Sunday, June 22, 2008

Grading translation

As I finish grading the last projects for the summer course, I've invented a new comment to use (thanks, autotext!). I won't write the real version of it, but Spouse, to whom I showed it, translated it as follows: "I am tired of commenting on this mistake, which you have made numerous times before, and so I am not going to comment on it henceforth in this paper. This won't stop me from considering it when I assign your grade, however."

My version is more polite and positive, but you get the idea.

And again: thanks, autotext! I have been looking longingly at Macs recently, but they come with some flavor of Word 2007/2008, and I can't find the autotext feature at all. This is a dealbreaker for me.*

*P. S. Autotext isn't autotext if you have to use a mouse. Real backwoods computer users should be able to get everywhere--everywhere in Word, anyway--by using the keyboard. I learned this back in pioneer days with WordPerfect 5.1 (Anybody remember that? Hello? Hello?), where flying fingers and function keys were the name of the game.


dance said...

There are reasons not to switch to a Mac, and there are certainly problems with Word 2008, but lack of autotext in Word does not qualify for either of these. Just as in WinWord, you can start typing the name of an AutoText, but you have to hit apple-option-v to enter it, instead of F3, and you can customize the apple-option-v to be something different. I don't know why you couldn't find AutoText---it's in the same place on the Insert menu, I think.

Macs use keyboards a little differently---although there are plenty of mouse-haters happy using Macs, if you are invested in the "Alt-F to drop down the File menu, type W as the underlined key-letter to activate Save As Webpage" approach, you might be unhappy with MacWord. You'd have to set up a specific shortcut for Save as Webpage. There might be a rough equivalent of that type of keyboard navigation, but I don't think it works as well.

WinWord 2007, note, no longer has the little yellow boxes that pop up to signify "this is the beginning of the name of this autotext, hit enter if you wanted to insert it". You have to know that you typed an autotext name and hit F3. (MacWord 2008 still has these yellow helper tooltips, with luck WinWordNext will bring them back, if an update hasn't already. I don't use Windows, so don't know.)

More than you really wanted to know?

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Plus, there's an awesome little shareware program called TypeIt4Me, which is like autotext, but works throughout your computer (not just in word).

(You knew Mac people would come out of the woodwork to explain such things, right? :-D)

undine said...

dance, I haven't had enough time to work with a Mac, so the combination of new keys and the new Word confounded me. Thanks for telling me the keystroke combination; I'll try it out the next time I get my hands on one. This is exactly what I wanted to know--thanks!

New Kid, I haven't seen TypeIt4Me but am going to check it out-thanks!

ArticulateDad said...

I wrote my Master's thesis on a old IBM PC/XT (8088 processor), in WordPerfect 5.1. It'd take about 10 minutes to get to the bottom of the document each morning to continue. I remember being hired for an assignment with Manpower temps on the basis of my WordPerfect 5.1 scores, only to find out that the firm had newly purchased and installed WordPerfect 6. Furtunately they kept me on payroll to come up to speed.

undine said...

articulatedad, did you like WP6 as well as 5.1? I bought it but kept using 5.1 because I could make my fingers fly over those function keys (placed on the side of the keyboard, back in the day).

Barbara (Grinn Pidgeon, SL) said...

There is certainly Autotext on Office 2008 for Mac under the View > Toolbars > Autotext. the new Office for Mac preserves the old Office menus of file, Edit, View, etc. No ribbons.

undine said...

Thanks, Barbara! I hadn't seen your comment until just now but am off to look at that spot in Word for Mac.