An American Editor

September 16, 2013

At Long Last — EditTools 5.0

It has been a long time since the last update to EditTools was released. Macros can be troublesome things, and it has taken longer than I had hoped to make some of the macros perform as I wanted.

EditTools 5.0 is a free upgrade for current registered users of EditTools. It is available at wordsnSync.

EditTools IS Usable By All Editors

Before I describe some of the enhancements in version 5, I want to discuss a couple of common misconceptions about EditTools. First, EditTools is usable by ALL editors — whether the editing subject area is STM, humanities, law, business, fiction, science fiction, or any other area. Alas, too many editors take a look at EditTools and the examples of what various macros do, see that the default labels and the examples are for medical books, and go no farther. The labels and examples are because I do medical editing and I created these macros for use in my work.

However, most of the tabs in the dataset managers are easily renamed. There is a button on the tabs titled Change Tab Name. Just click it and you can change, for example, Never Spell Words to Always Change These Words or to Matilda’s Vocabulary Checker or to whatever has more meaning for you. And the datasets that these tabs use can be named anything you want and contain the information you choose.

Although not all of the macros are usable by every editor in every editing job, most editors who use EditTools have a few macros that are favorites and used regularly; but as is true of any macro collection, there will be macros that are not used at all by a particular editor. Several of the macros that I used with great frequency 5 years ago, I rarely use today (e.g., MultiFile Find and Replace); others I use many times an hour, every day, and on every editing job (e.g., Toggle and Search, Count, & Replace). Some of the macros are intended to be used only once on a document (e.g., Never Spell Word and Journals).

My point is that if you have not tried EditTools because you think it is for STM editing only or because you  see some macros that you think you would never use, you should rethink your view of EditTools and give it a try.

I push EditTools, the Editorium’s Editor’s Toolkit Plus, and Intelligent Editing’s PerfectIt because I know, from my own experience and from the experiences users have related to me, that these three programs can help you increase your productivity, efficiency, speed, and profitability. In the case of EditTools, the need to increase those aspects of my editing is what led to the original creation, and the continuing enhancement of, EditTools.

New in EditTools 5.0

New in version 5 of EditTools are these macros: Cleanup; the complementary macros Convert Highlights to Styles & Convert Styles to Highlights; Change Style Language; and Quote Conversion. In addition, numerous fixes and enhancements have been made to other macros. What follows is a brief introduction to the new macros.

Cleanup

Although I run the Editorium macros that clean up my files, there is always something that Editorium’s FileCleaner (included in Editor’s Toolkit Plus) doesn’t do because no one would have imagined an author doing this. That’s where Cleanup comes into play.

Cleanup lets me design my own cleanup macro. It has a manager that makes it easy for me to enter things I would like changed universally without tracking on. (Cleanup does not offer the Track Changes On option.) For example, if a client wants all em-dashes changed to spaced en-dashes, I use Cleanup to do it.

Cleanup has both a general (things I want done on all files) Manager that saves to a general file, and a Specialty Manager that lets me create a separate, special cleanup file for a particular project or client. Cleanup should be run on a file before any other EditTools macro is run.

For more information, see the explanatory page at wordsnSync.

Convert Highlights & Styles

The Convert Highlights to Styles and Convert Styles to Highlights are paired macros; that is, you run Convert Highlights to Styles before you begin editing and — very importantly — before any other EditTools macro except Cleanup. Convert Styles to Highlights is the very last macro you run and — very importantly — it must be run after Remove All Highlighting.

This macro pair is useful in many situations, but here are the two primary uses I make of the macros.

The first situation is when I receive files from clients where some material has been highlighted and the client wants the highlighting to remain. Before these macros, this was problematic because EditTools relies on highlighting to communicate with the editor. Consequently, the client would receive either a file loaded with extraneous (to the client) highlighting or without any highlighting at all, unless I manually rehighlighted what the client wanted left highlighted, which would be a waste of my time and cost me money.

The second situation, which is the more usual one, is when I receive a file with no highlighting that the client wants kept but that has callouts for figures and tables (or anything else) that have to be brought to the compositor’s attention. In these cases, I like to use highlighting but haven’t been able to unless I searched for and manually highlighted each callout/item after I ran Remove All Highlighting. That wasn’t so bad when there were only a couple of tables or figures, but I have had files with dozens of each called out.

