Donate SIGN UP


Avatar Image
Quizmonster | 16:50 Mon 18th Jul 2005 | Technology
15 Answers
In Microsoft Works, I frequently need to use the Edit/Replace function to make the same set of alterations to texts. At the moment, the only method I know for achieving this is by making the changes individually, which is time-consuming. Is there a downloadable program which would enable me to make all the changes simultaneously?
As a computer-illiterate, it would be pointless to tell me that I need to "create a macro" or any similar jargon! It would need to be an already-existing program that I could employ. Thanks in advance for your help.


1 to 15 of 15rss feed

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by Quizmonster. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Under the Edit menu you should see find and replace. There is a replace all option. Sorry if I've mis understood what you are getting at.
Question Author
Sorry that I wasn't clear enough, L. Imagine that I have a document that appears anew each day. Let's say it's a news report. In it I want, for example, to change every 'the' to an 'a', every 'is' to an 'are', every 'was' to a 'were' and so forth.
Now, I know that I can replace every 'the' by using the 'Replace All' option and the same for each individual other change I want...but I have to do that separately for each single word I want altered. What I am trying to find is a program which I can instruct to alter every 'the', every 'is' and every 'was' simultaneously rather than one at a time. In other words, a program that will change all of these to all of those at the same time.
I hope that's a bit clearer.
I see now QM. I know of no standard way. I'm afraid it looks like you will need to create a macro. Looks like a google.
A Macro isn't actually *that* complicated, at least not in Word. For all the criticism that Microsoft gets, I'd have to say that their wizards that do all the work and the thinking for you are great.
I don't have Works but IF you have the option of using a Macro then I can achieve what you set out to do by clicking
"Tools > Macros >Record New Macro"
then go about doing each edit and replace... change every "the" to "a" and every "we" to "were". Then click on the "stop recording" icon.

That's it, in Word at least. You'll have had the option of assigning the macro a keyboard shortcut (press Control and a button to start it) or create a toolbar button which you can click.
Given that Word makes it as easy as this, I can't see that anyone would write a separate program to do the same.
Question Author
Thanks again, L. Your suggestion certainly sounds  straightforward enough, Stevie; however, having just had a swift glance at Works, I cannot see the options you offer.
My partner, who knows vastly more about computers than I do, will probably find them, though, and have a go at implementing your suggestion when she returns from work. I'll let you know how it pans out. Thank you.
QM, you might want to try this program out.

It allows you to add a set of find and replace words and then run that against a number of files. You can also save the find/replace words so that you don't have to keep entering them.
Question Author
Hey, WoWo, that looks just the thing! Mind you, I'll still leave it for 'The Lady' to deal with when she gets home, as suggested above. I'd be bound to muck it up somehow, myself. I'll let you know the outcome later. Cheers
Question Author
It turns out, Stevie, that we don't have Word. (See? That's how much I know about computers...including my own!)
WoWo, my partner had time yesterday evening only for a brief glance at the program you suggested, which she downloaded. She couldn't get it to do exactly what I wanted initially, but will spend more time on sorting it out soon. My thanks again for your help. I'm sure it will prove invaluable.
If you weren't going to be doing this day after day I'd offer to do it for you using Word. I have Works on disc but don't use it and don't have it installed so I can't even have a look at the program and see if there's any function analogous to a macro.

OK, just had a brief look on google. Apparently it is possible to create a macro in Works:

Sadly, that site doesn't detail exactly how you do this (although I'd be surprised if it was radically different from my earlier outline) - only that such a function exists under the "Tools" menu.

Best of luck with all the technical jiggerypokery!
Question Author

Dear Stevie & WoWo, I'm afraid we've been unable to make either of your suggestions work out.
Stevie, re the latest website you offered, it refers to Macintosh computers rather than PCs. The site shows a screen-shot of the Tools menu - presumably as it appears on a Mac - but no such screen appears on our PC monitor. Consequently, it is not just a case of clicking on 'Macros' for us, I'm afraid!
WoWo, my partner was unable to do anything with your suggestion either, sadly.
Not to worry...I'll just go on typing the same instructions as I had been doing anyway. Thanks for your kind offers of help. 

Depending on how keen you are to have a quick fix to this, you could download "open office" which is free.
This gives you the option of only installing the word processor, or install whichever applications you need.

Personally, I'd probably use this is place of Works anyway as it's a better suite of software.

Anyway, the word processor in Open Office definitely allows you to start recording a macro, carry out the repetitive tasks, stop recording and then have these tasks saved under one button click.
The word "macro" might strike fear into your heart but it is really simple. You'd be able to click one button and all of these changes would take place while you made a nice cup of tea.

I suppose it all depends on how keen you are to automate this.
Question Author
Right, Stevie, that's the lady's task for tonight...if I can prise her away from her Open University assignment! Cheers

Stevie, I think the help you've given us is above and beyond the call of duty - thank you very much!

You'll be pleased to know that I did, indeed, put aside my Open University work (can you imagine trying to keep Quizmonster quiet?) and tried out your Open Office solution ... which worked.

We're both very grateful for your posts here and now I can go back to my assignment in peace.

Shouldn't she be doing something more constructive?

*dons flak jacket*
Question Author
Indeed, S, I can but echo ma'am's thanks. You've saved me 15 minutes of daily tedium...probably for my lasting gratitude. Cheers 

1 to 15 of 15rss feed

Do you know the answer?


Answer Question >>