Font geeks love to debate readability and myriad other details about fonts. The other thing that matters when editing is being able to tell when the wrong character has been used. Font choice can cleverly conceal a wrong character hiding in a document: a 1 looks like an l, a superscript o looks like a °, an ‘ masquerades as a ′…
Changing the font to one that shows a more drastic difference between characters is one solution. Some editors prefer to edit in Helvetica, Calibri, or Verdana for just such a reason. If you modify the font of the “Normal” Style, it’s easy to undo this font change before finalizing the file. The client will never know the trick that helped you spot those apostrophes that should be primes. Just turn off Track Changes when you change the font.
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Your manuscript just came back from the copyeditor or proofreader. Now what?
It’s time to check the changes the editor made, answer their questions, and clear up any remaining issues. The file will probably go back to the editor for some final clean up. If it doesn’t, you have to clear ALL markup to make it ready for the printer/ production department.
There may be a lot of work left. This is typical and does not mean the writing is terrible. Even if an editor wrote it, she could expect as many edits on her work; writing is like that. Addressing edits takes an average of 1 hr per 2500 words, so settle yourself in and let’s go.
When you’re working on a file, making edits and leaving comments, Word tags every change with your “name.” But is it really your name? Some computers will tag changes and comments with “Computer User”, and some will say gibberish like “adrn9bz”. Set up the system you’re using with your name, role, or business name to help everyone on the team decipher each person’s contribution and to build name recognition for your work.
Where to Find the Settings
You’ll find the “user name” setting in the preferences for Word 365 (Office 2016 or 2019 too).
On a Mac, it’s called User Information and is found in Preferences from the Word menu at the far left.
Windows users will find this setting in the Personalize your copy… section of the General “tab” in Options from the File ribbon. (File > Options > General > Personalize your copy…)
This name will appear on tracked changes and comments in all Office programs, and in the metadata relating to the creator or editor of the file.
Use your business name or moniker if your name is long, like mine, or to remind the team of your business name every time they see one of your comments. Repetition is key to branding and to marketing.
Some clients will want to see your role as the user name, so the team knows which changes were suggested by Copyeditor and which were by The Big Boss. You can change the user name when working on their files. Just remember that the user name applies to all documents you work on from that point forward, not just their file.
It’s Not Working
There are three reasons
that setting the user name goes wrong:
It only works from this point forward. So it won’t change the “Author” tag on any existing changes. This is handy if you want to preserve others’ changes, but annoying if you only remember to change the name in the middle of your work.
The computer’s log in name will be used unless you check the little tick box below the field you entered your name in. You can see the “Always use this name/these values regardless of [how I’m] sign[ed] in to Office” box in the screen grabs above in this post. The wording is slightly different on each operating system just to irk editors.
The file is set to “remove personal info from this file on save.” That’s handy for dropping time stamps, but will completely scupper attempts to keep several reviewers’ input separate or to brand your work with your name. More on that in another post.
Not only does Outline view in Word let you assess the structure of a document, it lets you move chunks of content with a click. On the View ribbon, click Outline in the Views group on the far left. Or at the far right of the document frame, click the icon on the bottom that looks like a bullet list (Figure 1). This displays the document as chunks of content, each marked by a square, minus or plus sign as shown in Figure 2. A plus sign means that there is content “within” that level. In the example, the Shortcut heading has no content “within” it but the List heading does.
Moving Content Chunks
Each block of content can be selected by clicking on the
square/plus/minus sign. Then you can drag it to a new order. Dragging the
content slightly left or right will also nest it under a headline. When a plus
sign is clicked, all content “within” that heading level is selected as well as
the heading. Clicking a square selects that chunk alone.
First Line View
Parading the topic sentences is a great way to check a
document for flow. Rather than scrolling for hours, use Outline view to show
you only the first line of each paragraph. To do this, enable Outline view to
open the Outlining ribbon shown in Figure 3. Then click the box in the Outline
Tools area that says “Show First Line Only.”
In “first line view” you can still select whole blocks of
text and move them around. You can even select whole sections or chapters,
moving them without scrolling for days. Just remember that when you select a
heading chunk, all content “within” that heading is selected too.
The flow of headings is as important as the flow of paragraphs.
To view just the headings in the document, change the “level” of content that
is visible. In the Outline Tools (Figure 3), select how many levels of content
you would like to see from the “Show Level:” box. The “level” of content is set
by applying Styles in Word. If you’re using custom styles, levels need to be
set for them for this view to work.
Viewing headings only, you can move whole swaths of content (even whole chapters) easily just by clicking a blue selector, then dragging the chunk.
Exit Outline View
To view all content again, either set “Show Level:” to “All Levels” or go to a Draft or Print view.
Tired eyes, tiny type? Bump up the font size in the Reviewing Pane to read Comments and tracked changes in MS Word with less strain.
The easiest fix is to change the zoom setting in the Reviewing Pane. This doesn’t change the actual font size, but it makes it easier to read! Scroll down for video demos using Word 365 for Mac and for Windows.(Instructions on increasing font size in Comment balloons are here, but they don’t work in the 2019 version of Word because Comments are now set to “normal” style.)
Zoom to increase the font size
Place the cursor in any comment you can see in the Reviewing Pane. (That’s on the left-hand sidebar shown above).
From the View menu, select Zoom, then click 200% and OK. (Or simply move the zoom slider at the bottom right of the Word window.)
These fast and accurate ways to select text
can revolutionize the way you work. Keyboard shortcuts are especially good when
precision is required to cut, copy, or style content, or when a very large chunk
is concerned. These shortcuts won’t jump unexpectedly like a mouse can.
Not only do these methods work in Word,
they work in most other software including WordPress, Adobe Acrobat, and other
content management systems. (Instructions for Windows users appear in brackets
if they’re different from the Mac instructions.)
Select the word the cursor is in, then the sentence, paragraph, or the whole document using this toggle repeatedly: fn + F8. To quit this mode, press escape.*
Select an entire sentence with cmd + click anywhere in the sentence. (In Windows: ctrl + click)
Select one word forward or back of the cursor’s position with shift + opt + right/left arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + right/left arrow)
Select one paragraph forward or back with shift + opt + up or down arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + down/up arrow)
Select a word with a double-click and the whole paragraph with three clicks.
*The fn key lets you access the root functions of the F keys that are now usually mapped to shortcuts like screen brightness and volume controls. If your F keys don’t operate computer functions, you may not have to press the fn key.