Werecats are shapeshifters.


NOTE: Werecat is a discontinued project.
Many errors remain and Werecat will often fail, especially with Word 2007 or newer.

I keep this web page up just for those who know their ways around.
Newcomers are discouraged from messing with Werecat.



Werecat is a template for MS Word to help Wordfast users. Red Werecat extracts text from PowerPoint to Word. Blue Werecat extracts text from textboxes and similar objects (shapes) from Word documents.

This is useful if you want to analyse or align PPT files or text in Word textboxes. Extracting text is safe; Werecat does not change the original file in any way (and even if it does, it does not save the file, so you can easily close it without saving changes, which is recommended).

But there's more. You can translate the extracted text in Word, clean it up, and send the text back to the original file (PowerPoint or Word). To succeed, you need to follow a few simple rules, explained below.

Important: Werecat cannot guarantee the result. You will always run Werecat at your own risk. Don't forget she is feline.


How it works

Download Werecat (released on 19 April 2008).

After download, unzip Werecat, and add it as a template to MS Word using Tools > Templates and Addins menu > Add button.

Word 2007: Click the Office button, then Word Options. Choose Addins on the left-hand side. Select Word Addins in the drop-down menu in the right bottom corner and click Go. Lo and behold, you'll finally see the dialog to add Werecat.

Extracting text
First of all, activate Werecat in Word. To do this, go to Tools > Templates and Addins menu in Word and make sure Werecat is checked. Confirm by OK. You should now see Werecat's toolbar (two icons with cat paws). If you don't, open any document in Word and make sure Werecat is checked in View > Toolbars menu in Word.

Red Werecat: Open your PPT file in PowerPoint. Only one file in PPT must be open. Go to Word and click the Red Werecat icon (red paw). Werecat should import the text from the PPT file into a new Word document.

Blue Werecat: Open your document in Word and click the Blue Werecat icon (blue paw). Werecat should import most text from textboxes and other similar shapes from the master document into a new Word document.

Werecat does not save the new, extracted document. Do it yourself. For testing purposes, you don't even need to save it.

The extracted Word doc is great for analysis - and having it for analysis only is perhaps good enough.

Note: If you want to count the words in the document using the Word Count feature in MS Word (or any other similar tool), you will want to delete the grey Werecat lines in the extracted document. To do this, use Find and Replace in Word. Search for text marked with tw4winExternal style and replace it with nothing. If you need to know more, click here.

Werecat may do some minor changes in the original file but these are normally undone at the end of the process. I recommend closing the original file (PowerPoint file or master Word document) without saving it.

When translating the extracted document, you can keep the original file open or you can close it.

If the extracted document is larger, I recommend testing the whole process prior to translating it fully, to make sure there's no hidden problem from the outset. When testing, work with a copy of your original file. Extract it, select all text in the new Word document, and apply red (or any other) font colour. Send the text back (as explained below) and see if the original file receives all the red text as it should.

Sending the text back (after translation and cleanup)
Red Werecat: Have the PPT file open in PowerPoint (and only this file). Have the extracted (and now translated) Word document open in Word. Click the red paw icon.

Blue Werecat: Have the extracted (and now translated) document open in MS Word and click the blue paw icon.

Werecat will send the translated text back to the original file. Hopefully, it will work well for you, without missing any text and without changing the formatting or stuff but, again, there is no guarantee.

If Werecat encounters a problem when sending text back in the original document, it will attempt to select the troublesome section in the extracted document for you to see before it breaks. If the problem for Red Werecat is the difference in the number of paragraphs, it will also tell you what the number of paragraphs in PPT is. Make sure the number of paragraphs in your translation is identical before you run Werecat again.


Important Rules

Make sure you observe the following rules. If you don't, Werecat will hiss and claw.

  • Always work with a copy of your original file! If anything goes wrong, you need a fresh copy to fall back to.
  • Make sure you save the original file before you use Werecat.
  • After you extract the text, don't save any potential changes in the original file.
  • Don't change anything in the original file when the text is extracted to Word. Changes could easily confuse Werecat.
  • Do not rename the original document while the text is extracted if you intend to send the text back.
  • Do not to change the tw4winExternal (gray) lines in the extracted document.
  • Red Werecat: Do not to add or delete paragraphs in the extracted Word document if you intend to send the text back in PowerPoint. For Red Werecat, it is absolutely necessary to make sure paragraphs are kept as they are - same number, same order.
    I understand this can be extremely painful if the document includes sentences broken to pieces by paragraph marks. If this happens, either first fix the original document, or better don't rely on Werecat.
    For experts: alternatively, replace the hindering paragraph marks in the document by tw4winInternal tags, such as <para>, translate, and then replace these added internal tags with paragraph marks again.


Known Issues

Red Werecat will fail to send back the text in some PowerPoint 2007 (or newer) documents.

Red Werecat: When you send text back to PowerPoint, all text within a paragraph will be in the same font size. If the original PowerPoint presentation uses different font sizes within a paragraph, you will need to restore this specific formatting peculiarity after you send the text back. (Other font attributes should be preserved!)

Red Werecat: Merged table cells in PowerPoint are shown as multiple cells with the same text content in the extracted Word document (this can be an issue concerning analysis if there are many tables with merged cells in your PowerPoint presentation). Sending the text back to PPT is OK - the text appears just once in the merged cell again.

Red Werecat: Dynamic fields in the PPT file (that's the slide number only, as far as I noticed) may turn to normal, static text when the translation is sent back to PowerPoint (I believe this happens in Office 97 and 2000).

Werecat does not extract text from embedded objects, like Excel tables or graphs within Word or PowerPoint documents.