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

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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