Tag Archives: efficiency

Word Essentials, 4-week course

Join fellow editors in this 4-week course on the essentials of Word for editors, starting May 26th. Hit the editing desk at full speed!


  • Mac or Windows computer
  • Internet access
  • Video watching & docx file download ability
  • MS Word 365 (or as old as Word 2019*)
  • Free Slack account
  • No editing experience required!

*Not much has changed since the 2016 version of Word, so users of older versions will get a lot out of this course too.

What you’ll learn

Beyond the basics of:

  • Track Changes
  • Styles
  • Find & Replace (with RegEx & Wildcards)

See the full course syllabus at Archer Editorial Training!

How it works

Each week at noon Eastern on Thursday, we’ll gather in our exclusive Slack channel to check in, problem solve, and talk about that week’s lesson. The lessons are available for you to view, review, and complete at any time.

Each lesson has a short reading, a video demo or two (for Mac and Windows, both), and an exercise. There is no grading, only learning opportunities. We concentrate on using the tools, not on the language of the materials.

There will be one wrap-up check-in after the 4th lesson, to address any lingering questions or insights.

Can’t make the time slot?

Not to worry! The course materials are always available on Archer Editorial Training and our course Slack channel will be available any time. Access never expires! The instructor will check messages and posts daily.


US $100 — register now

About the instructor

Adrienne Montgomerie literally wrote the book on Editing in Word and has been teaching editors to use Word since 2012. Learn more at Archer Editorial Training!

New Edition of EIW365 Available Now

book cover of eiw365
Teachers, request a desk copy to consider this resource for your classes.

Head on over to Lulu to buy the epub, updated and doubled in size!

In the preface, you’ll find a password for the resource site where you’ll find:

  • 200 tutorial demo videos
  • Exercise file downloads
  • Further readings
  • Links to recommended resources
  • Extras like editing checklists & cheat sheets
  • Updates that support ongoing Word changes
  • Other download formats of the book, like PDF to print it or mobi for Kindle

Read Ebooks without a Special Device

Don’t have a Kindle or Kobo? No problem! The epub file will open right on your computer (or phone!) with software you already have!

  • Windows opens with Adobe Digital Editions
  • Mac opens in iBooks
  • Android opens in Google Play
  • iPhone opens in iBooks
  • iPad opens in iBooks
  • Chromebook opens in OverDrive

Plus, a PDF version is available from the support site for download and printing at your convenience.

What’s in the New Edition?

Now double the size, this expanded and updated edition incorporates an entire booklet on working with tables and three sections on ways to customize your workspace and combine and manipulate the features to hack the tools for maximum effect. Plus, it covers all of Word’s updates including changes to Modern Comments, Track Changes, Spellcheck, and the new Editor toolset.

Peek at the table of contents:

Click image to enlarge it

Try an Exercise

The book contains over 29 self-check exercises like this one on using styles. Click the button to try the exercise.

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

© 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!

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.

Continue reading Try This! Track Changes in Word

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.

Continue reading Shrink Files by Deleting Unused Styles

Streamline Accepting Changes

Click less when resolving tracked changes with this pro tip!

Find this menu of commands by clicking the tiny down arrow beside the Accept icon on the Reviewing ribbon.

Reject changes you do not like, and leave the rest. That leaves a
document full of changes that you do want to accept. Then, select Accept All Changes from the Review ribbon and clean up the file with a single click!

Continue reading Streamline Accepting Changes

Spot What Tracked Changes Can Hide

Open this menu in the Track Changes area of the Review ribbon.

Always give a document a once-over in Simple Markup or No Markup view before submitting it as a finished edit. This often reveals a bunch of formatting errors that arise from working with markup displayed (that is, with Track Changes visible). Common errors often obscured by the redlining on the screen include:

  • double spaces between words,
  • spaces around punctuation, or
  • no spaces between words.
Continue reading Spot What Tracked Changes Can Hide

How to Get a Word Count from a PDF using Word

Whether you need a word count for estimation or billing purposes, or for something else entirely, MS Word comes to the rescue. There are two easy ways to get text from a PDF into Word:

  • Paste the contents into Word
  • Open the file in Word

Pasting text into Word is simplest, but it doesn’t work with every file type. To get the whole contents of a slide set, for example, first print the slides to PDF, then copy all from that new file.

  • Open the file
  • Select all (ctrl + A, or cmd + A on a Mac)
  • Copy
  • Open Word and Paste

Open Word, then tell it to open the PDF. Word will convert the PDF and the Word count will appear along the bottom edge of the screen.


If the Word count is not displayed along the bottom edge of the Word window, right-click along that border and make sure that Word Count is selected.

It may take a few seconds for Word to do its count; just wait. If it seems stalled, scroll down a few pages or go right to the end.

Word can make all kinds of errors detecting the text in a PDF, especially if that PDF was a scan rather than a “print” of an original file. (Misread ligatures and insert spaces mid-word.) Word will also include all of the markups and notes made to the PDF, and if those notes overlap text, that text will be excluded. Body text from a marked-up PDF is best gotten into Word by the copy–paste method.

This captures the running feet and heads too. If the word count needs to be precise, do a search-and-destroy for those.

Yes, you can export a slide set as an RTF, but we’re talking PDFs here.

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

© 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!

Sort to Find Duplicates

Right on the Home ribbon in MS Word you’ll find a Sort button. It’s handy for alphabetizing, to be sure, but you can use this as a hack to find duplicates in a bibliography too.

Some bibliographic styles list references in the order they are mentioned within the body of the text. This means they’re in 1, 2, 3 order rather than alphabetized by author name. Especially when a text is team written, duplicate entries can happen, and they’re hard to find when the bib or refs list is long.

Sort, to the rescue! With a couple steps, first. Watch the demo video or follow the 3 easy steps below.

If your version of MS Word doesn’t have menus, go to the Insert ribbon and click the Table icon, then select Convert Text to Table.
  1. Copy the reference list to a new doc, but when you paste, select Keep text only from the options in the Paste icon on the Home ribbon.
  2. Select all, then select Convert Text to Table either from the menu, as shown in the demo, or from the ribbon as shown in the image below.
  3. Place the cursor in the table, then select the A→Z sort icon on the Home ribbon (beside the ¶).
  4. Tell Word to sort by column 2, and you’re ready to skim the list for duplicates.

This sort trick can also help you spot small inconsistencies in author names, such as Department for defence vs Department of defence.


  • Do this in a new document, so you don’t mess with the formatting of the original.
  • To maintain the auto numbering in the original document, make your changes by hand rather than pasting a revised list back into the original.

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cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Want more productivity boosters? Turbo boost your skills and get Word to do the heavy lifting for a change.
Buy the full self-study course
and get 115 pages of editor-specific instructions for making the most of MS Word 365. Includes more than 24 demo videos for both Mac and Widows users. Field tested since 2011 with editors around the globe.