Razzmatag

I’m excited to announce the release of our new program, RazzmaTag! Cute name, but what does it do?

Well, do you need to tag characters and formatting in Microsoft Word so your documents can be imported into a typesetting program?

Do you ever need to turn typesetting tags into formatting in Word?

What? You never work with tags? Then how would you like to turn directly applied formatting (such as Baskerville 26-point bold centered) into a Word style (such as Heading 1)?

If you need to do any of those things, you need RazzmaTag. RazzmaTag is a universal tagging utility that finds formatting in Microsoft Word and marks it with tags for use in QuarkXPress, Ventura, PageMaker, TeX, or pretty much any other typesetting program. As an extremely simple example, RazzmaTag can find text in italics and mark it with italic tags, like this: [I]italics[I].

RazzmaTag can also do the reverse, finding tags and changing them to formatting, so if you have old proprietary typesetting files, you can now convert them to Microsoft Word documents. That’s also the key to converting directly applied formatting into styles: tag the formatting, then turn the tags into styles.

In addition, RazzmaTag can find and tag special characters. For example, you could have it find em dashes and replace them with tags. RazzmaTag can do all of this in a single document, all open documents, or all documents in a folder.

To use RazzmaTag, you prepare a “master list” that tells the program what formatting or characters to find and how to tag them, which means you’re always in control. It also means you’re not limited to certain tags but can use anything you need. For example, let’s say you want to import a document into QuarkXPress. A simple master list might look like this (consult your Quark manual for the tags you need):

Body|@Body:^&+P

Emphasis|<@Emphasis>^&<@$p>+A

it|^&+F

The first line tells RazzmaTag to find text formatted with the Body paragraph style (+P) and replace it with the Quark tag @Body: followed by whatever text was found (^&).

The second line tells RazzmaTag to find text formatted with a character style (+A) named Emphasis and surround it with the Quark tags <@Emphasis> and <@$p>.

The third line tells RazzmaTag to find text in italic character formatting (+F) and surround it with Quark italic tags, and .

After you run RazzmaTag using that list, your document text will look something like this:

@Body:This is some text tagged <@Emphasis>beautifully <@$p> by the Editorium’s new program, RazzmaTag!

Other kinds of tagging (or untagging) work in much the same way.

I’m particularly excited that I can now take an author’s unstyled document, tag directly applied formatting, and then convert those tags to styles. RazzmaTag will save hours of applying styles by hand.

If you’re using our QuarkConverter program, you know how handy it is, but it’s limited to tagging files for QuarkXPress. RazzmaTag will do much more. If you’re one of those Ventura users who keep asking for help, here’s the program you’ve been wanting. I hope you enjoy RazzmaTag!

You can learn more about RazzmaTag and try it free of charge here:

http://www.editorium.com/razzmatag.htm

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READERS WRITE

Last week’s article about what the ideal editing software might look like brought some interesting responses.

Jeanne Pinault wrote:

Hi–great question!

I’d like the software to use publishing terms, like flush left, recto & verso, etc., and not make me translate computer language into my language.

I’d like Word to have something like WordPerfect’s Reveal Codes, on demand–when you can’t undo something because you don’t know how you did it.

I’d like to have software that would undo authors’ fancy formatting and give me plain text at a keystroke (Quark coded, of course, since we’re dreaming, for ital, en dashes, etc.), as required for some publishers. (For all others, there’s Editor’s ToolKit!)

That said, I am devoted to Word 97 and do not intend to upgrade EVER. But I might start over with something perfect.

Steve Hudson wrote:

ME! ME! PICK ME SIR!!!!

RIGHT. Fourth division, sweep left. 21st division, cover that hill. Light armored . . . CHARGE!!!

First–C M Y friggin K. I will not harp, I will sit back as the cannons roar and you immediately agree you showed MASSIVE oversight in NOT including this. Consider thyself SPANK-ED! 🙂

Next–custom text run-around-paths.

The ability to create/modify GRAMMAR rules.

A proper, unlimited, compressed user spelling dictionary with decent tools.

Base file format is XML–not some unreadable binary behemoth.

More comprehensive document statistics–such as list hyperlinks/index entries/any field type/any metadata.

Built-in batch processing for documents from the facade.

Reveal ALL codes.

