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MultiWord 2006
A FREE batch Find/Replace utility for Microsoft Word








MultiWord allows batch find/replace operations on Microsoft Word files. MultiWord uses the actual Word program to accomplish some of this. Unknown to many users, Word has various 'hooks' that allow other programs to access its functions, MultiWord makes use of some of these hooks to perform tasks such as the text highlighting and the replace operation.

Using these Word access points has many advantages, the format of the file remains unchanged, the results obtained are exactly per what would be obtained doing the work manually using Word. On the downside, any bugs or 'undocumented features' of Word will be inherited by MultiWord. Thus i
n the unlikely event that Word crashes, MultiWord will probably crash too. Fortunately, Microsoft have a done great job making Word a reliable and powerful word processor, so finding problems with Word is something of a rarity these days.

Take a read through the tutorial below and especially the sections on the merits of the browser window and word window modes.






Adjusting the window size

Loading Files


Find & Replace


Find In


Find Options


State Files


Batch Mode


Check Buttons


Options


Settings


- Using Browser mode             (viewing the active document using the Browser window)


- Using Word Window Mode     (viewing the active document using the Word window)


Dealing with the "Do you want to open or save this file?" message in Browser mode







Window size
Adjusting the window size

To adjust the window size, click on the two green arrows at the top right of the MultiWord window.

To reset the window, double click on the "Resize window" text.




Loading files Loading files

To load files into the FileList, three methods are supported.

Add
Click the Add button, navigate to the folder(s), click on the relevant files. Multi-select is supported. To select individual files, hold down the Control key and click each in turn, to select a range of files, click on the first, hold down the Shift key and click on the last. Selections can also be made using any combination of the Control key and Shift key methods.

Folder
This is particularly useful if all files are in the same folder tree. To specify the top of this tree, click on the Folder button, navigate to the required folder.

Once this folder has been specified, files can be added using the short cut button Get *.doc which will add all files of type "doc" to the file list. A second button called Get Filter will add any files that match the Get Filter box. So to load all files with a given name such as Test_1.doc, Test_2.doc etc., the Get Filter box can be set to Test_*.doc, then press the Get Filter button.

An additional button is present called Sub-Folders, when set, the Get *.doc button and Get Filter button will add all files in the folder and also any matching files in any sub-folders that are present in the selected folder.

Additional files can be loaded using the Add button, files can be removed from the list using the Remove button. The Remove button supports multi-select, so multiple files can be removed in one action.

Drag/drop
One or more files can be selected and dragged onto the FileList.

Using any of these methods, the same file cannot be added twice.

To clear the folder and file entries, use the Clear List button.


Once one or more files are loaded, a files content can be displayed in the Browser window by double clicking on the relevant file in the list. The files can be ascending/descending sorted by clicking on the column headers. I
f you get a windows dialog asking "Do you want to open or save this file?", click here.




Find & Replace Find & Replace


Load one or more files and select one of them by double clicking on it (its contents will be displayed in the Browser window. If you get a windows dialog asking "Do you want to open or save this file?", click here.

In the FindBox, enter a text string that is present in the file. If you also select the Highlight checkbox and click the Find button, the text in the FindBox will be located and highlighted in the document, the number of matches are shown below the Browser window. The highlighting can be removed by clicking the Clear button to the left of the Find button.


To see the same results, but for all files, click the Find All button.

A replacement string can be entered into the ReplaceBox. By clicking Replace, MultiWord cycles through all files in the file list and replaces all occurrences of the FindBox string with the ReplaceBox string. On completion, MultiWord will jump to the ResultsTab, this shows which files were changed and how many replacements were made. The table of results can be saved to a file from this tab.

The Find All button allows you to search all of the files, without actually doing the replace operation. So this is in fact the same as clicking the Replace button, except that it does not alter any files.




Find In Find In

The Find In... checkboxes allow a find/replace operation to be made specific to certain parts of the document (these areas are called "stories", this is the Microsoft Word term for sub-sections of a document). Thus if the operation is to be restricted to the headers and footers then only these checkboxes should be selected.

The document stories available are listed below, any combination is permissible;

- Main Text
- Headers
- Footers
- Text Frames
- Comments
- Foot Notes
- End Notes




Find Options Find Options

The Find Options... checkboxes are exactly the same controls as provided within Microsoft Word. The help files available within Word apply. Note that there are some restrictions on the permissible combinations of these options, but these are the same as Word.

Match Case - This specifies that the case (uppercase/lowercase) of the find text should be exactly matched.

Find whole words only - This specifies that only words meeting the find text should be matched, not partial matches within other words for example.

Use Wildcards - This allows the wildcard character "*" to be used to specify all words matching a certain criteria, for instance specifying "be*n" would match been, bean and any other words commencing "be" and ending in "n".

Sounds Like - This option will match words that sound the same but have a different spelling.

Match All Word Forms - This will match all forms of a given word, such as their usage as a noun, verb, different tenses etc.

Special - The special selector can be used to specify various control characters such as tab, line break, column break etc.




State Files
State Files


The current "state" of MultiWord can be stored using the SaveState button and a state file loaded with LoadState.

Save State - This allows a "state" file to be saved which stores the current setup. So whatever files, options etc. are set, these are stored and the session can be resumed at a later date. A state file is loaded using the Load State button.

Load State - This loads a previously saved state file, restoring MultiWord to whatever state it was in at that time. State files can be overlaid, in that having loaded a state file, another can be loaded immediately afterwards. The state specified by the last state file loaded will dominate, but the file list for example will contain the accumulated list of each state file loaded.





Batch Mode Batch Mode


The BatchTab allows a collection of state files to be loaded and executed in sequence. State files can be loaded in exactly the same way as the file list. Batch mode allows sequences of Find/Replace operations to be stored and re-run at any time.

