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Macros: Strings Of Changes

The 14 functions you can perform with Spell Catcher’s Modify Selection command are all well and good. But when cleaning up e-mail or processing text for submission to your art department, you may sometimes find yourself performing the same three Modify Selection commands over and over again, week in and week out, going quietly insane.

That’s the beauty of Spell Catcher macros-they let you chain together several commands from the Modify Selection list. For example, you can create a macro called E-mail Cleanup which would apply three steps to the body of an e-mail that you’ve highlighted: first, strip the white space from the beginnings and ends of lines, remove any Internet quote marks (>), and finally re-flow the text into paragraphs, removing the return characters from each line.

Building Your Own Macros

You can easily construct your own high-powered text-crunching macros—like this:

  1. From Spell Catcher’s menu, choose Edit Macros.

    Note: From the Dock menu or the Input menu, the Edit Macros option is under the Modify Selected option. If Spell Catcher is the active application, it is in the Windows menu.

    Edit Macros window

  2. Click New Macro to create a new, untitled document. Type a description in the edit field.

    Untitled Macro window

  3. Choose a command from the Module list and click the plus button. Its name now appears in the right-hand list.

  4. If a settings button (a blue (i) icon) in the “Settings?” column is available, you can click it to adjust the parameters for the step you’ve just added. In some cases, no settings button appears; that’s a signal that there are no options to configure for the step you’ve added. The figure below shows an example of an item with, and an item without, a settings button.

    If there is a settings button, click it to view the configuration options corresponding to the step you’ve added. Make your changes and click OK.

    Settings for a Macro step

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you’ve completed your multi-step macro. Click the window’s close button.

    You will be prompted to Save, Don’t Save, or Cancel closing the window. If you click the Save button, you will be prompted to enter a file name for the macro - enter a name and click the Save button.

  6. If you wish your macro to be available via Spell Catcher’s Services menu, turn on the checkbox in the In Services? column for your item, in the Edit Macros window. The default is for this checkbox to be on for newly created macros.

  7. Close the Edit Macros window when you're done.

Using A Macro

To use your newly created macro, highlight some text that you’ve typed. From the Input menu, Spell Catcher’s Dock menu, or Spell Catcher’s Services menu, choose Modify Selection, then choose your macro from the list of items that is displayed in that sub-menu.

Editing Macros

If the effect of the macro isn’t quite what you expected, you can edit its steps easily enough. From Spell Catcher’s Dock menu or the Input menu, choose Modify Selection, then Edit Macros from the sub-menu. Select the macro you wish to edit from the list and click the Edit button. The following operations are available:

  Description Type a descriptive phrase into this box; it will show up whenever you click the name of your macro in a Spell Catcher window, such as the Edit Macros window.
Remove Select the step(s) you wish to remove, then click the minus button.
Add Select the item(s) from the Module list that you wish to add, then click the plus button.
  Settings Whenever a step of the macro has parameters you can change (a Search and Replace step, for example) a blue (i) button will be present in the Settings column for that step. Clicking this button will allow you to change its settings in the sheet that appears.
Reorder You can change the order of the steps in your macro by dragging any step to its desired position in the list.

Managing Macros

You can manage your macros in the Edit Macros window. From Spell Catcher’s Dock menu, or from the Input menu, choose Modify Selected, then choose Edit Macros from the resulting sub-menu. The following operations are available:

  Create Click the New Macro button to begin the creation of a new macro. Information on the steps you should follow are covered at the beginning of this section.
  Edit Select a macro from the list, then click this button to edit the selected macro.
  Duplicate Click this button to duplicate the selected macro, which gives you a chance to create similar macros without having to laboriously add each step. Settings for individual steps are also duplicated.
  Locate Select a macro from the list, then click the Show in Finder button to locate the macro file. Reasons for using this option include copy a macro to another machine, email it to a friend, change the name of the macro (by renaming the file in Finder).
Delete Click this button to vaporize the macro whose name you’ve selected from the list. After you confirm that you want to discard it forever, Spell Catcher deletes this macro from the list.
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