August 1st, 2007

Random - swircle - pwn n3m0!

Microsoft Word = pwned.

Most of yesterday afternoon involved having to re-create a 9-page application form from scratch...

Ian emailed some documents to me which he needed amending and then putting into our being-built team resources folder. Two of these weren't a problem, because they were MS Word documents. The other one, however, was a PDF - we only have Adobe Reader, so I couldn't edit it.

It doesn't help that you can't just copy and paste the contents of a PDF into Word without it losing the formatting / tables / pictures. You need Adobe Editor to edit them.

It turns out we either do not have the technology (we have Adobe Writer, but not Editor?) or do have the technology but not the combined staff brainpower to use it. I spoke to a man called Nathan down in the CLO's office who said the only way it could be edited was to scan a print-out and use OCR to turn it into a Word document... which seems a very convoluted way of doing it to me, but anyway. What's the point of having a programme which creates PDF documents if you can't edit them as well? And WHY isn't there a simple function to translate the blasted things into Word documents anyway? Surely by now these things should be inter-changable.

(Mind you, given that Microsoft Works 6.0 was entirely incompatible with a previous version of itself, I shouldn't expect alien programmes to work with each other, should I?)

ANYWAY. We scanned the thing and ran it through the OCR, which recognised the text just fine, but didn't include any of the nice text boxes or tick boxes or anything else remotely useful. End point, it turned out quicker to re-create the bloody thing from scratch using Word rather than trying to incorporate the bits it had scanned in - the only bit I used was a circle with the word 'seal' in it.

It took me two hours, and it looks almost exactly like the original, except for some sections where I couldn't quite get the tables the right size. But nonetheless, it all works and I've made it unbreakable by using form fields and protecting the rest of it.

Considering it will probably hardly get used ever, it seems an awful waste of two hours. Luckily, there was nothing else to do by way of typing, and it gave me a nice feeling of total power and knowledge when it comes to Word. Easier to create forms, it seems, than work with them afterwards - but that's possibly only because I find the inherent flaws in absolutely everything.

It needed some additional tweaking this morning to sort out the pages and layout and whatnot, but is otherwise absolutely identical to its original.

I rawk. :)

Other than the pwning, today I feel a bit unwell. I woke up this morning with my left eye all scratchy and subsequently rubbed it a little too much... luckily the swelling and redness had died down by the time I left for work. Dunno what that was about. I felt a bit sick this morning also and I've got a headache trying to form, though that's lessened since I started working...

(On some research this morning, it seems you can easily convert PDF to Word using the writer. You can also download programmes which do it for you. Yet another example of BCC technology users not knowing their mouse from their elbow.)

Should be going swimming tonight. I can't remember what we're up to in metres... 160?

PS: Nemo icon being used purely because it has the word 'pwn' in it...
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