Tag Archives: best practices

When to Use Vertical Lists

Vertical lists are a useful structure in plain language principles for document architecture, because they aid reading. But they also provide visual prominence to the content, and sometimes that’s not warranted or desired. So, when should you use a vertical list and when should you not? Even within the guidelines we find below, there is room for personal preference, house style, and conventions of the medium. For example, recipes will always place ingredients in a vertical list.

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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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