February 24, 2010

Create a Custom Paste Command in Word 2008

In Microsoft Word 2008, you can create custom Applescripts and the place them into a special folder giving them unique keyboard combo assignments. In this way, you can, create custom functions or combinations of functions that initiate with just one keystroke. For instance, let's say you wanted a simple paste command in Word, but one that first took care of some formatting changes for you. By way of example, let's say that you often copy scripture text from Accordance but before you paste it into your Word document, you want to remove the formatting and also remove the pilcrow symbols (¶) and the space following them from the text. A simple script can accomplish both tasks automatically for you.

1. Open Applescript Editor inside your Applications/Utilities folder (In OS X 10.5 this app is called Script Editor and found at Applications/Applescript)

2. Paste the following 7 lines into a new document window:

set theText to the clipboard
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to "¶ "
set theText to text items of theText
set AppleScript's text item delimiters to ""
set theText to theText as string
set the clipboard to theText
tell application "Microsoft Word" to paste special (text object of selection) data type paste text
(The last line of that script is kind of long, so make sure you do have it all on one line.)

3. Save the AppleScript as a script in ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Word Script Menu Items
(which is Word's user info inside the Documents folder of your Home folder). 

4. Give the script a descriptive name such as "Paste Scripture" but also add "\cV" (without the quotation marks) to the end of the name. This sets the keyboard combination to Control-v.  (for more info on adding keyboard shortcuts, have a look here.)

5. From now on, in Word, you can hit Control-v to run the script which will remove the Pilcrows ¶ and paste unformatted text into your document.

February 21, 2010

Pages Citation Paster Gets Served

Folks seem to continue benefitting from the Accordance to Pages Citation Paster which provides a function whereby the Citation Footnote in Accordance tools can still be used in Pages (which has a bug that ignores rich-text footnotes). You can get a fuller description of the utility here.

I have updated the download package to include a version that works as a Service in Snow Leopard. It allows you to assign a global keyboard shortcut. You can go to the Downloads section to grab it.

February 11, 2010

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

The Macworld event going on right now always brings with it announcements on upcoming software. Microsoft today gave a review of the upcoming Office for Mac 2011, due to be release in time for the 2010 holiday season (yeah right). Questions of interest are always the status of right-to-left unicode Hebrew. I do not think it's hopeful on that front, but I'll keep looking. They are reintegrating VBA support. The removal of VBA support is the reason I wrote my dissertation in Word for Mac 2004 instead of 2008. Here are more details on what was revealed.

February 10, 2010

Creating a Service to Select a Menu Item in your Application

In Snow Leopard, using Snow Leopard and Applescript/Automator, you can create a global keyboard shortcut to do just about anything you can imagine. As an example, this is how you would create a Service to select a specific menu item inside of an application such as Accordance. This will allow you to assign a global keyboard command to it via the Keyboard panel of the System Preferences:

1. Open up Automator

2. Choose a template: Service

3. At the top of the right panel, change the popup menu from "Service receives selected text" to "Service receives no input"

4. Leave "Replaces selected text" unchecked.

5. In the "Actions" panes to the left, find "Run Applescript" and drag it over to your workflow.

6. Replace the line that says (* Your script goes here *) with the following 6 lines:

tell application "Accordance" to activate

tell application "System Events"

tell process "Accord"

click menu item 1 of menu 1 of menu item "Favorites" of menu 1 of menu bar item "Amplify" of menu bar 1

end tell

end tell

7. Save it via menu File/Save and name it something like "Accordance Amplify Favorite"

8. Quit Automator

9. Go to Keyboard pane of the System Preferences and assign it a global keyboard combo.

10. Test

This Service will bring Accordance to the front, and then select the first item under the Favorites submenu under the Amplify menu.

Note: The part in the Applescript line that reads click menu item 1 is telling it to select the first Favorited item in the list. You can reorder the Favorites in the Library Window in Accordance. (Look for the submenu at the bottom of the module list.) You can also specify a Favorite by name... just change click menu item 1 to something like: click menu item "MyFavoriteWorkspace" replacing the 1 with the name of the workspace inside of quotes.

February 06, 2010

Accordance Services Collection Released

Do you find Accordance Bible Software useful? Would you like to have quicker access to your Accordance material from within other applications? The Accordance Services Collection gives you that capability. Using the new Services functions in Snow Leopard Mac OS X 10.6, you can look up scripture or text in Accordance or even quickly add scripture texts into a document you're working on. For an overview of what the Accordance Services Collection can do for you, have a look at the video tutorial below.

The Accordance Services Collections can be found on the Downloads page. The install includes a ReadMe file that explains the simple drag & drop installation process.

February 04, 2010

No USB syncing for iPhones... but my PDFs!

The state of personal devices is in flux once more with Apple's announcement of the coming iPad. As a appliance device, it does not interest me specifically, but its presence has affected the treatment of the iPhone OS already. Apple is now enforcing that apps not use the private API's which allowed them USB syncing. I have used Stanza as my PDF reader of choice brilliantly for quite some time. The new crackdown is discussed well in this blog post:
Bye Bye USB Syncing: Is the iPad Bad for iPhone OS?
Apple's upcoming iBooks will mean less leniency for competitive products. I do hope that the rumored swap folder API for the iPad will also make its way onto the iPhone. It will be interesting to see the software differentiation in the future between the two devices. The iPad is the topic of the day, but even well after launch, there will always be scads more iPhones out in the wild than iPads.
I hope the state of pushing your own PDFs to the iPhone (and iPad) aren't unsettled long.