Tag Archives: pro tip

Reject Tracked Changes Cleanly

Every time you replace a word (or words) in MS Word using tracked changes, Word annotates two changes: a deletion and an insertion. To reject a change and reinstate the original, you have to reject BOTH changes.

Two Ways to Reject Tracked Changes

Tracked changes can be accepted or rejected in at least these two ways in a Word document: First, place the cursor within the change you want to reject. Then, either:

Right-click on the changed word(s) to open this context menu.
  • Right-click on the text and select Reject from the context menu that pops open
  • Click the Reject icon on the Review ribbon

Repeat this rejection for the tracked deletion AND for the tracked insertion.

Simple Hack to Reject Large Chunks of Text with Tracked Changes

To reject both an insertion and deletion at once, simply click and drag to select all the text in question then click reject. This select and reject trick also works to reject all changes in a whole paragraph at once, or even in several!

Troubleshooting Tracked Changes

If you are seeing deletions in marginal balloons (not inline as shown above), you can right-click on the balloons to reject them or you can change the display options to show changes inline.

If you don’t see tracked changes at all, first make sure that they are visible. There area few options: the easiest is to show All Markup, which you can see as a button on the ribbon image above. That button may say No Markup, which you’ll want to change by clicking on that item and selecting the option. If the button says Simple Markup, either click the red line in the left margin or change that setting via the ribbon button.

If you can’t make changes display no matter what setting you try, then changes probably were not tracked (if the Accept and Reject change buttons are greyed out/inactive, then you know for sure that the document contains no tracked changes). Compare Docs can give you a version with changes tracked, but it’s not foolproof.

Troubleshooting Multiple Reviewers

Word tracks changes by each user separately. This is computer specific, so if you swapped computers during the edit, you may find changes tagged with two user names, even if they look identical. This can mean that what looks like one change is split up by several reviewers’ work. The result is that one changed sentence could be treated as many separately tracked changes. You’ll want to use the hack explained above to reject swaths of changes at once or else you’ll wear out your clicker finger.

Also see this great hack for rejecting (or accepting) all of one single user’s changes. It’s a great shortcut for accepting all the changes you can’t reject (such as the legal team’s changes), or for rejecting all the suggestions of that one person who just didn’t understand the brief.



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Image of beach footprints by erleyresendesilva from Pixabay

Q&A: Can I accept only formatting changes?

Q Is there a way to only accept all formatting changes without accepting moved text? I can’t make it show *only* formatting. I can hide insertions/deletions and “accept all shown,” but that would also accept moves?

A You got it! Just hide all changes except the formatting ones and “Accept All Changes Shown” as shown in the steps below:

Step 1—In this sample, we’re about to deselect “Insertions and Deletions” from the Markup Options in the Tracking area of the Review tab on the ribbon. That will drop the colour-coding for those changes as well as for moves (the green double-underlined words in the example above indicate moved content).
Step 2—Now that only Formatting changes are showing, select “Accept All Changes Shown” from the Accept icon menu in the Changes area of the Review tab/ribbon. (You can also click Reject for similar options.)
Step 3—Reverse Step 1 to see all the moves/adds/omits again (re-check “Insertions and Deletions” from the Markup Options in the Tracking area of the Review tab). Notice that the formatting change (selected text) is no longer marked up.
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Find out more about using Track Changes starting on pp. 8–27 of the book.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes Word won’t hide the moved text; watch out for that.

Mac users will find the option to markup formatting changes with “None” under Preferences in the Markup Options on the Review ribbon.
Windows users see this set of Preferences under Markup Options.

Prevent Word from tracking formatting changes by turning off that option in the Track Changes Preferences.



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Q&A: Keyboard Shortcut to Exit a Comment

Q Is there a way to get out of a Comment without using the mouse?

Esc, ←

A Yes, press Escape! Keeping your hands on the keyboard is the fastest way to work, and the perfect alternative to a mouse that’s lost its juice.

Troubleshooting

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips for working with Comments, start on page 18 of the book. Reader updates are found on the exclusive support site.

Be sure to click an arrow key before typing! Otherwise you will overwrite the word(s) that is attached to the Comment you were just in, deleting both the word(s) and the Comment.



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Esc key image by Thanapat Pirmphol from Pixabay.

Four Alternatives to Macros

Macros can do some amazing complex and lengthy tasks in just a click, but you don’t need a macro for everything! Here are four things to try before of creating a macro:

  • autocorrect
  • existing shortcuts
  • custom shortcuts
  • Clipboard

Existing Shortcuts

There are keyboard shortcuts for navigating and selecting text and shortcuts for accessing almost every ribbon function. Search for the one you want online before going to the trouble of creating your own via a macro. And check out the summary of some really handy ones in the book!

Autocorrect

Within Word’s Preferences, you can create Autocorrect correct entries for commonly typed phrases (like your address or turning fnmi into First Nations, Metis, and Inuit), or even entire formatted passages.

Custom Shortcuts

Create your own keyboard shortcut for any function.

Mac users: look at the bottom of the Tools menu and select Customize Keyboard.

Windows users: right-click on a blank grey area of the tab on the ribbon, then select Customize The Tab on the ribbon… from the context menu that pops up. Then, click the Customize… button beside Keyboard Shortcuts: at the bottom of the left-hand list.

Clipboard

In this example, we see the Clipboard contains some standard text that I have to paste frequently.

This great tool was a constant favourite when it was available for Mac. Now it’s only found in the Windows version of Word.

Open the Clipboard by clicking the expand arrow in the Clipboard group of the Home ribbon (see figure). Every time you copy content, it will be added to the list in the clipboard. It even works for pictures and other graphics.

