rubicon has cooperated with Microsoft to develop a globally unique gendering add-in for MS Office Word that was presented today at the Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria. The add-in helps with the implementation of gender-specific syntax.
Checking and changing text
The gendering add-in adds a further tab to the Office menu navigation and is therefore very easy to call up. Once a text is complete the tool provides the user with hints for gender-based improvements. This helps avoid constraint and encourages rethinking.
The corresponding words are highlighted in color and a selection list of alternative terms is provided. Grammatical rules specific to the German language (such as articles and endings) are automatically taken into account. When review and editing are completed the gender-specific markings are removed and the document is then ready for further processing.
Users are also able to adapt the module to suit their own requirements or to extend it further. For instance, they can add new search and replacement terms.
The design of the underlying catalog allows the creation of a central XML file on an Intranet server, in the Cloud or a Fileshare or Microsoft Office SharePoint server via a registry entry. This enables central maintenance for all users.
“The federal government will start using this unique tool immediately and continue to practice the consistent use of gender-sensitive language. I hope that many corporations will follow suit and quickly accept the program”, says Gabriele Heinisch-Hosek, federal minister for women’s’ issues and public services.
The gendering add-in is available as Open Source software in the form of a ready-to-go installation package and also as in the form of compilable code via http://gendering.codeplex.com/ in conjunction with a free-of-charge license.