Even the things Microsoft Word does badly can now be fixed! Read on to find out how...
Many of my computing colleagues claim to prefer using LaTeX to Microsoft Word. I don’t agree, because Microsoft Word has some wonderful features and its WYSIWYG interface makes creating documents much easier. But I do concede that there are two things that LaTeX normally does better than Word: arranging images and tables separately from the text; and having a single update feature to process all the fields, references and tables of contents at once.
So, as a programmer, naturally I look for ways to make Microsoft Word to have these features; that way, there’d be no reason for anyone to even consider LaTeX. After several years of experimentation, I’ve found solutions for both.
In an earlier blog, I explained how to get floating images and tables to work well in Word. Although a lot of people have viewed that blog, I have to admit the technique was far too complicated for general use. I’ve now found a much better way to achieve the same results: I use ready-prepared ‘templates’, and use the Word autotext feature to store and insert them. And rather than mess around with complex Word settings, I’ve created a VBA macro that positions the frames containing images and tables correctly in your document.
And I’ve even, with a fair bit of help from sources on the Internet, found a way to get Word to update everything at the press of a button (also incidentally fixing Mendeley and Zotero’s bibliography styling).
Both solutions are available on GitHub at https://github.com/charlesweir/WordSupport .
Do try out them out; there’s full instructions included. I’ve been using both for six months, and they make my editing life enormously easier.
I trust you will find them useful too.