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Control audio while typing in Word 2007


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Control audio while typing in Word 2007

A project to control audio via keystrokes and toolbar icons within Word 2007. Shows how to customize the Office ribbon.

One of my least favourite jobs is transcribing interviews. In order to ease the pain a little, I wrote a simple Word macro a while back that allows me to load, pause and rewind an audio file from keystroke combinations within Word. This saves a lot of time, if the alternative is switching back and forth between Word and an audio application.

The original macro was for Word 2003. It worked in Word 2007, but needed updating. I took it as an opportunity to learn about developing for the Office Ribbon, and to write about the experience. The article is in Personal Computer World, February 2008 issue.

Here then is my macro, converted for Word 2007:

Word 2007 ribbon with macro

Yes, it is work in progress. It is full of smiley faces because I haven't found suitable icons, and don't have the skills to create them. Contributions welcome.

I've improved it slightly from the version in the mag. I've added a time elapsed label so you can see where you are in the audio file. I also got some way towards saving state in document properties. My idea was to have the document write the file name and current position to custom properties, then reload the audio when the document was next opened. I can't get this working properly, so the code to do this is disabled. Perhaps it is better to save state in the registry; or perhaps I made an obvious mistake. Again, contributions welcome.

I actually find it useful even as-is. To try it out, download wordpress.dotm and put it in your Word 2007 templates folder. Then you can start new documents using the template.

The files are here. Download the macro or the zip; they are the same.

Copyright © Tim Anderson December 2007