS Word documents

The easiest method to include an image of a MS Powerpoint slide in a MS Word document is to use the Send To option in Powerpoint. This creates an MS Word version of your Powerpoint file with pictures of each slide automatically generated. The slides appear a standard size, complete with edge frame, as they would appear to someone viewing them. It is then straighforward to cut & paste those pictures into your MS Word document.

Sadly this option is not valid for the Mac version of MS Powerpoint from office:2004. When selected in that version the output is a text version of the slide contents, not the pretty pictures.

To create an MS Word version of your slides:

  1. Open your Powerpoint file.
  2. Select File > Send To > Microsoft Word from the menu
  3. Click OK in the Write-Up dialog that displays.

    This dialog allows you to choose where your slide notes are included in the output document. Since you only need the slide images it does not matter where the notes are put; however having them alongside makes your slide list easier to navigate.

Once you click OK an MS Word version of your overheads will be created. This will be a brand new document that contains a single table, one row per slide, with neat images of your overheads available for cut & paste.

One final tip. Do not click in another document while the Powerpoint export is being generated. If you do the slide pictures will be generated in the document you clicked in!