Mac Office 2008 - Elements 'rant', auto size/zoom when open file & styles etc

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by coops, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. coops macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    A long title... sorry.

    Office 2008 on a Macbook Pro 13” – my delightful Office 2008 for Mac experience………

    Having switched from Windows, I was aware I’d still be likely to need/use Microsoft Office. I’ve installed Neo and OpenOffice, and will keep investigating them to see how I can get all the styles etc sorted – at moment some of my favourite documents get completely screwed up when opened up in OpenOffice… so for now, Office2008 it is.

    Have used Msoft Office for many years on PC's, and switching to a Mac has actually encouraged me to stop and start a little 'afresh' with Word and Excel to sort out styles and templates etc a bit better.
    I highly recommend going here:- and having a good read of the 1Mb doc there - it's not specific to 2008 yet - but does a great job explaining how to best use styles and templates - and even showed me a tip which it embarasses me it's taken me so many years to find out.....

    :eek: How to select a sentence easily! No need to click and drag across all the sentence and hope you can get just to the end where you want to be... just click anywhere in the sentence you want and hit 'Command' and left click your mouse/touchpad (Control left click on a Pc works also). Can't believe how many years i've never known this :eek:

    So, to Office 2008 and my thoughts and how i've fixed it to open up and work how i want it to (mostly....)

    It’s all updated, and runs ok – none of these office apps open up quickly from a cold reboot… rather, they open up first time painfully slowly, really. Thankfully with a Mac there’s no need to be shutting down or quitting apps all the time, so it’s not too irritating. Mind you getting rid of Macro support is bizarre – even more odd when you see a menu item ‘Macros…’ under the Tools! No ability to record macros as before, and cannot run macros from other (Windows) Office docs or sheets – almost as if Microsoft is trying to reassure the Mac user that they really, really made the right choice choosing Apple and that Microsoft knows no limits when it comes to douchebaggery.(Macros are still supported in the Windows 2007 Office and plan to be resurrected in next Mac Office version - not update)

    Used Office 2003 on PC’s for some time and thankfully bypassed the 2007 ‘ribbon’ malarkey – briefly saw one poor guy wrestling with it in a meeting and happily avoided it. (Same with Vista – wife’s sister got a new vista PC and I was horrified by how slow and appalling etc etc, so for once was delighted I’d bought my Sony TX as soon as I heard XP was on the way out….).

    Office 2008 for Mac doesn’t have the ribbon, but does have an ‘Elements’ bar – a quite staggering piece of lameness. Maybe there are some people somewhere who like this and use it. Maybe….. but while you can turn off/hide and/or customize all manner of toolbars as usual – the Element bar just sits there, taking up vertical screen space. Unmovable, unhideable.
    Go to ‘View’ and try the full screen option. Obviously, it’s not really full screen at all – this is Microsoft world – but it does clear away all the toolbars and the weirdly thick lower window line…. Leaving the Element bar staring at you, mockingly.

    How I chuckled. :eek:

    With all the wide screens on laptops now, it seems like a good idea to keep the vertical screen space as uncluttered as possible and use the width for toolbars and doo-dads – the openoffices can put their toolbars vertical just by dragging them over to the side, but Office2008 doesn’t seem to allow this…..

    However….. it’s not all sucky in Office2008 land – there’s a formatting ‘palette’ available, which sits nicely to the side with plenty of formatting options and in fact switches its behaviour to suit. Click on a drawing, and it will change to drawing based formatting options – it seems like rather an excellent way of showing toolbar options (rather than the usual strip along the top of your document or spreadsheet). There’s so much good stuff in this palette (including a tab for a Thesaurus and Dictionary etc) that it gave me an idea on how to deal with the Element issue.

    Went in to ‘View’>’Toolbars’ and unchecked the Standard toolbar, so that disappeared.
    ‘Customize Toolbars and Menus’ and made a new toolbar with whatever I felt I wanted which wasn’t on the formatting palette. Not too much, as you can see from the screenshot – but wide enough to drag over and HIDE the Element doo-hickey.


    You can make your normal.dotm template to suit whatever zoom level fits you etc… but this does not apply to any file you open, only when opening a blank document.
    So next step was to find out how to get Word (and Excel) to open any file to my preferred default zoom level and window size and placed how I want it (as in the screenshot – 140% and window dragged out to the palette).

    You’ll notice that any new toolbar as I made is always kept in place whether opening a new doc or a previously saved one.. but getting a consistent viewing size and window size is another matter – but it has made me try out some Applescripting and even the Automator…..

