All posts by Adrienne Montgomerie

Adrienne is an editing instructor and certified copyeditor with 20+ years experience editing technical materials that inform and educate. She created the Right Angels and Polo Bears podcast in 2013 and has published books on science, editing, and freelancing.

Q&A: Where Is the Mid-Document Word Count?

QWord used to show me what word I was on out of the total word count. Where has that gone?

AThat feature is no more, but here’s a workaround because it was uesful to track our progress and as place markers or reference points within the document that weren’t affected by font and spacing choices.

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Counting Words in Word

Word counts are used to plan layout (and marketing), to schedule the time it will take for various phases of development, editing and production, to estimate costs, and track our progress. They can also be used as place markers or reference points that aren’t affected by font and spacing choices.

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When to Make Silent Changes

When routine changes like turning two spaces into one are tracked, it creates a sea of markup that obscures the changes that 1) actually are negotiable and 2) really matter. It can lead to absolute overwhelm, resulting in a client who just “accepts all” without a meaningful review; or who literally wears out their mouse clicking “accept” on a myriad of non-negotiable changes to house style.

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Tracking Changes in PowerPoint Slides

Forced to edit a slide presentation and missing Word’s Track Changes? “Compare” to the rescue! Just save the PowerPoint file with a new name, and make your changes. Then, select Compare on PowerPoint’s Review ribbon. (Only Windows users get this option, sorry Mac users.)

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Try This! Track Changes in Word

Track Changes is a feature of Word that lets each person on the team show their suggested revisions and leave comments “attached” to content without becoming part of the content itself (and thus avoiding the disastrous embarassement of comments making it into the final product).

Download this 132 kb file, then try the steps below. Check your work against the answer figure shown at the end.

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Reduce Picture Bloat in Word Files

You already know how to remove all pictures from a file in a single click, but what if you need to keep those images in place? Checking visual content is a key editorial task, after all. Or what if the Word file is producing the output so the pictures are required? Many reports and ebooks are designed in Word!

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Shrink Files by Deleting Unused Styles

Word files can get bloated, taking up far more MB than they should. If you’re dealing with a book-length manuscript full of tracked changes and comments, that bloat can bog down the computer and lead to failures, glitches, and basic Office malfeasance.

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