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Microsoft Word is one of the oldest application programs in Microsoft’s arsenal. Microsoft Word for Windows (WinWord) XP is a far different program than early Word on its Apple and pre-Windows operating systems, and even from the earliest Word for very early Microsoft Windows. Of course, much more powerful operating systems and computers make a difference, but Microsoft adds new features and new concepts with each upgrade, making that upgrade not only different, but better. (Each upgrade also fixes well-known problems encountered by users of the earlier version, but that is the nature of computer software.) That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for third party improvement. There are a variety of add-on programs that work with WinWord (and the other major Windows-based word processing programs) that add features to and correct problems with the latest versions of WinWord, or at least work with the word processor files to make legal and other documents better. One can spend a lot more for useful add-ons than the base WinWord, itself. This week we report on three programs by a single vendor designed to add functionality that WinWord lacks. CrossEyes, CrossWords and Stylizer, from Leesburg, Va.-based Levit & James, can make your use of WinWord 97 to XP easier and more pleasant. Any of these programs can be downloaded in limited time demo versions, free of charge; if you use WinWord, and particularly if you are in the process of converting to WinWord (from WordPerfect for Windows, most likely) you probably need one or more of them. CROSSEYES For many years, lawyers who continue to use the formerly ubiquitous WordPerfect have refused to move to WinWord because, among other reasons, it doesn’t have Reveal Codes. The Reveal Formatting command in WinWord XP goes a long way towards dealing with the Reveal Codes problem. The new feature shows the particular formatting used with particular text, and exactly how that formatting was inserted into the file. It is also possible to change the revealed formatting directly from the special task pane that shows the formatting. But Reveal Formatting isn’t really “Reveal Codes,” in part, we are told, because WinWord doesn’t really have embedded WordPerfect-like “Codes.” Although Reveal Formatting will provide sufficient information for many users, power WinWord users may well require something like CrossEyes. CrossEyes installed without difficulty, placing an icon on a WinWord XP toolbar. Load a WinWord file, click on the CrossEyes toolbar icon, and CrossEyes opens a second window on the bottom of the screen, showing a small menu and a text area. The program reads the file beginning at the cursor, and displays the text in the main window together with color-coded labels showing type and placement of the various ways in which the text is modified. Any WordPerfect Reveal Codes user will immediately recognize and have no difficulty reading the CrossEyes output, although the Heading identifications will be new. The user can also easily modify text formatting from CrossEyes. Locate the text to be changed, then double-click on the label in the CrossEyes text display, to pop up a Windows box customized to change the offending formatting feature. You can modify a Style from CrossEyes, with the same double-click operation. If you do nothing but enter text into your WinWord documents, leaving the formatting and pretty-printing to your secretary or other word processing expert, you probably shouldn’t bother with CrossEyes; your secretary should have it. Even if you do some formatting for yourself, Reveal Formatting (if you obtain WinWord XP) might well be good enough. But if you do extensive formatting, sometimes getting a weird format and can’t otherwise determine how to get the document looking the way you want it, or if you are a former WordPerfect user pining for Reveal Codes, you will definitely wish to acquire CrossEyes. CROSSWORDS If you are using WinWord, you may have problems with conversion of the occasional WordPerfect file to WinWord format. If you are contemplating a change from WordPerfect to WinWord, the task of converting gigabytes of current and archived WordPerfect documents may be too daunting to contemplate. CrossWords should solve that problem. CrossWords is really designed to be used on a network basis, connected to one of the standard Document Management Systems (DMS) programs that cater to law offices. We had some difficulties in installing the program in non-networked, no-DMS mode. The problem arises from the default High Security settings used with WinWord XP. CrossWords has to be installed and run on a single computer with WinWord set to Medium Security mode. CrossWords offers the user the opportunity to fine-tune settings to exactly what and how the program should convert. We kept to the default settings, and tested the programs both in batch mode and single document mode. We liked the way CrossWords worked in either mode. To use CrossWords in batch mode, specify an input directory where WordPerfect documents to be converted exist and an output directory to which the converted document should be saved; set several other options; and tell the program to do its work. A few minutes later, the converted files are present in the specified output directory. A single file mode works from within WinWord itself. Rather than attempting to simply open a WordPerfect file, click on a CrossWords toolbar icon to pop up a Windows directory box, choose the appropriate file, and click on the open button. CrossEyes proceeds to do the conversion and, if asked, to save the new file. With either mode, the conversion worked, but we were mostly converting simple contracts and archives of articles. We set up a couple of test pages including formatting features such as columns, tables, mixed justifications and alignment, bullets, numbering, outlining, and just about anything else we could think of. The conversion wasn’t quite perfect, but it worked at about a 98 percent level, in any case much better than the converter that comes with WinWord XP. And, of course, WinWord XP doesn’t batch process. (We did have one strange conversion formatting problem that we were unable to fix with or without Reveal Formatting. A quick CrossEyes analysis made clear what was going on, and a little double-clicking let us fix the problem without difficulty). STYLIZER Stylizer takes an existing WinWord file, from another lawyer or perhaps converted from another word processor, that appears to have some strange formatting, cleans up the document with a preprocessor, than replaces the formatting in some consistent and simpler manner. The program can also help the user apply appropriate styles to a WinWord file, paragraph by paragraph, or in a “style by example” mode. The program is initiated by two tool bar icons, and is easy for even a WinWord novice to use. We tried Stylizer with a number of relatively clean files, and found it easy to use. We also set Stylizer to work on a problem file generated by an optical character recognition (OCR) program that was so wrapped up with document sections and special formatting that it was near impossible to use. The preprocessor cleared out the problems so the file was usable; we then quickly added the necessary styles using the main Stylizer module and had exactly the document we wanted. If you are familiar with and use “styles” when creating or modifying WinWord documents, Stylizer will make it considerably easier to select and apply styles than WinWord, alone. If you are not familiar with WinWord and don’t use WinWord “styles,” you should be doing so. Stylizer will make the learning process a lot easier, and will also make it easier to use standard styles with any WinWord document. CONSIDERATIONS Although these programs work well together, they are sold individually. CrossEyes costs $75 for single user licensing, but the others are currently licensed for a minimum of 25 users on a network. Figure at least $500 for all three in small — 25-user — quantities, a not unreasonable price if you have need for the products. The vendor wouldn’t provide a published price list. Download the demos, and if you like the products, use your negotiation skills. The vendor tells us it expects to have single-user pricing on all products later this year. SUMMARY CrossEyes is the moral equivalent of WordPerfect Reveal Codes, and will tell you exactly how the formatting of a WinWord document is built, and how to make easy formatting changes. CrossWords converts WordPerfect documents to native format WinWord documents. Stylizer cleans WinWord documents with strange formatting and styles, and lets the user easily apply office standard styles. The programs aren’t inexpensive, but can make the WinWord user’s interactions with WordPerfect documents and WinWord documents with strange formatting tolerable, and eases efforts to standardize the look of the office’s WinWord documents using WinWord styles. DETAILS CrossEyes, CrossWord, Stylizer. Each program requires IBM PC or compatible running Microsoft Word for Windows 97 or later. Price: CrossEyes, $75 for single unit. CrossWords and Stylizer: Negotiable. Levit & James, Inc. PO Box 2503, Leesburg, VA 20177. Phone: (703) 771-1549. Fax: (703) 779-0304. Web: www.levitjames.com. E-mail: [email protected].

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