Re: Anybody use Word Basic?

Subject: Re: Anybody use Word Basic?
From: Beryl Doane <BDoane -at- ENGPO -dot- MSMAILGW -dot- INTERMEC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 1996 17:42:00 PDT

Someone wrote:
>>FYI, the WordBasic online help is essentially identical to the MS Press =
>>book. Also, the help file also includes a wealth of examples.

Sorry, I disagree. The book is NOT the same as online help. The book
continues 950 pages, with extensive examples, and concepts that are not
covered in Help. It is more than just a reference book. It teaches you how
to program, how to create custom dialog boxes, how to work with DLLs, ODBC,
and the WinWord API.

Part I of the book teaches you how to write a macro that works. It
thoroughly explains basic and advanced macro programming concepts and
includes many screen dumps that show you what to expect. Concepts include:
o variables
o how a macro relates/interacts with a template
o subroutines
o dynamic dialog boxes
o how to create input boxes
o how to create message boxes
o how to "draw" dialog boxes with the Dialog Editor
o how to manually create custom dialog boxes from an array structure
o how to update text in a dialog box
o how to use and nest loops, If-Then-Else statements, and Select-Case
o how to create Wizards
o error handling
o debugging tools
o DDE support

Part II is an alphabetic reference of all the WordBasic commands. It is
superior to the terse Help, which is not intended to *teach* you how to
write macros. Each command has at least one good example.

Both parts of the book are well written, cross-referenced, and full of
useful example code segments.

The book also includes a 3.5 inch disk with example macros for cutting and

>>I had to learn WordBasic on my own, with no previous programming
>>experience. It was difficult. WordBasic is not an intuitive language.
>>Not complex or terribly abstract either, for that matter.

Macros are much more than just recorded keystrokes. WordBasic is very
powerful, almost a full language in itself. It is not a complete programming
language because it must run inside Word.

Well-written macros can save you lots of time. If you understand
programming, you can quickly learn to use WordBasic. Buy the book. It's more
than worth the $40. The productivity gains are worth the investment. One
macro I wrote turns a 2-day clean-up job on our older documents with
obsolete style sheets (Word 5 for DOS and older) into a 15 minute process.
The macro is about 2 pages long.

Beryl Doane
Senior Technical Writer
Intermec Corporation
bdoane -at- intermec -dot- com

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