Rajesh Haldipur wrote:

I work with a typesetting service provider, and also provide typesetting and other services using Word. Some case studies of what we have done are available here (http://www.newgenimaging.com/datasheets/word.pdf) and here (http://www.newgenimaging.com/casestudies/xml.pdf) for download. I am also a confirmed user of Word, and a regular reader of the Editorium Update. I haven’t purchased the Editorium product because, by the time I did discover the Editorium, I had developed most of the utilities in-house. I thought I would burden you with my tuppence-worth of comments on the wish list, with the backdrop of my experience in this area:

1. Word completion based on previous entries–do you mean something like the “AutoComplete” feature in Excel? That can be used in case tabular matter with large amount of repetitive content is to be keyed in, and the result taken to Word.

2. Re Export to XML We have developed for in-house use (customised for every DTD) the ability to convert XML into a styled, nearly paginated Word files, including loading of figures and formatting of tables. Separately, I have also developed a program to convert a styled Word file to XML based on a DTD, as long as the document is styled using a special template meant for that DTD. I have also built a utility to parse the resultant Word file and get the resultant error log entries hyperlink to the location of the error.

3. Real-time display of the Index We have developed a utility which converts an Excel List of Text of Index Entries (2,3 or 4 levels) and the relevant page number/ paragraph numbers into an Index in Word by a single click of a button. It also appropriately handles special characters, forcing particular Index Entries to appear in an order other than natural alphabetical order, and page ranges. This also generates an XML Index Entry list which verbosely lists every paragraph referenced as separate entries, where paragraph ranges are referenced by the index entry.

4. Some other features we could add to the wish list are:

? Search and Replace facility to allow searching for Widows or Orphans

? Style definition flexibility to allow for

? different specification for Widows and for Orphans

? specifying how many characters permissible before and after hyphen, in addition to hyphenation zone

? many more styles of underlining

? font in embossed and engraved effects besides shadow

? placing special emphasis characters above or below each character of style

? superscript and subscript sizes and positions to be varied as percentage of normal font sizes

? creation of decimal aligned tab to align at a comma or any other character by treating it as the decimal character

? setting a grid for a Reference style and for the base line of another style to snap to the grid of the reference style

? alignment of characters of para to base or top where a few characters in a paragraph are in significantly larger font than others.

? Allow part of a document to be designated at Read Only

? Allow hyperlinking of document content to a particular e-mail

? Support for CMYK as well as RGB colour

? Ability to define a user-definable hierarchy (classification) of styles in a template to classify styles for easier access and maintenance

? Ability to anchor objects to even a character or page and not just a paragraph

? Ability to enter References directly into a built-in bibliographic database and call them in a document (now separately available as third party plug-ins to MS Word)

What might interest you is that these features were not all needs felt and documented by me, but are a partial list of features which I have noticed are available with Open Office, which is a free 50MB download from here. In addition to almost everything that Word has to offer, it supports not one, but two programming languages (its own version of Basic in addition to Java) and hence is arguably more programmable and customisable than Word is with VBA.

David Parton (david.parton@abbeyfield-nottingham.org.uk) wrote:

Great list.

Can I add: Columns that don’t rely on sections. I have a document that is in 8 real sections and would like to be able use these sections as references and to print and navigate using these sections, but the document also uses columns and therefore there are actually over 30 Word section breaks making cross referencing very difficult.

Martin Fitch wrote:

If you want to see what a real publishing program can do, check out Interleaf. After working with Interleaf for many years, trying to do half as much in Word with four times the effort is just sickening. Interleaf Corp. was bought out by Broadvision a few years ago, and the product is now called Quicksilver. Here’s a link to their datasheet:

http://www.broadvision.com/content/products/datasheets/quicksilver.pdf

Thanks to one and all for their excellent insights and ideas!

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RESOURCES

Wordmeister Steve Hudson sent a terrific tip for serious Word users:

As a lot of your newsletter specifically deals with Microsoft Word, I thought the following resource might be of interest. It’s www.kbAlertz.com; one of the best features is a regular mailout of the new Knowledge Base articles posted by Microsoft. I am trying to keep a running commentary on the Word 2000 ones via my “daily” entries in my blog for those folk who don’t want to have to wade through MS guff to decipher what’s the latest info.

You can check out Steve’s blog here:

http://blog.tdfa.com

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