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The questions below are divided into groups:

Click on an item to find out more about it.

Requirements and Installation

What are the software requirements for Chronolator?

Chronolator 3.5 runs on all versions of Microsoft Word™ for Windows from 2000 to 2016 inclusive, both 32 and 64 bit (where available).

Macros must be allowed to run.

Some restrictions for Word versions prior to Word 2007

Microsoft stopped supporting versions of Word earlier than Word 2007 on April 8 2014, but Chronolator will run on Word 2000, 2002 (XP) and 2003 with the following constraints.

By default, Chronolator uses the .docm format introduced by Word 2007. Earlier Word versions can read and write .docm files if the Microsoft Word Compatibility Pack (available here) is installed, and that is sufficient for 2003.

Word 2000 and Word 2002 (XP) cannot run the macros Chronolator requires in a .docm document even if the Compatibility Pack is installed.

If you need to use a Chronolator Document on Word 2000 or on Word XP, or on Word 2003 without the Compatibility Pack, you should ask whoever sent it to you to send you a version in the old .doc format.

Does Chronolator run on Word for Mac?

Chronolator is designed for and tested on Windows versions of Word.

It will definitely NOT run on Word 2008 for Mac, nor on the Word 2016 provided when Office 365 for Mac was released.

It might run OK on other versions, but it is not tested on them and support is not guaranteed.

Will Chronolator run on Word for Mac in future?

Possibly, but not until Microsoft provide better Mac support for Visual Basic for Applications (the programming language Chronolator uses).

How do I install Chronolator?

If you have received a Chronolator Document to complete, there is nothing else to install - all the required software is included in the document macros.

If you want to create your own Chronolator Documents, see the Installation page.

General Usage

What are the differences between the various versions of Chronolator?

Please refer to the Release History page.

Can I protect a Chronolator document with a password?

Chronolator takes nothing away from Word, so you can use its standard password protection features as usual.

Note that a bug in Word means that passwords for Chronolator Documents must not be longer than 15 characters. 

  • In Word 2010 and later, press the File tab on the Ribbon, and then press Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password: Password in Backstage View
  • Alternatively, in all versions of Word you can use the General Options dropdown on the Save As dialog : Password in Save As

Can you add this or that feature to Chronolator?

Chronolator add-ins allow new features to be implemented quickly by the creation of stand-alone additions which can be attached to a chronology. See the Add-ins page for currently downloadable add-ins.

Please contact us at the address on the suggestions page if there is something that you would like Chronolator to do that is not included.

Known Problems

These are the ongoing issues we have so far been unable to fix or circumvent. Please refer to the Release History page for details of problems fixed in each Chronolator version. If your problem is neither fixed in the latest release nor mentioned below, please describe it as fully as you can in an email to bugs@chronolator.co.uk.

Word issues an Insert a Smart Card Security Message when opening a Chronology Document.

This can occur if the digital certificate with which Chronolator macros are signed has expired.

Please note that an expired certificate does not mean that the macros are unsafe.

Possible circumventions:

  • Press Cancel in reply to the message; you will then be able to enable macros as usual.
  • Upgrade to the latest version of Chronolator.

Chronolator Documents are claimed to contain a virus. Emails containing them are flagged as Spam, and / or the documents are removed.

Why it happens

(If you are not interested in the background and just want to get round the problem, jump to Solutions.

Chronolator uses macros to implement its features. Macros can also be used to spread computer viruses, and in recent times this practice has become more prevalent.

Some organisations err on the safe side and block all macro-containing documents. Others block the .docm file type because it makes it obvious that the document might contain macros.

Still others have adopted a more fine-grained approach, inspecting documents that contain macros and blocking them only if the macros contain a virus.

The ideal solution

If the problem is confined to your own organisation, you can point out to your IT department that they can allow Chronolator macros to run safely while continuing to prevent malicious macros. The document Group Policy settings for Chronolator Macros explains how to do this. You might also like to advise them about the inconvenience and delay caused to your review process, emphasising the statutory nature of your reviews if appropriate.

Unfortunately, emails go though a number of different organisations on their way from the sender to the recipient, and the 'ideal solution' can be difficult or impossible to achieve.

There are a number of possible circumventions.

Circumventions

Depending on the exact nature of the problem, there are a few things you might do to circumvent it:

1. Use an alternative means of transmission

The major symptom of this problem is that you cannot send or receive emails with Chronolator Document attachments. Here are some possible alternatives to email:

  • send the documents on a USB or CD; however, beware that few organisations now allow their use;
  • if you have a Web site, add a secure area to it at which Chronolator documents can be exchanged;
  • use a public data transfer service. There are many, but here are some suggestions:
2. Use the .doc file type

Some organisations block the .docm file type, as it makes it obvious that the document might contain macros.

