Writer&';s Friend


by Dale Stubbart

Helps for Writers using Microsoft Word

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Writer&';s Friend helps you by doing difficult and repetitive steps for you in Microsoft Word. Writer&';s Friend is a group of macros or code. But I&';ll explain how to do most of these manually, as well as by using the code. Some of the macros require you to modify some lines at the top so that things happen the way you want them to happen, rather than my preferences. You&';ll find these macros helpful if you&';re a writer. You&';ll find them even more helpful if you self-publish.
If you want to use any of these macros, you&';ll need to add them via the Developer Toolbar in Microsoft Word. If you don&';t see the Developer Toolbar, follow these instructions. Once the Developer Toolbar is open, click on Visual Basic. (vba stands for Visual Basic for Apps. Word being the app in this case.) Right-click on Modules, then Insert, then Module. Now you&';ve just created Module 1. The last thing you&';ll see on the left-hand side of the screen is (Name) Module 1. Replace Module 1 with Writers_Friend.
Now you&';re set to start.

When you see a Writer&';s Friend macro that you want, copy it and paste it into the big empty box to the right. (If you&';ve already copied and pasted a macro there, scroll to the bottom and paste the next macro there.
When you&';re done, Choose the File Menu and click Save Normal. Now these macros will be available for any document you open with Word.

Setting Styles

The first thing you&';ll want to do when working with Word is to set you&';re styles. For Security Reasons, the macro can only do so much.
Set the style for Title, Subtitle, Heading 1, Heading 2, Normal, and No Spacing. If you&';re doing this manually, right-click on each style and choose modify. When you&';ve made all the changes, select New Documents Based on this Template and click OK. If you&';re running the macro, change the value for everything named B4 to what you want. For instance, for WrF_Style_B4_Font_Names(1) = "Calibri Light" to the font you want for the Title Font. Run the WrF_Set_Styles macro (by double clicking it). Then modify each of those six styles, select New Documents Based on this Template and click OK.
You&';re thinking now that it&';s much easier to just change the style manually, and you&';re correct. The advantage to having this macro is in case Word messes up and loses your settings. If it does that, this macro will also disappear. I&';m speaking from experience here. So, after you&';ve got this macro changed to use the styles you want to use, save it as a text file someplace. Then make a backup.
WrF_Set_Styles macro

If you want to self-publish a paperback on Amazon, they want the document to be set up a certain way. They want the page size to be 6x9 &n-; there are other options for size, but 6x9 is the recommended size. To use this next macro, create a new Word document. Go to the folder where you want the new document. Right-Click in the white space, choose New, then Microsoft Word Document. Name your new document to be the book title. Now, open this new document, then run the WrF_CreateSpace_Format macro. (CreateSpace is Amazon&';s website for self-publishing paperbacks.) This macro will format the document to be 6x9. It will create a page header to be the name of your document (which is the title). And it will create a page footer with the author&';s name and page numbering.
However, Word doesn&';t know who the author is. It assumes the author is your Window&';s user name. But if you&';re like me, your user name is your first name. So the macro prompts you for your name. That&';s all well and good unless you&';re publishing several books. In that case, modify the macro, changing the value of WrF_Author from "" to "Your Name". Then the macro will use the value of WrF_Author without prompting you. And that&';s all well and good unless you&';re publishing for somebody else or you change your name or you publish under your pen name at times.
When this macro is done, it prompts you to change some Advanced Options which the macro can&';t change. Just follow those instructions.
WrF_CreateSpace_Format macro

Are there words you frequently type incorrectly, which Word&';s spell checker doesn&';t catch? The spell checker doesn&';t always catch where to, too, and two are used in correctly or then and than. I also often type the for them or they. The WrF_Common_Misspellings macro will highlight all occurrences of those words. You can change the words the macro is looking for by modifying the macro. The words being looked for are surrounded by [] as in [than]. After you&';ve checked all the highlighted words, run the WrF_Clear_Highlighting macro.
WrF_Common_Misspellings macro

When you&';re ready to publish your book, you&';ll want some keywords. Keywords help people who are searching for your book find it. Amazon says that roles are good to use for keywords. Others say to search for what your book is about and see what Google suggests. This is what others are searching for that&';s similar to your book. I figure, I&';ve already got a lot of that in the description. So what else is in my book? Sometimes it&';s easy enough to find out by looking at all the chapter headings. If you use the Heading 1 and Heading 2 styles for chapter headings, they&';ll show up with you check Navigation Pane in the View Menu. Alternately, you can create a Table of Contents and look at them there. But sometimes, you need to see what words appear the most in your story. The WrF_Word_Frequency macro is an extension of Allen Wyatt&';s FindWords macro.
When you run my macro, the most common words appear in a new document with the words which occur the most, appearing at the top of that document. Changing and Changed are all counted together with Change. Other verbs are counted together regardless of tense. Some noun plurals are counted with the singular form. However, since I&';m grouping Change as a verb, I can&';t also group it as a noun. So Changes is counted separately.
And that&';s fine, you&';re not looking for an exact count, you just want a rough estimate.
WrF_Word_Frequency macro