Tag Archives: Q&A

Q&A: Where Is the Mid-Document Word Count?

QWord used to show me what word I was on out of the total word count. Where has that gone?

AThat feature is no more, but here’s a workaround because it was uesful to track our progress and as place markers or reference points within the document that weren’t affected by font and spacing choices.

Continue reading Q&A: Where Is the Mid-Document Word Count?

Q&A: Grammar Check is Greyed Out!

QI’m using MS Word for Mac, Office 365 subscription, and for some reason grammar check is greyed out. I can’t figure out how to turn it on. Any ideas? Google search just tells me to put in on in the preferences, but that is where it’s greyed out. The language is set for English (US), so it shouldn’t be that. Thanks!

ACheck the language settings in the Style setting of that text. If it is set to a language whose dictionary is not installed, the Grammar check options won’t be available.

While the grammar checking aspect of the (newly termed) Editor is improving, one of the most useful aspects of this tool is the reading level assessment (readability statistics) it can provide at the end of the process. For more on reading levels assessments, see this other blog post.

Troubleshooting

Check all of the styles used in the document.

book cover cropped to banner size
Learn more about Styles starting on page 59 of the self-study book and about Language settings on page 27.

Be sure to click on the desired language and click OK. Just because it’s listed at the top doesn’t mean that a language is selected.

In the Style’s settings, ensure that the “Do not check spelling and grammar” option is NOT checked off/ticked/selected.

Save and close the document if this change doesn’t work at first. Close and reopen Word, too.



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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: Easy selecting in tables, 5 ways

Skip to the demo video.

Q Is there a sure-fire way to select just the content of a table cell, or a single cell vs the whole table? Word seems to have its own views on what I should be selecting.

A Arrow keys are the most precise way to select text or cells (even rows and columns) in a table, but double-clicks and triple clicks are great shortcuts:

  • Shift + arrow selects individual characters until it reaches the end of a cell, then it switches to selecting whole cells.
  • Double-click the mouse to select a single word.
  • Triple-click the mouse to select a whole cell.

The (table) Layout ribbon offers some selection options. Click the Select icon on the far left. This is great when your hand isn’t feeling steady enough to activate the selection arrow by hovering at the top or left side of the table column/row, or when Word is having a tantrum. Just make sure the cursor is already placed in a cell within the column/table you want to select.

decorative
Use the grab point at the top left of a table to select the whole table. Click inside the table or hover the pointer over it to reveal the grab point.

Troubleshooting

To reveal the (table) Layout ribbon, place the cursor in the table. If the ribbon does not appear, you’re not working in a true table. Reveal hidden characters and you’ll likely find that the alignment was forced (faked) with spaces and tab marks. Undo that shit.

Note this (table) Layout ribbon is different from the Layout ribbon that is always visible (I’ve crossed out that other Layout tab at the left end). This special ribbon appears only when the cursor is inside a table.

If the content you want to select is at the end of a cell, it can be nearly impossible to select just that bit rather than the entire cell. Add a character (say, a period), then select up to that point (which will no longer be the end of the cell). Remember to delete that extraneous mark afterward!

To make sure you’ve selected an entire row (and not just the cells), look for the row end marker selection. See this in action in the demo video below at about minute 1:08.

Download a free workbook for editing tables. And check out the other blog posts on Working With Tables.


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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.
book cover cropped to banner size
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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© 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!

Esc key image by Thanapat Pirmphol from Pixabay.