    If you prefer your documents to open up how you like, rather than how the last person to save it left it – then first go to this website :-

    It’s a very good run thru on what you need to do – download the sample script, and also download the ‘Get Window Size’ script.
    Have a good read of it all and then unzip the scripts…. And feel free to double click to open them and run them (have an open Word document running).
    Arrange your Word window how you like it, then run the ‘Get Window size script’ to find out the dimensions you want to use in the sample script (mine on a 13” MBPro is {0, 25, 1083, 800} ).

    Setup any other options (preferred view style etc) then Compile and Run it from your open Applescript window to check it works how you want it. As set out in the link, you can save it as Whatever_name_you_want.scpt to the folder :-
    [username]/ Documents/Microsoft User Data/Word Script Menu Items

    BUT… as far as I could see, there was no “Script” menu on my Word window… and quitting and re-opening didn’t do any good. After a somewhat lengthy (and so far unsuccessful) detour into the world of the Automator (to see if I could get the script to run whenever I launched any .doc file, automatically), I suddenly woke up and realized that a cold reboot was probably needed to get Word to play properly… obvious and frequent first step for any Windows user. And on reboot, gladly there was the script menu at the end of the other File menu’s next to the Help… and under it was my script. Clicking on the script ran it fine, and it did what I wanted. Hurrah.

    After that, went to System preferences and Keyboard to setup a shortcut.
    Go to ‘Keyboard shortcuts’ then Application Shortcuts’ and click the ‘+’ to add a shortcut…. Select it for Word and then enter your name for the script exactly how it appears in the menu, double click on it and type your preferred keyboard shortcut ( commmand-Z for me), and there you go…. One quick easy keyboard shortcut and/or menu item to get it laid out how you like. You could setup different scripts as mentioned in the link if you have frequently used different layout schemes…

    Next I’ll sort out Excel….. similar scripts and idea - here's a link to a site with some script text you'll need to set the zoom level (you can use the same Window sizing lines)

    Here's the screenshot & i've attached a zip file with the 4 scripts ( one each for showing you your Word and Excel window sizes, and one each for 'zoom/window sizing' Excel and Word)

    Hope it helps... any other good tips?

    Incidentally, I really like the Gill Sans font..... reckon size 9 or 10 looks about right for viewing (at this zoom level on my laptop) and also for printing.



    Attached Files:

  2. admanb macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    Great Post!

    Thanks -- I'd been very hesitant to start bothering with the scripts and other seemingly time-consuming solutions to fix the silly Zoom defaults in Office 2008, after reading up on other sites about it. But you made it sound so easy and even provided your customized scripts just to drop in the Scripts folder and try out. Had I known it was just that easy, I would have done it much sooner! So thanks for convincing me that I was being stubborn resisting all this time and manually resetting the zoom and window position more frequently than I care to admit!
  3. zirzird macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2010
    This was EXTREMELY helpful. Thank you for posting!

    I have one lingering problem. I've implemented the scripts to set my zoom level and draft format, and this works fine, except after I click on a hyperlink. Whether it points to the same document, or a different Word document, it always jumps to the bookmark using the default Print Layout View and default zoom levels. I *need* to crack this problem and get stymied at every turn.

    Any suggestions?
  4. jacg macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2003
    Great stuff. I love your creative way of getting rid of the Elements bar. I hated that thing so much I just stuck with 2004 (and Macros).

    It's ironic that in Office 2011 you can completely turn off the ribbon (even the glowing buttons where the Elements bar was) but they have removed the Formatting Palette so there is no way to access many software functions if you do.

    And if you want several windows open side by side, you're also stuffed.

    Sticking with 2004. Still seems faster for most things, even on a MBP. Weird.
  5. coops thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    Sad to hear the palettes are no longer an option - only thing i'd have liked is for them to 'snap' to the side of the window so when resizing they move along with the window edge....and of course to banish the elements bar to the bin of stupid ideas.

    Was thinking about trying 2011 for the macro support... but that ribbon :mad:

    I'm kind of looking ahead to a future 11.6" Macbook Air once they get a bigger screen in there ;) , and putting toolbars etc to the side becomes even more useful the smaller screen/laptop you go, obviously.... whereas the ribbon appears to be a ridiculous vertical screen space hog - unless it can be dragged/placed to the side?
  6. coolguy1 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2011
  7. coops thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 10, 2009
    yup, they all still work just fine..... the ribbon is not as bad as i feared (especially once you've found the quick ways to hide/unhide it).

    Ooops - I mean for Office 2011 for Mac - works fine.
    2010? - you mean Windows Office? Not so sure on that..... the windows version i think opens in the last size/zoom level so the scripts are not needed..... but don't quote me ;-)
  8. coolguy1 macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2011

    I don't see the scripts MEnu item even after reboot?

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