Each state file is loaded, the Replace executed for each file listed in that state file, the next state file is loaded and so forth. The results are shown on the ResultTab, this lists each state file, the relevant backup folder name made before it was run and the number of substitutions made for each file that was present within it.

The Run All button will execute all state files, Run Selected will execute those state files selected in the pane.

The Find All button will execute all state files, but will not actually do the replace. The Find Selected button will do likewise on the files selected in the pane. The batch Find buttons allow the user to check that all state files run cleanly before proceeding with a batch replace operation.

For the MultiWordTab, the Find All button allows the number of matches for each file in the file list to be determined, without actually performing the change. The Find All button allows the user to check that the intended Find string is correctly matched in all files.

For the BatchTab, the
Find All and Find Selected button allows the state files to be loaded and executed in sequence, to ensure that no errors occur. The find all/selected buttons allow the user to check that the intended Find string is correctly matched in all files and also checks for any errors that may be present in the state files.




Options Options

There are various options which are enabled depending on the 'context'.

Pane Size - The height of the Browser window is adjustable, mouse over the junction between the Browser and FilePane (where the two green markers are shown), press the left mouse button and drag the border to the new position.

Save documents after replace - If this is not checked, the find/replace operation will run but will not modify the actual files.

Check for Updates - This invokes the MultiWord Updater and allows the user to check whether the installed version is up to date versus the web site. Depending on the nature of any available updates, the user can choose to install the update automatically, download the installer or visit the download page. MultiWord will contact dogsbyte.com and the user may see some warnings from any anti-virus or firewall software that may be installed. The MultiWord Updater only communicates with dogsbyte.com.




Settings Settings

MultiWord has a SettingsTab which has a number of preference controls.

Turn off tool tips? - This turns off the helper (or hover) boxes that appear over controls when the mouse is stationary.

Use NotePad/Use WordPad - Select preferred editor when viewing the batch log file.

Create Backups - When selected, MultiWord will make backups of the files that appear in the file list before each Replace operation. A folder called MultiWord.Backup.<TimeStamp> is created in the same location as the files in the file list. If Sub-folders is selected, a corresponding backup folder is created in each sub-folder. The folder name has a TimeStamp appended, this is simply the Date and Time. The name of the latest backup folder is shown at the bottom left of the MultiWordTab, it is also shown on the ResultsTab. To roll back to a previous version of the users files, the files should be copied out of each relevant backup folder and pasted into the folder above it.

Scan for Word - On first usage, MultiWord will ascertain which version of Word is present on the host machine. If you update to a later version it is always worth having MultiWord rescan the version in case their are any version specific additions. Currently, the actual version of Word present on the target machine is not important.

Use Word Window - In its default state, MultiWord displays files using a Browser window. This pane is very similar to an internet browser window, the text within it can be scrolled, searched etc., but not edited. The Browser has the same viewing controls that Word has. If Use Word Window is selected, the Browser window is removed and files will be displayed using an instance of the Word program shown alongside MultiWord. All MultiWord controls operate exactly as before.

Although tempting, users should not edit the file or open/close any new files within that Word window. To look at or manipulate Word files, open a separate instance of the Word program. MultiWord will close the Word Window on exit, you should not close the Word Window manually.

The default position of the Word window is to the right of the MultiWord window, but the Word window can be moved and resized. The position chosen will be saved and restored on subsequent sessions. The Word window can be hidden and revealed using the Hide Word checkbox, the default position of the Word window can be restored using the Reset Word Window button.

The Browser window and Word Window modes have some advantages and disadvantages;

Browser Window
Advantages;
- This occupies less screen space.
- Additional/other files cannot be opened and closed by the user, preventing any clashes with those in use within MultiWord.
- The same viewing controls as Word are supported.
Disadvantages
- When a Word file is opened that has some form of problem, perhaps their is a crash version of the file available, this will not be reflected in the Browser window and may result in some problems displaying the file. If you experience problems opening a particular file, try opening the file normally in Word and checking that the document is valid.
- For XP, the user must temporarily disable the windows File Open/Save/Cancel dialog box (see here).

Word Window
Advantages;
- All aspects of any document loaded can be seen.
- If the document is corrupted or has a crash version, this is immediately obvious to the user.
Disadvantages;
- Additional/other files can be opened and closed by the user. This must be avoided. MultiWord will operate on the "Active Document" shown in the Word window. If the user were to close this file or open another, MultiWord will then be operating on the wrong file!
- MultiWord will control the Word Window and also close it when necessary, the user should not close this window manually.
- Do not manually save a file where highlighting has been used, since the highlighting will be saved with the file!

Ultimately the decision rests with the user. The word window is possibly the better option, provided that the user is not tempted to do anything other than use this window purely as a viewer for the displayed file.

The settings on the SettingsTab are stored by clicking the Save button. The settings on the SettingsTab are also saved on exit and restored on restart. Note that the state of the Create Backups checkbox is not saved (the default state is "on"). It is highly recommended that this is always switched on.




Browser Mode
"Do you want to open or save this file?" message in browser mode


When opening various types of files under Windows XP, you may get a windows dialog message asking "Do you want to open or save this file?".

Obviously in a batch find/replace operation, a system dialog such as this will somewhat interrupt the process. You can either switch MultiWord to Word Window mode (see Settings) or you can disable the message. If you want to temporarily disable this system check do the following;

1. Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel (or Start -> Control Panel)
2. Double-click Folder Options.
3. On the File Types tab, click to select the file type "DOC Microsoft Word Document", and then click Advanced.
4. Uncheck Confirm open after download check box.

To block this file type, repeat the above but check the same box.






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