PAUL EASTON, PRODUCT REVIEW:
TechnoLawyer member Bryan Sims asks: "My
wife works in a job that is very cyclical in nature. During her slow
times, she likes to develop forms, etc., that assist her when she is
in her busy time. Right now, she is working on writing macros in
WordPerfect and is wondering if anyone knows of a good manual or
tutorial on writing macros in WordPerfect. Any suggestions are
Maggie Fisher wrote:
"Finally another macro lover! Your wife
is a wise woman to know the benefit of creating and using macros.
There are very simple ways to create in WordPerfect and if you want
her to just email me direct feel free. I have macros that do the
following for me all day long on my computer:"
Like Technolawyer member Maggie Fisher, and like Bryan Sim's wife, I
too am a macro lover. One problem with MS Word or Corel WordPerfect
macros, however, is that you have to open the programs to use their
macros. Almost half of the functions that Ms. Fisher lists would be
even more useful if one could execute them with the program closed,
regardless of which program you are currently working in (e.g. open
files, bring up a letter format, bring up a pleading format, bring
up a fax form, create envelopes and labels).
With ActiveWords you can do that.
which has been previously reviewed by other TechnoLawyer Community
members, is a program that allows you to assign a word to a program,
folder, file, Web site, certain pre-configured program functions,
block of text, or a script. With as few as three keystrokes, you can
launch any program on your computer. The best part of the program
for a Macro lover is the ActiveWords Scripting Language that allows
you do perform a series of commands by executing one simple command.
1. I created the active word "ltr," which opens my letter
template in MS Word.
2. I have created active words for my various e-mail signatures. I
don't have to worry about deleting the default signature from
messages in which I don't want it and I no longer have to bother
selecting a signature from a drop down menu. I also have an active
word for my "confidential" warning that I want in many,
but not all, of my e-mail messages. I just type "confid" at
the top of a message and hit "F8" and, like magic, it is
replaced with my full notice.
3. I have active words for certain boiler plate language and common
phrases and I can insert them in ANY PROGRAM: MS Word, Word Perfect,
an e-mail ... anywhere text can be inserted.
4. If you have a secure Web site that you often visit, but which
doesn't have a "remember password" option, you can just
count the number of times that you have to hit the tab key to access
the login fields and you can create an ActiveWord that will launch
your Web browser, open the Web page, and log into the site.
5. You can have an active word run other active words. For certain
projects or tasks, I often find that I need to have several programs
and multiple documents open. A lot of time gets wasted launching the
programs and opening the documents. With ActiveWords, one command
will do it all for you. For example, you could create to ActiveWord
"research" (or just "r"), which would (1) open
your research outline template in MS Word with the document
navigation pane active and appropriate tools bars shown, and (2)
launch MS Explorer and navigate to LexisNexis or Westlaw. If you
often do work for the same client, you could further customize the
ActiveWord Script to login into Lexis for that client and open up
your billing software for that client.
With ActiveWords Script you are only limited by your imagination. I
didn't find the learning curve for ActiveWords Scripting Language
very high, but looking at code like:
<F5><ENTER>" may be confusing and scare some away from
making full use of
the program. Those who are already writing advanced macros in their word processing programs should not find it difficult to
It would be nice if ActiveWords had a "record macro"
feature like MS Word or WordPerfect, but I'm not sure this is
possible. Also, I'm surprised that the company doesn't have an
online users' forum where its customers could post useful scripts
they developed and help each other write script for more complicated
operations. [Correction after publication: ActiveWord Systems, Inc.
does have a user group to exchange scripts and information among
ActiveWords customer support
is superb. When I had trouble setting up an active word to run
address book searches in Outlook on a public folder (an address book
shared over the Network), I received a prompt and detailed response
with the ActiveScript that would do what I wanted and line by line
explanations of the code that explained to me exactly how it worked.
Even if you never use the advanced functions possible with the
scripting language, the time saved with the easy-to-use
pre-configured commands and applications make this program worth
looking in to.
Paul C. Easton
New York, NY
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