Hack your Word documents with VBA

Tom Bergan, one of my grad school buddies, had the bright idea of writing a little lint script for our LaTeX papers. The script would use grep to find various inconsistencies in our papers, e.g., times when we said “non-determinism” instead of “nondeterminism”, didn’t follow “e.g.” with a comma, and other small, domain-specific semantic errors. It worked great and kept our writing more consistent than we ever could have done by hand. Continue reading


Figures with captions in Microsoft Word

Figures are an important part of writing a technical document. Figures with captions are even better, because then you can refer to them from the text! Since I decided to write my dissertation in Word, I had to figure out how to do captioned figures. Word offers many ways to do this, and the most obvious ways don’t really work that well! Fortunately, I found a way that does work – using a somewhat-hidden feature called “frames.” For the record, my experience is with Word 2011 (on Mac). Continue reading