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Use old-style Excel and Word menus in new versions of Office

A common complaint people make when they install Word 2007 (or Excel 2007) or later is that they don’t like the ribbon and prefer the menus used in Word 2003 (or Excel 2003) and earlier. Microsoft insist that things are easier to find in the new version, but many of us beg to differ. For me, my main qualm with the new version is that it takes me longer to browse through all the options than it did with the old system.

Also, certain options are in illogical places. For example, if you want to insert a row or column in Excel you’ll probably look in the “Insert” tab. But you won’t find it. It’s in the “Home” tab. Why on earth is an “insert” option not in the “Insert” tab?

The Swiss company UBit has produced an add-on that creates a ribbon tab called “Menu”, which contains old-style menus. The add-on can be downloaded from here.

Unfortunately it doesn’t allow you to open the menus with the keyboard. And that’s where I come in! I’ve produced a script to be used with UBitMenu that allows you to open up the menus using the keyboard (i.e. alt+f opens the file menu, etc.) and browse through with the cursor keys. Click here to download the script.

Once you have installed UBitMenu and my script, you can browse through the menus almost as easily as in the old version of Word and Excel.

Please note it currently only works with the English menu shortcuts, and it may not work with certain screen resolutions, as it relies on clicks on the correct part of the screen.

If you test it, please report back whether it works for you.

If you would like a version for your own language, please tell me the shortcut letters for the different menus (File, Edit, View, Format, Tools, Table and Window) in your language.

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AHK scripts to change status in MemoQ

These Autohotkey scripts allow MemoQ users to switch between the Confirmed, Reviewed and Proofread user statuses using the keyboard. The shortcuts are shift-ctrl-z, shift-ctrl-x and shift-ctrl-c. Users of keyboards that don’t have the z, x and c next to each other may wish to change the shortcuts in the code.

; Set "Confirmed"
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
#IfWinActive, memoQ
+^z::
setkeydelay, 20
send, !v{down 6}

sleep 100
send {Enter}
sleep 100
send, +{TAB 6}
send, c

;return to document
send +^{tab}
sleep 100
return

; Set "Reviewer"
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
#IfWinActive, memoQ
+^x::

;from Translations pane
setkeydelay, 10
send, !v{down 6}

sleep 100
send {Enter}
sleep 100
send, +{TAB 6}
send, r

;return to document
send +^{tab}
sleep 100
return

; Set "Proofreader"
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
#IfWinActive, memoQ
+^c::

;from Translations pane
setkeydelay, 10
send, !v{down 6}

sleep 100
send {Enter}
sleep 100
send, +{TAB 6}
send, p

;return to document
send +^{tab}
sleep 100
return

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Key changer for OpenSong using the Do, Re, Mi system

Update on 5 November 2013

The original file I uploaded didn’t work properly. Please use this updated file.

If you want to see how it works, open up this demonstration file in a text editor, then run the exe file and play with the shortcut keys. Remember to release shift-ctrl before pressing each shortcut.

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Various tools for projecting song words allow users to add chords to be used by musicians. Such tools are often used by Evangelical churches to project the words of a song for the congregation. In OpenSong files, lines starting with a dot are ignored by the software when projecting the words on a screen but are shown in exports used by the musicians, so a typical section of an OpenSong file might read something like this:

.Do Fa La Fa
These are some words to a song, shoop shoop

OpenSong has a tool to enable the user to change key, but since the program was designed by people in an English-speaking country that uses the “C, D, E,…” system, it is not designed to work with chords written using the “Do, Re, Mi,…” system.

I have designed a tool that will convert chords written in the “Do, Re, Mi,…” system used in Spain, among other places. You can download it here.

It has been tested with OpenSong. If you have files in a different format (i.e. chord lines don’t start with a dot), let me know and I’ll try to adapt it for you.

For this to work you must be using the scale Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si, Do. If you live in a country that uses a slight variation, let me know and I’ll try to adapt it.

To use the tool, run the exe file, read the shortcuts in the dialogue box, then place your cursor in the text file (download a demo file here) containing the words and chords and press the appropriate shortcut. You can use it in the song editor in OpenSong or by opening the song source files in a text editor.

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