Dragons in the Algorithm
Adventures in Programming
by Michael Chermside

Category: Uncategorized

Removing the "Macros" warning in PowerPoint

When you open any PowerPoint presentation made by my company's default presentation format, you get a warning that it contains macros and asking whether the macros should be disabled. The macros are useless, but removing this is somewhat awkward and difficult to remember so I'm writing down the instructions.

  1. Launch PowerPoint (these instructions work for Office 2010).
  2. Open the presentation to be fixed.
  3. Go to the File menu, and select "Options".
  4. Select "Customize Ribbon".
  5. On the right-hand side of the complex dialog find the "Main Tabs" section. Check the checkbox next to the "Developer" tab.
  6. Click "OK" and return. You should now have a "Developer" menu above the ribbon.
  7. Select the "Developer" menu to display the developer ribbon.
  8. On the ribbon, click the button labeled "Visual Basic"
  9. In the upper-left-hand side of the screen there is something labeled "VBAProject" with sub-folders labeled "Modules" some of which have entries with names like "Module1". You may have to expand the tree-view widget to see some of these.
  10. For each module, double-clicking will open it. Those that are completely blank (all of them in my company's template) are useless and can clearly be deleted.
  11. Delete a module by closing it (if you had opened it), then right-clicking on the module and selecting "Remove Module1...". It will offer to save, but you won't need to do that.
  12. After doing this for all unwanted modules, go to the "File" menu and select "Close and Return to Microsoft PowerPoint".
  13. Save your newly-changed document.

By the way, in case anyone couldn't tell, after experience with it I really hate Microsoft's "ribbon". The old approach "Menus" required people to look around through lots of menus to find the commands they needed (although if they used a command frequently, they could read the menu to see what keyboard command would execute that). Power users could modify the menus if they wanted to (but hardly anyone did). In the new "Ribbon" interface, the commands that people use a lot are just one click away -- as long as you know what arcane icon represents the action that you want to perform. If you need to find a new command you no longer have to look through the menus to find it... instead you simply perform a web search to find someone else who ran that command and follow the arcane set of clicks that they wrote in order to locate the mysterious and well-hidden button that performs the action. Power-users are people who know how to perform an action without looking it up on the web.

Posted Mon 30 January 2012 by mcherm in Uncategorized

Setting Low Prices

I am in no way an expert on the tricky art of pricing, but I do have an interesting thought about the pricing of very cheap things.

By very cheap things, I am particularly thinking about electronic goods. People buy information (views of articles and things like that) or applications …

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Posted Mon 27 June 2011 by mcherm in Uncategorized

Set Default Address Book in Outlook 2010

So, I got a new PC at work, and I moved to Outlook 2010. A great annoyance was that whenever I tried sending email, the entire global corporate address book popped up. After some time searching, I figured out how to change this setting, and thought I should record my …

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Posted Fri 25 March 2011 by mcherm in Uncategorized

Estimate Units

When you estimate tasks, should the estimates be done in hours, or in days?

As I see it, the big advantage of estimating in hours is that if you THINK in hours, you tend to get a more accurate estimate. There are lots of development tasks which will seem like …

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Posted Fri 13 February 2009 by mcherm in Uncategorized