TransTools is a free (for personal use) suite of tools to help clean up with the text in Word, Excel, Visio and AutoCAD files. It's aimed at translators but could prove useful for many others.
The program installed easily, with no hassles. It seems to work just about anywhere - there are separate Office add-ins for 2003 and earlier, 2007 and later, 32 or 64-bit - and correctly added itself to our Word and Excel 2013 ribbons.
The Word add-in features a Document Cleaner which tidies up documents produced by OCR or PDF conversion software. This can restore more consistent formatting (fonts, font sizes, spaces, styles), remove unwanted frames, correct problems with tables, reset indentation, remove text highlighting, shading and more. Just choose the actions you need, and click to carry them out.
There are also many smaller corrective options. You're able to remove excessive spaces, and replace them in various ways (with spaces, tabs, a new line or paragraph). A "Remove Highlight" tool can strip out highlights in a particular colour. And the Non-breaking Space Checker does what its name suggests, scanning your document to ensure any non-breaking spaces are used correctly.
The Excel add-in has several more spreadsheet-specific tools. The Cell Resize Wizard resizes cells as required to make text fully visible, for instance, while the Translation > Extract... tool extracts all unique text and displays it in a separate workbook. But there are also simpler formatting tools, including options to remove highlighting or excessive spacing.
We didn't try them, but it seems that TransTools for Visio and AutoCAD work like a stripped down version of the Excel add-in, extracting text from the document, then allowing you to merge it back - with any translations or modifications - later.
Version 3.7 changes (full history):
•Added a new tool – Spellcheck Assistant (TransTools for Word). This tool extends Microsoft Word's built-in spellchecking functionality. You can quickly look through all spellchecking errors in the document, add selected errors to one or several custom dictionaries, create special lists of spelling errors for external programs, assign a language to the entire document or parts of it, and do many other things.
•Added a new option in Tag Cleaner command (Document Cleaner tool in TransTools for Word) – Normalize font color. This option applies the first font color used in a paragraph to other text in the same paragraph if the colors are similar.
•Tag Cleaner command (Document Cleaner tool in TransTools for Word) now displays a notification if additional tags can be cleaned by activating other tag cleaning options. If you see this notification, you can check the specified options and press Clean Tags button again to remove more tags from the document.
•Fixed a bug in Table Aligner command (Document Cleaner in TransTools for Word) which caused borders in some tables to be aligned incorrectly.