Chronolator works just as well with the .doc file type. You can save a document as a .doc by choosing Word 97-2003 document(*.doc) in Word's Save As dialog. You can do this when you create a new Chronology Document. If you have already made a .docm, just open it and save it as a .doc.

Some email systems might even block a .doc file. If so, try protecting it with a password as well. See Can I protect a Chronolator document with a password? for how to do do so.

3. Use plain Word (.docx) documents, possibly with the Chronolator Conversion Tool

If you cannot find a way to exchange Chronolator Documents with macros, you can always use plain Word documents.

Use the Publish > Exact Copy button on the Chronolator toolbar to create one from a Chronolator Document.

Using plain Word documents obviously has the disadvantage that none of Chronolator's features, particularly error checking, will be available to the person completing the chronology. However, it is possible to add Chronolator macros to a Published document by using the Chronolator Conversion Tool (see here for details).

If you are administering a review, you could ask your partner agencies:

  • when they receive the .docx, to add macros to it using the conversion tool ;
  • when they have completed the chronology, to use the Publish > Exact Copy button to create a document to return to you.

In the worst case, if partners are blocked from or are unwilling to use the tool, you can let them complete the plain Word document and then use the conversion tool yourself on its return.

4. Use the Chronolator Browser Tools

The Chronolator Browser Tools run in a web browser such as Chrome. It is important to note that only the software resides on the Web. Your chronologies stay on your computer, completely under your control. Their confidentiality is not compromised.

You can use the Publish > JSON button on the Chronolator toolbar to create a JSON file that the Browser Tools can read.

JSON ('Javascript Object Notation') is a text-based format commonly used for exchanging data.

Partner agencies can use the Chronolator Data Entry Tool to complete their chronology. The tool includes its own Help, which explains how they can save it and return it to you.

The Sort Tables button sometimes does not work.

This is usually a problem with Word versions and maintenance levels, but might also occur if you have a variety of exotic date/time formats in your document. In either case, format the dates to the ISO date format ("yyyy-mm-dd") before sorting. After sorting, reformat the dates to the one you want.

I get a Microsoft Visual Basic error Run-time Error '4120': Bad parameter when opening a Chronolator document.

There are two known causes of this error:

  • Your name and initials are not set in Word 2007. Microsoft has accepted this as a problem with certain installations (see this Knowledgebase article).

    Please ensure that your user name and the initials are set up in the Word Options dialog box.

    To do this, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, enter a user name and initials under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office, and then click OK.

  • The document is protected with a password longer than 15 characters. Protecting it with a password of 15 characters or less will remove the problem.

I get a Microsoft Visual Basic error Run-time Error '4605': This property or method is not available . . . when opening a Chronolator document.

This problem can occur when you open a Chronolator document attached to an email and Word is set to open email attachments in Reading View. To avoid it, either save the attachment to disk and open the saved copy, or prevent Word from opening email attachments in Reading View by following the appropriate instructions for your version of Word:
  • Word 2003: click Tools, click Options, click on the General tab, clear the Allow starting in Reading Layout check box, and then click OK.
  • Word 2007: click the Microsoft Office Button, click Word Options, clear the Open e-mail attachments in Full Screen Reading view check box, and then click OK.
  • Word 2010: click the File tab, click Options, clear the Open e-mail attachments in Full Screen Reading view check box, and then click OK.
  • Word 2013 and 2016: click the File tab, click Options, clear the Open e-mail attachments and other uneditable files in reading view check box, and then click OK.

I get a Microsoft Visual Basic error Run-time Error: -2147467259 (80004005) Method 'Visible of object 'CommandBar' failed

This has been seen to happen when opening a document in Word 2010 or 2013 and Trust Center settings are such that:

  1. you do not have to explicitly enable macros AND
  2. your document opens in Protected View

You can circumvent this bug in Word by changing your Trust Center settings. There is some information about Protected View and the Trust Center in Appendix A of Using Chronolator Documents.

I get a Microsoft Visual Basic error Run-time Error '5394': This document could not be registered . . . .

The problem occurs if a document is stored in a deeply-nested folder structure that makes the path to it exceed the system limit of 260 characters (see here).

To circumvent the problem, move the document into a folder further up the hierarchy, or shorten the names of the folders in the hierarchy.

Chronolator issues Message 6000 Unexpected Processing Error

Known causes of this message are listed below, together with any circumventions.

Message 6000 when macros are allowed to run automatically and a document opens in Protected View

This has been seen to happen when opening a document in Word 2010 or 2013 and Trust Center settings are such that:

  1. you do not have to explicitly enable macros AND
  2. your document opens in Protected View

You can circumvent this bug in Word by changing your Trust Center settings. There is some information about Protected View and the Trust Center in Appendix A of Using Chronolator Documents.

Chronolator - the chronology tool. Copyright © 2005 - 2020 Berrick Computing Ltd. All rights reserved.

Contact us at enquiries@chronolator.co.uk