Tag Archives: editing

Fonts for Editing

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 ′…

screen capture showing one and ell are nearly identical in Times New Roman font as well as the similarity between a superscript letter O and a degree symbol.
Times New Roman makes telling the difference between a 1 and an l nearly impossible. The superscript O versus the degree symbol is easier to spot; if you know what it should look like, that is.
colour reveals which character is the one
The pink character in this word is actually the digit one. There are some indicators such as spacing and height, but it’s not easy to tell at usual working magnification.

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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What to Do With an Edited Word File

shocked flickr-com:photos:84744710@N06:7997288513:
After you freak out over at all the mark-up, tell yourself this is typical for professional writing, take a breath, and roll up your sleeves.
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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.

Short Version| Long Version

Continue reading What to Do With an Edited Word File

Set User Info to Brand Your Comments in Word

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.

Branding Tip

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.

screen capture of name tag on a Comment and a Tracked Change in Word 365

It’s Not Working

There are three reasons that setting the user name goes wrong:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Structural Editing Using Word’s Outline View

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.

Figure 1. The outline button on the bottom border of the window looks like a bullet list.

Moving Content Chunks

Figure 2. Each chunk of heading is marked by a minus or plus sign in outline view, and paragraphs are marked with a dot.

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.

Figure 3. The Outlining ribbon.

Headings View

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.

Try It Now!

Head over to the new post with an exercise you can use to test your understanding.

And see this other post for another way to use Styles to see structure, and even work with it a bit in the Navigation pane.


In another post, we’ll look at other uses for Outline view, such as changing “levels” of content in the document.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on working with Outline view, start on p. 68 of the book.


Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

Fix the Tiny Type Size in Word’s Comments

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

Use cmd + H (or ctrl + H on Windows) to open this sidebar. Then click the page-like icon to see this Reviewing Pane.
  1. Place the cursor in any comment you can see in the Reviewing Pane. (That’s on the left-hand sidebar shown above).
  2. 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.)

Mac demo

Windows demo

Other resources:
http://legalofficeguru.com/shrunken-comment-balloon/

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more about using Track Changes starting on pp. 8–26 of the book.


Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the new Q&A thread.


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By practicing one tip each week, you can invest 13 hours this year into professional development. To search the blog, use the orange bar right above this.


© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

5 Magic Ways to Select Text in MS Word

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.)

  1. 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.*
  2. Select an entire sentence with cmd + click anywhere in the sentence. (In Windows: ctrl + click)
  3. Select one word forward or back of the cursor’s position with shift + opt + right/left arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + right/left arrow)
  4. Select one paragraph forward or back with shift + opt + up or down arrow. (In Windows: shift + ctrl + down/up arrow)
  5. 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.

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more about Alternatives to Macros, starting on p. 76 of the book.

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cover of Editing in Word 2016 2nd ed