May 19, 2009 9:53 PM   Subscribe

WordMacroFilter: So my new boss is great but he has some crazy grammar and wordsmithing quirks. I received a list (no joke) of the edits he wants to see of documents that come to his desk (use affect instead of impact, effect instead of impacts, etc). I'd like to create a Microsoft Word Macro that will automate the task.

I don't think that find and replace will work to just sub out the word. Instead, I'd like it to find all of the quirks and highlight them. I recorded a macro today (not coding, but by following me doing the find and highlight quirk by quirk), but it doesn't loop correctly when I run it and it's hard to update. I'm hoping that someone already has something like this or there is some commercial software. Thanks!
posted by roundrock to Work & Money (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't help you with Word, but I know for sure that OpenOffice.org Writer can do regular expression finds and find-alls, and it can open Word documents.

For example: to highlight all occurrences of the words "impacts", "impact", "spend" and "proactive", you'd open your document with Writer, choose Find and Replace from the Edit menu, click the More Options button to expose the Regular Expressions checkbox, and check it; then, in the Find box you'd type


and click Find All.

This would actually work quite well for you, since Writer's Find box is actually a dropdown menu that allows you to re-use recent search terms without having to type them all in again.
posted by flabdablet at 10:01 PM on May 19, 2009

Could you go into autocorrect and input the offending phrases and have them autocorrected to the words that you boss prefers? You can either have it auto-"correct" as you type or you can manually auto-"correct" all offending instances in the document once you're finished with it.
posted by porpoise at 10:44 PM on May 19, 2009

You may find The Batch Replacer useful. Unfortunately, it only does a single replacement at a time. I have an idea, though—I'll let you know…
posted by koeselitz at 10:50 PM on May 19, 2009

I'm not sure what's wrong with find/replace, but anyway... there's a text file here which contains some VBA. If you create a text file listing the bad words one per line, and then modify the script to include the path and filename of that file, it'll loop through all the words in your doc and highlight any matches by turning them green. Is that the sort of thing you're after?
posted by pompomtom at 11:36 PM on May 19, 2009

You need Batch Replacer, they have a MS word plugin that will automate this for you in about 1 minute. The developer is responsive and the product is stable. One thing I have noticed though, when doing a batch of replacements - do not try to open up the same document that you are running a batch replacement in, bad mojo there.
posted by bigmusic at 1:58 AM on May 20, 2009

I'd just use autocorrect. Probably the simplest solution.
posted by jourman2 at 6:42 AM on May 20, 2009

Incidentally, if you internalize your boss's "crazy quirks," you'll probably come across as a better, more educated writer. At least, to many readers over 40.

You could just keep the sheet of paper up next to your computer until you've learned to use old skool words like affect and effect rather than biz-speak like "impacts."
posted by musofire at 6:43 AM on May 20, 2009 [2 favorites]

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