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Stop the insanity!

We've had a silly little problem for a while, but now one of our developers has come up with an insane solution.

The problem is that our application uses WordViewer to display and print RTF documents.

This worked fine until an 'Edit with Microsoft Word' option was added to the WordViewer.  Now the user can use this option to open up the document in Word any easily make changes.

The solution that is about to be pushed into production?

When the report is displayed, Winword.exe is moved to a temporarily location and then moved back when WordViewer is closed.

Of course, the developer in question is extremely pleased with his solution, reinforcing his reputation as somebody who solves problems fast.  He will skip of into the sunset to tackles another problem in his own unique way.

I'm the one who will have to shovel the sh*t that this produces, and if I complain...

I've tried to do my best to convince people of why this is a bad idea, but in the end they think any solution is better than none.

So please help me.  Does anybody know of a legitimate way to remove the 'Edit with Microsoft Word' option from Wordviewer?

Distressed Maintenance Programmer
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Can you let us know which package you are talking about so we can make sure to avoid it like the plague?

Just me (Sir to you)
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Try this post in Google Groups

http://tinyurl.com/3dk4c

Found by searching

disable edit word viewer

Jason
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Assuming that you can, submit a bug to your testing team now:

"Edit with Word" option still appears when a document is already open in Word before our app starts -

his "move the exe" solution will fall over if it's already locked.


In fact, since I use Outlook 2003 with Word for mail editing (God, I might as well *ask* for a flaming ;-) you've got almost no chance of ever being able to move the WinWord.exe on my system

What's so bad about allowing the user to do this, by the way?

SteveM
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

What about detecting if word is installed and just using the automation model to print your docs? And if word isn't installed just keep doing it the way you are now, because obviously the "Edit with Word" item won't work if Word isn't installed.

(But have you considered that being able to edit a doc just before printing might be a benefit? Some of our users like to "touch up" the data in a report or whatever before printing and they use the ability to save a report to a word doc to achieve this.)

Chris Ormerod
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Jason,

Thanks for that.  I spent a while on Google but didn't manage to get the magic combination right.

Others,

I wish I understood why it was such an issue, but mine is not to question why...

Distressed Maintenance Programmer
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"I wish I understood why it was such an issue, but mine is not to question why... "

Ahh, but you should always question anyway. Well thats my opinion and it has worked so far. - if you point out the details of the issue in regards to moving the WinWord.exe, *try* and identify the user need that requires them not to be able to edit the doc in word, then produce sensible alternative resolutions such as those that have been presented here - then most *sane* people/users/managers will be happy for you to give your opinion.

Chris Ormerod
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Seems that your problem is relying on a Microsoft solution in a production environment.  Microsoft is fine for a home user, but when you run a business, well, let's just say you "don't trust content from Microsoft."

Walter C
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Replace your Wordviewer control with a PDF control and publish your documents as PDFs.

Moving someone else's application is just wrong, actually I think it probably borders on the insane and in any reasonably used system Winword.exe will be locked, as already mentioned.

So, if you don't want your users to edit the files put them in an non-editable format (or at least one it takes considerable effort to edit in).

Replacing the control should be reasonably painless.

Simon Lucy
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I just wanted to point out that there's a lot of help I could've given the original poster if he'd put his email address in. Ah well...

Philo

Philo
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

> Does anybody know of a legitimate way to remove the 'Edit with Microsoft Word' option from Wordviewer?

How about simply changing the permissions on the document to make it read-only?

Portabella
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Philo,

I'm staying anonymous in case the programmer in question happens to fall upon the posting.  I want to be able to deny all knowledge ;)

I'd appreciate any help you can give.  This time I've supplied my email.

Distressed Maintenance Programmer
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

This is from a long time ago

But I remember there used to be a product called Outside In or Inso (I think they changed company), which was an embeddable viewer for many formats including word.  There were also other products on similar lines.

S. Tanna
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

I understand that you want the user to be able to view an RTF document, but not edit it? In this case, worrying about their selecting "Edit with Word" in WordViewer's File menu isn't all, since WordPad ships with Windows and is able to open RTF documents as well.

