If you would like to display files created in MS Word, Excel, Corel, Microsoft Equation, PowerPoint, Mind Manager, etc. you can use the OLE component. The OLE component can display files created with any application that supports OLE 2.0. If this application supports in-place activation, you will also be able to edit these files without quitting SuperMemo. For example, if you insert a MS Word document into an OLE component and switch to editing mode, SuperMemo menus and toolbars will be replaced by Word menus and toolbars.
As all other components, the OLE component is available from the Compose toolbar. To be able to edit files inserted in the OLE component you will need an appropriate server application (e.g. MS Word, Corel, Mind Manager, etc.). However, you do not need any software to display these files in the presentation mode.
To add an OLE component, click three points:
- OLE button on the Compose toolbar
- Top-left corner of the area you want your OLE file displayed (in the element window)
- Bottom-right corner of the area you want your OLE file displayed
The OLE component will show as an empty rectangle.
If you want to import a ready file, right-click the OLE component, and choose Insert OLE object, click Create from File in the Insert Object dialog box and choose the file by typing its name or clicking Browse.
If you want to create a new file and edit its contents, right-click the OLE component, and choose Insert OLE object, and pick from the list of OLE servers available in your Windows installation. When you click OK, the appropriate server will be called and you will be able to edit your file (e.g. Microsoft equation, Excel chart, PowerPoint presentation, etc.). When you press Esc, SuperMemo will display the file in the presentation mode (i.e. the way it will look during repetitions or on the computer of the users of your collection).
Please note that the pop-up menu in the OLE component is mode sensitive, i.e. it will display the OLE server pop-up menu in the editing mode and standard SuperMemo options in the presentation mode. In the presentation mode you will be able to use options such as Display At, Answer, Border, etc. In the editing mode you will be able to use options depending on your OLE server (e.g. if your server is MS Excel, you will be able to use Cut, Copy, Format cells, etc.).
The simplest way to switch between presentation and editing modes is to choose one of the following:
- Alt+click over the element display area
- press Ctrl+T until you reach the OLE component
- click the Editing mode button (blue-notebook) on the Edit tab
In the picture below, OLE component is used to import an editable mind-map created with Mind Manager (courtesy of John England, TeamLink Australia Pty Ltd):
If your OLE server shows stability problems or does not work seamlessly with SuperMemo, your OLE file may still work fine in the presentation mode. You will be able to redistribute your collection without worrying about its performance on the user's machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
(Tomasz Szynalski, Poland, Dec 2, 1998)
When I create an MS Equation formula in the OLE component, the equation is unnaturally large and distorted. How can I go around this bug?
Rendering of the OLE object is done by the server application, MS Equation in this case. You have to fix the problem in MS Equation by adjusting display attributes (e.g. reducing the size of fonts in this case)