alexpgp: (Visa)
I absolutely adore my ScanSnap scanner, except for one small peeve: the keyboard shortcut that calls up the unit's organizer software (Ctrl+Shift+Space) is the same key chord that inserts a nonbreaking space in Microsoft Word, the software I use to put bread on the table.

One easy fix to this problem would be to simply not have the organizer software running when I'm not actively scanning something, except doing so does away with much of the convenience of having the scanner available at all times.

I undertook a more active approach, and found some information on the Internet that purported to fix the problem by disabling the ScanSnap software's key chord. This was okay by me, since my princpal way of activating the software consisted of putting something through the scanner. Unfortunately, none of the advice I found online actually, like, worked (which I increasingly suspect may be a problem with Windows 8, but that's a separate rant).

It then occurred to me that Word lets one assign (and remove) keystrokes to various actions. The sequence of steps is:
  1. On the keyboard, press Ctrl+i and then s. This brings up the symbol insertion dialog box. (Since I insert a lot of symbols, I learned to do this with the keyboard instead of the mouse. I'm sure it's pretty easy to do with a mouse, I just don't know how. :^)
  2. Click on the Special Characters tab
  3. Click on the line for the Nonbreaking Space.
  4. Click on the Shortcut Key... button.
  5. With the cursor in the Press new shortcut key field (it's there when the dialog box comes up), press your desired key chord. This will display a text description of the chord in the field and a line starting Currently assigned to will appear under the Current keys list box, to warn you if your chord already does something else.
  6. If you like your new shortcut key chord, you can keep your new shortcut key chord by clicking on the Assign button. Doing so will override any action performed previously by the key chord. You can also get rid of the old shortcut key by highlighting it in the Current keys list box and clicking on the Remove button.>
  7. Click on the Close button.
See? Easy peasy!

In any event, I've restored the balance on my machine, allowing the ScanSnap software and the "insert a nonbreaking space" function in my copy of Word to coexist.

Cheers...
alexpgp: (St Jerome a)
Every once in a while, your friendly, neighborhood translator is gobsmacked by an abbreviation that shows up in a document seemingly out of nowhere and, naturally, demands attention.

Take, for example, the Russian abbreviation "САР" (—please!) in a document I'm working on. To my credit, I realize there's a better than even chance that the last two letters stand for анализ риска (risk analysis), but without knowing what the first letter expands to, I may as well just transliterate the abbreviation (SAR) and move on, as it were.

That is, except for one sturdy little straw that's available for the grasping, involving a search using wildcards. Consider the following string:
[а-я]@
In Microsoft Word's variant of wildcard code, this means "one or more occurrences of any lower-case letter between 'а' and 'я'." If one tacks the character 'с' to the front, like this:
с[а-я]@
followed by a space, performing a search will find every instance of a word of at least two letters whose first letter is 'с'. Continuing with this logic,
с[а-я]@ а[а-я]@ р[а-я]@
will find three consecutive words, of two or more letters each, that begin with 'с', 'а', and 'р', respectively (I use lower case because Russian is generally pretty sparing when it comes to capitalizing words).

I hit paydirt with the second successful "find":
системный анализ риска
or "system risk analysis."

There are times this technique will not work, but it's almost always worth a try when you're up against it.

Cheers...
alexpgp: (Default)
The document I'm working on right now showed up in its previous iteration with revisions turned on, but the nine additional pages of text—which were included as images—did not show up as revisions.

So now the document has shown up for rework, and there is only one way—short of slogging through the text—to see if there have been any changes made to the images: print them out and then align the old and new printed pages and hold them up to a light.

Whatever works!

Cheers...
alexpgp: (St Jerome a)
After checking out the latest crop of printers at Fry's, I backed off for a bit and made the decision to try really hard to run a "paperless office" while we're down here in Texas. I did so not necessarily because of any tender feelings for trees, but because I am loathe to acquire Yet Another Printer.

This means I'm going to have to rely increasingly on my two-screen work setup, particularly when despeckling files. Displaying two MS Word files on two screens, in two windows, is fairly easy (which is to say, it's the default configuration on my VAIO). Doing the same with PowerPoint files is hard.

After running across a few gazillion pointers on how to have two open PowerPoint presentations open on one's monitor at the same time and realizing it would be wise to narrow the search down to all that plus each in its own window, I found most such tips to be outdated (i.e., not applicable to my version of PowerPoint), or simply useless (i.e., checking the "Windows in Taskbar" checkbox in Tools|Options|View which was already checked when I went looking).

However, I also ran across a suggestion at the Please Make A Note blog that did the trick.

(Of course I say this after having submitted all 6,000 or so words of translations that I despeckled by clicking Window|Arrange All and then extending the resulting window across two monitors. An imperfect kludge, to be sure, as in my case my two screens are not the same size or resolution, but it was good enough to get the job done with some additional mouse manipulation and derring-do.)

Prerequisite for PowerPointing in multiple windows is to create another "user" on your Windows machine (fairly straightforward via the "User Accounts" applet on the Control Panel). With that ace up your sleeve, my preferred method (the blog describes a couple) is to click on the start button, click on Run... and enter the following invocation:
runas /user:ghost "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\powerpnt.exe"
where ghost in this case is the name of my recently conjured "other user" with an account on my machine. The system prompts for a password, then goes off and opens a second PowerPoint window, whereupon one is cooking with gas!

Thus venture I forearmed into the murky gloom, better prepared for the next onslaught of PowerPoint idiocy!

Cheers...

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