What about adding a window in the app with the RichEdit widget to display an RTF document insteaf of distributing and launching WordViewer?

Some source sample in PowerBasic here:
http://home.aol.com/progfiles/index.htm
http://www.powerbasic.com/support/forums/Forum7/HTML/000411.html

FredF
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Why is it bad to move WinWord.exe?

What happens when your program crashes hard?  User get peeved, and try to open a letter to write a scathering review for Compute! magazine...

Well, now that is not a bad idea... ;-)

T.J.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"I'm staying anonymous in case ..."

You ARE anonymous, even if you include your email address. Your email address stays private unless you reveal it directly to someone.  (BTW, Philo was talking about the Email field in the post/reply form on JoS.

Go ahead, try to figure out MY email address.

A poster will only get your email address if you REPLY to an email THEY send to you.

I.e., the JoS board NEVER reveals your email address.

The real Entrepreneur
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

If im reading the situation correctly I would suggest you put together a 'memo'. A single paper with bulletpoints describing why this is an insane approach along with acceptable alternatives. People here have already provided you good arguments:

o It will fail if word or another application relying on word is already open.

o Potential hard crash if user tries to open such an application while yours is running.

o  Word will be fuxxored if your application terminates unexpectedly. The not so skilled users may just turn off the power when they are done with the computer.

o The more skilled users will be furious if they find out.

etc...

Eric DeBois
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Are the RTF files in a shared directory?

Make the files read-only and the directory read-only for non-administrators.

njkayaker
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"The more skilled users will be furious if they find out."

The skilled users? Surely even quite a basic user is capable of grasping "When I run your thingy and my Word doesn't work. :("

Jack V.
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"I'm staying anonymous in case the programmer in question happens to fall upon the posting".

As if your coworker would be smart enough to know about JOS forums ... =-)

Alyosha`
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

The proposed solution will fail hard if run under a non-admin account - you won't have permission to rename anything under Program Files.

I can't believe that anyone thinks this is a good idea.

If your files are RTF, spend the 30 minutes it takes to write a wrapper around the rich text control and write your own viewer. End of problem!

Chris Tavares
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

How about using the COM interface for Word and do a Print Preview?

I'm stumped by why it's easier to copy winword.exe rather than just run it via COM.

pdq
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Personally, I'd either

- Develop a RTF viewer with printing capabilities, (5 minutes tops using Delphi).

- Install a system wide hook that disables the "Edit with word" menu item/button/whatever while your app is being used.

TJ Haeser
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

If you want to *remove* a menuitem from another window, then check out the "DeleteMenu" apicall.

Why you'd want to do this I don't know.

Alternatively, you can disable it with the same set of apicalls.

poke around.

one meeeellion dollars!
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

"I'm staying anonymous in case the programmer in question happens to fall upon the posting."

Hey bub, you talking about my solution behind my back.  It's a brilliant, cuz I came up with it.  Don't you know that I'm known in the company as the "GO TO" guy. 

You, my friend, cannot replace my excellent solution, no matter how hard you try.  The PHB's are too enamored with my ability to spew off tecno-acrynomns in any conversation.  I am at about 3600 per minute (for you, that's one per second).  Not only that, but the PHB's are mesmerized by my confidence (code monkey's call it arrogance), even when I don't know what I'm talking about. 

So give it up pal, resistance is futile...

Stop talking about me...
Tuesday, February 03, 2004

<i>
Seems that your problem is relying on a Microsoft solution in a production environment.  Microsoft is fine for a home user, but when you run a business, well, let's just say you "don't trust content from Microsoft."
</i>

No, his problem is that they are using a Microsoft "solution" for something it was never intented to be used for in the first place.  Only a moron would abuse the software with a huge kludge to make it do something Microsoft never intended and then lay the blame on Microsoft when it doesn't work as expected.  Of course, our industry is filled with morons, so this sort of shit happens again and again.

Mr. Fancypants
Wednesday, February 04, 2004

The problem is that they were incompetent software developers with no expertise in Windows.

Possible Unix or oss people.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

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