Help a desperate journalist 
Author Message
 Help a desperate journalist

If anyone can answer the following question in fairly remedial language, I'd
 sure appreciate it.

I work for a small newspaper, and we're in the process of switching over to
 Word97 for our word processing functions -- i.e. composing and formatting news
 stories. I have tried in vain to make Word measure the length of my documents
 in "column inches" -- that is, I format the document to a certain column
 width, point size, and leading, and I want it to calculate for me how long the
 story is. I know I can get a rough estimate of this using the ruler and simple
 math, but I don't want to use the ruler or do simple math OR end up with a
 rough estimate -- I want a macro (or VB program) that will do it for me, and
 give me something that's fairly exact.

Does anybody know how to make this happen? Or whether it's worth my time to
 snuggle up with a VB manual to try to design something like this? I know
 next-to-nothing about VB, but I'm pretty quick to learn -- however, I don't
 have the time to fuss around if it's useless.

Even more specialized: I'd love for it to be able to measure only selected
 text, or separately measure text that's broken into sections. I currently have
 our templates formatted with a photo caption on top, then a section break,
 then a headline, then a section break, then the news story. The news story
 length is most useful to me if it measures only the news story itself -- not
 the news story plus headline plus caption.

I'm thinking the best approach is to make Word97 calculate how many lines
 comprise a column inch in the given column format -- and then let it use the
 line count to format the total length of the document.

And while we're having fun -- I'm also curious if anyone knows how to make
 Quark Xpress and Word97 like each other better. First of all, I'm being told
 by Quark that I need to save all Word97 files as .rtfs to make them readable
 by Quark -- OK, can do, but I'd like to not have to jump through that hoop, so
 maybe a Quark filter for Word97 is on the way (fingers crossed). But more
 problematic: trying to size headlines in Word97 that will translate into Quark
 with the same typographical formats Quark uses. I know that Word is not as
 typographically sophisticated as Quark, but I am having a big beef with the
 kerning function. If I set Word97 to kern for any given typesize, it comes up
 unkerned on Quark. If I set Word97 to "condense" the characters to, say, -7,
 it comes up as -7 kerning on Quark -- which would be perfect. The problem is
 that a -7 condense on Word is unreadable on the Word screen, while a -7 kern
 on Quark is music to the journalistic eye.

Sorry to have gone on so long, but I really would appreciate any feedback. I'd
 also appreciate an e-mail cc: of any posts, because my news reader is
 sometimes picky about what posts it shows me. Any replies can be sent to

Many, many thanks.

PS: Lest anyone be tempted to suggest that we should use WordPerfect instead of
 Word97 -- or anything similar -- please don't! It's not an option at this point.

Thu, 30 Mar 2000 03:00:00 GMT  
 [ 1 post ] 

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