You can then select items from the list to paste as they are needed (just click on them) or paste them all together.

Troubleshooting

The Clipboard works only during a single session. When you close Word, the Clipboard is emptied.

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Learn more about these alternatives, starting on page 93 of the 2nd edition of the book.


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Horizontal Review Pane for Mac

Call it a glitch, but if you’re missing the horizontal Reviewing Pane option in MS Word on your Mac, you can turn this glitch into a happy hack!

Create a macro for adding a comment and assign a shortcut to it. That’s it. You don’t have to add anything else to the macro. Using the macro will automatically open each new comment in a Reviewing Pane along the bottom of the screen (see figure).

You can even assign the existing New Comment shortcut, so this macro overrides the in-built action: cmd + opt + A.

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For instructions on recording a macro, see page 76 in the 2nd edition of the book.

Troubleshooting

To reply to a comment, place the cursor in the “parent” comment then use the button on the Review ribbon to add a New Comment. Do not use the new macro you created; that results only in an error message.

To close the horizontal Reviewing Pane, click the Remove Split button on the View ribbon.

For Windows Users

Select your preference for the Reviewing Pane in the Tracking group on the Review ribbon (shown below).

Windows users can set the Reviewing Pane preference on the Review ribbon.


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Find and Replace, Not Search and Destroy

Prevent Find and Replace from turning into “search and destroy” by using the Whole Word Only, option (“Find whole words only,” for Windows users). This feature helps you replace only whole words, and not matching fragments within other words.

Like a refined Find and Replace, the red-billed oxpecker picks parasites off an impala without hurting the host.

By simply selecting Whole Word Only, the software will identify only “man” and not “human“, for example. This helps to avoid replacement errors such as “inclient services” when attempting to replace instances of “patient.”

Mac users can click the gear icon in the F&R pane to access this option.
Windows users should look for the “Find whole words only” option (greyed out here because wildcards are in use) within Advanced Find and Replace.

Troubleshooting

This option is not available in the simple Find field at top right of the Word window (a feature now for Mac users only). It is accessible only from the Search/F&R panel (for Mac users) or within Advanced Find and Replace (for both Windows and Mac users).

This option isn’t compatible with wildcards.

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more about Find and Replace, starting on page 49 of the 2nd edition of the book.


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Photo of impala and oxpecker by Bernard Dupont, used under CC BY-SA 2.0.

Wildcards Are Nitro for Your Find & Replace

You know how to search for exact words and phrases. Add wildcards to your terms and you’ll give Find and Replace a nitro boost!

What Wildcards Are

Wildcards are sort of tiny code that can stand in for a category of characters, letting you search for more than exact matches. You may have already use the wildcard in an online search: the asterisk (*) can be used to say “any character”. That makes a search for Adri*nne show results for Adrianne as well as Adrienne and even Adrionne or any other character where the * is, for example. Wildcards can also be used to create a search for a range, such as values between the numbers one and seven: [1-7].

Expand the Advanced Find and Replace dialog to access the wildcards option.

How to Use Wildcards

In Word, expand the Advanced Find and Replace dialogue box and then select the Use Wildcards option (see figure).

For a summary of some of the wildcards most useful when copyediting, look at the table on page 50 of the book. One of the more advanced uses is to break content into “expressions” that can then be rearranged.

Troubleshooting

Turn off Track Changes before doing a Find and Replace using wildcards to avoid messy errors.

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For more tips on working with Find and Replace, start on p. 47 of the book.


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Image by Onur Ömer Yavuz from Pixabay.

Regular Expressions Will Turbo Boost Your Find & Replace

Find and Replace is both an essential tool in the editor’s toolbox and the source of ruination. (Into every editor’s life, a hilariously bad Replace All will fall.) You can use “regular expressions” to turbo boost your F&R!

No need to learn the special codes for regular expressions: use this list.

The simplest way to think of “regular expressions” (regex) is as that list of options for types of content we find in that the drop-down menu in the Find field (see figure). The list gives you an easy selection of regex special codes, using descriptors. Click on one of those and the code for the regex appears in the field—^p for Paragraph Mark, for example.

These regex are particularly useful for finding section breaks, footnote markers, and graphics that have jumped out of sight. They also remedy multiple paragraph breaks used for spacing.

These special codes are available for use in the Replace field as well. The one I find most useful there, however, is not one of the options in the list. It’s ^&, which means, essentially, “what’s in the Find field.” Using ^& in the Replace field saves me from retyping (or mistyping) the entire search criteria just to change formatting (e.g., to apply or remove highlighting), among other uses.

Troubleshooting

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This tip comes from page 46 of the book. Find more on Find and Replace starting on page 45.

Regex sometimes malfunction when Use Wildcards is selected. Learn more about that in the book.

Regex are not wildcards. Next week, we’ll look at some wildcards and how they can add nitro to this turbo boost.



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Magnifying glass image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay.

Make the Language Setting Stick

Click the Language icon on the Review ribbon to open this list of options. (The Windows version has even more English options!)

If you are pasting new content into a file, you may have to reset the language for that material as well. It is possible to set a different language for each word in a file, and Word seems to keep the language settings from the source document when pasting content. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly selecting all (⌘ + A) and resetting the language!

Troubleshooting

If the language setting won’t stick, check the Style designation for the problematic content. There may be a language specified for that style and Word is reverting to that setting.

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This tip comes from page 27 of the book. Find more on Styles starting on page 59 of the book.


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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!

You may have to click Next Comment to make this Delete icon is accessible.

All comments can similarly be deleted with one click: In the Comments
area of the Review ribbon, click on the little arrow beside the Delete icon. Then select Delete All Comments in Document.

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Today’s Pro Tip comes from page 21 of the book.


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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!