Version Editor
Version Charts

Online Resources for the Study of Rabbinic Literature

Dissertations

Version Editor

created by Richard Hidary

 

Version Editor is a macro add-in for Excel that facilitates lining up parallel versions of Hebrew texts. This can be useful for analyzing manuscript variants as well as close parallels. This program is free for the benefit of rabbinics scholars. I do, however, request that if you prepare a chart of a complete sugya or section of text that you share it by emailing it to me so that I can post it on this site.

 

This program is designed for Excel 2002 running under Windows XP Professional. If you try it in a different environment please let me know if it works. This is not a professional program so although it does work smoothly, please save often. Also, the program slows down when dealing with large amount of texts in one worksheet. Therefore, I recommend putting no more than one 'amud of Bavli per worksheet (there are three worksheets in a workbook by default but you can add more, see sample file). You must choose exactly what section of text you will place on each worksheet before you begin because you cannot move it later on (you can however, delete from the end to make it shorter).

 

Installation Instructions for Windows before Vista and older versions of Office:

 

  1. Download this file: Version Editor.xla. Save it to C:\Documents and Settings\YOUR LOGIN ACCOUNT\Application Data\Microsoft\AddIns. (You can also save it anywhere on your computer and just browse for it later.)
  2. Open Excel. Open Tools --> Addins. Press the Browse button in the pop-up window. Select Version Editor.xla and press OK and OK. If you see a new toolbar open up on top of Excel with menu options for "Repeat" "Parallel" "Insert All"..., then you have installed successfully.

The above will work with older Windows versions and older Office versions. With newer windows (Windows Vista, 7 or 8) and newer office versions these would be the instructions.

 

1. Download the file Version Editor<Version Editor.xla>. Save it to %appdata%\microsoft\addins

 

If you have an Excel version older then "2007" Follow the above instructions in number 2, otherwiise;

 

2. Open Excel. Go to; File; Options; Add-Ins; Click the Go button on the bottom to the right of "Manage" Click the box to the left of "Version Editor"; Then press ok. You should see a new item titles "Add-Ins" on top of Excel, Click that and you will see "Repeat" "Parallel" "Insert All"

 

3. If the instructions are not followed exactly the Toolbar will show up but the buttons won't work to fix that do the following;

 

a. Right click on any of the buttons and click delete custom toolbar. Then start over and follow the instructions exactly.

 

 

 

 

Instructions for Use:

 

  1. Copy first version of text from Word document into clipboard. (Do not copy directly from Responsa CD-ROM or Lieberman Bavli Database.)
  2. Go to Excel. Select the worksheet that you would like to use. Rename the worksheet now if you wish. Do not rename the worksheet after this step or all meta-data will be lost. See further at step 9.
  3. In Excel click on "Changes" on the Version Editor toolbar, then "Add Version," then "From Clipboard." Click OK. (Don't use the other options regarding sections. This is for functionality that I never developed.) You should see your selected text placed into the excel file one word per box in ten columns.
  4. Now repeat step 3 for all further manuscripts or versions.
  5. Label the versions by typing in the name of each version in row 1 column K. Then press "Insert All" to reformat. Your labels will be repeated for every row.
  6. Color the versions by changing the text color in column J of the first row. Press "insert All" to reformat. The color you chose will be applied to the entire version. Color each version a different color for easier visibility.
  7. Change the order of the versions if you wish by clicking "Changes" on the Version Editor toolbar and clicking "Move Versions." Delete a version by pressing "Delete Version."
  8. Line up parallel words one in the same column by using the Insert and Delete buttons. "Insert All" inserts one space in all versions. "Insert One" moves all words in the selected  version ahead one space starting from the selected cell to the end. The above two operations can be easily undone by the Delete buttons. "Delete All" will delete one cell from all versions at the point of the selected cell while "Delete One" will delete one cell only form the selected version. If you need to insert or delete many cells use the "Repeat" button. This program can attempt to find the next parallel to a word by itself by pressing the "Parallel" button. It will search the next few cells for an exact match to the currently selected cell in all other versions and will push it up to the match if found.
  9. This program allows you to undo one previous action by pressing "Edit" "Undo" (Cntrl + Z) but there is no way to undo more than that. Therefore you should save your file often in case you delete something by mistake and need to revert to the most recent save.
  10. In case you do need to rename a worksheet while in progress follow these steps: Select "Format," "Sheet," "Unhide." Select "Sheet1VECodes" (assuming the name of the worksheet you want to rename is called Sheet 1). Then rename the worksheet you are working on to "NEWNAME" (whatever the name you choose is) and rename the sheet you just unhid to "NEWNAMEVECodes."
  11. You can change the layout of the sheet by adding lines at the beginning so that you can add header information or change the number of columns by selecting "Changes" and "Layout."