In the first instance, running Convert Highlights to Styles converts all of the client’s highlighting to a style and removes the highlight. Then, when I am done editing and have removed all of the highlighting I have added, I can run Convert Styles to Highlights and the client’s highlighting is back in place. And for callouts, I can apply the style to them so they are highlighted as well.

In the second instance, I search for the first callout and I apply highlight to it. I then run the macro to convert it to a style. This adds a style to the list of styles. Now when I come to a callout, I simply apply the style. Then, when I am done editing and have removed all of the highlighting I have added, I run Convert Styles to Highlights and all of the callouts are in highlight.

For more information, see the explanatory page at wordsnSync.

Change Style Language

I find it frustrating when I receive a file and the document language is not set to English. So, I apply English to the “whole” document only to discover that in many of the multitude of styles the document has, the language has been set to something other than English and/or Spell Check has been turned off in the style, and my attempt to set the whole document to English and turn on Spell Check has failed.

Change Language Style lets me choose a language and choose to turn Spell Check on or off and have that information made a part of each style in the document. Running the macro means it goes through all of the styles in the document and changes all of the language and spell check settings to what I have chosen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work on all styles. Microsoft has some built-in styles that cannot be changed this way (particularly “attribute styles”), but the change is made to the great majority of styles. It may not be perfect, but it makes life easier and solves a problem editors often encounter in a minimum amount of time.

Quote Conversion

The final new macro is Quote Conversion, which has two submacros: American Quotes to British and British Quotes to American. This macro is simple but effective. If you receive a document that uses British quotes that need to be Americanized, run British Quotes to American. To go from American to British quotes, run American Quotes to British.

EditTools 5.0 adds valuable macros to an already existing array of valuable macros. Check it out and if you are a registered user, be sure to download and install your free upgrade.

11 Comments »

  1. I would be delighted to buy EditTools and Editor’s Toolkit Plus if they were available for Macintosh. In fact, I’ve been waiting more than a year to see Jack’s promised update of the Toolkit.

    Like

    Comment by theoriginalbookdoctor — September 16, 2013 @ 1:03 pm | Reply

  2. Hi Richard,

    I have a Mac and use Microsoft Office 2008. Can I use EditTools 5.0? Thank you.

    Mary-Anne Pops

    Like

    Comment by Mary-Anne Pops — September 16, 2013 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

    • Sorry Mary-Anne, but you have two strikes against you.🙂

      First, Word 2008 doesn’t support VBA macros. It is the only version Word for the Mac that doesn’t support macros; the other versions do support macros, even if half-heartedly. Second, you are on a Mac. EditTools is available only for Word for Windows. I thought about trying to port the macros to Word for the Mac but decided the cost was too high, both in the actual reworking of the macros to be Mac compatible and in the support that would/could be required. When it comes to EditTools, I’m a one-person operation (although as my needs have grown increasingly sophisticated and beyond my macro-writing ability, I have hired a programmer part-time to work on EditTools) whose primary job is editing, not macros.

      Having said that, if you run a program like Parallels so you can run Windows and Word for Windows, the macros will work in that environment on the Mac.

      Like

      Comment by americaneditor — September 16, 2013 @ 1:58 pm | Reply

      • Editor’s Toolkit Plus doesn’t work on Mac OS Mountain Lion or Word 2011. I wish it did—I miss it badly. I don’t/won’t use Windows programs.

        Like

        Comment by theoriginalbookdoctor — September 16, 2013 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  3. I don’t think it will help with EditTools (or PerfectIt or tools from the Editorium), but Word 2011 brought back the macro function for Word for the Mac.

    Like

    Comment by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter — September 16, 2013 @ 4:34 pm | Reply

    • Most, if not all, of the EditTools macros should work with Word 2011 (Mac) since MS brought back VBA with this release. Unfortunately I can’t test this since there doesn’t appear to be a trial version.

      Like

      Comment by Tacitus — September 25, 2013 @ 10:16 am | Reply

      • There is a trial version of EditTools. It is the same version and same file one would download if purchasing EditTools. The difference is that it expires unless the registration number is entered.

        However, there is not a Mac version, only a PC version. EditTools requires Word for Windows.

        Like

        Comment by americaneditor — September 25, 2013 @ 10:28 am | Reply

  4. Hi, Richard. I just bought EditTools 5.0. Really like it. But am I missing something? I’m not finding Search, Count, & Replace (Enhanced or otherwise) in my EditTools toolbar.

    Camille DeSalme

    Like

    Comment by Camille DeSalme — September 18, 2013 @ 2:42 pm | Reply


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: