Tag Archives: ribbon

Convert Straight Quotes to Curly Ones, and Back

Curly quotation marks curve or slant inward toward the content they bracket. (The font or typeface choice determines how they look, precisely.) Straight quotation marks are… straight. Word can do either, but you have to set your preference.

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Why It Matters

While worrying about straight v curly quotes may seem like a dog-whistle edit (a change that only other editors will appreciate), there are a few defensible reasons for caring:

  • Consistency, first and foremost, is the reason it matters whether quotation marks are curly or straight.
  • Following the style guide matters, of course.
  • Some systems can only handle straight quotation marks. For example, some content management systems (website management interfaces).
  • Curly quotes can sometimes mess up a find and replace using wildcards. So you might have a need sometimes to make all quotes straight, then put them back to curly after making a global change.

How to Convert Quotation Marks in Word

All you have to do is replace all ” with ” in a Find and Replace action. It’s that easy: just type a quotation mark into both the find and the replace with field. (Press ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace panel on either a Mac or a Windows computer.)

But first! Change Word’s AutoFormat preferences to reflect what you need the quotation marks to look like. The only option is “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes”, so if you want them straight, leave the box unchecked. If you want them curly, check the box. Windows users need to set this option in two places — Mac users do it just once. See below:

Windows Users

Go to File > Options > Proofing. Then click the AutoCorrect Options… button at the top and look for the straight/curly options in both the AutoFormat tab and the AutoFormat As You Type tab.

Mac Users

In Word’s Preferences, click AutoCorrect and then open the AutoFormat As You Type tab to find the straight/curly quotes option. If the checkbox is left blank, quotes will be straight.

At the bottom of the middle set on the AutoFormat As You Type, look for the “Straight quotes” with “smart quotes” option.

What About Single Quote Marks?

If you’re setting text with British punctuation conventions, or punctuating quotes within quotes in Canadian/US English, you’ll be concerned with single quotation marks (‘). The same fix applies; just use the single quote mark in both fields of find and replace and select the same AutoFormat settings as you would for double quotes. The setting applies to both single and double quote marks.

Troubleshooting

Sometimes Word gets the angle wrong, so that quotation marks “point” away from the contained material. Rather than retyping the marks, a “replace all” will fix the whole thing. You might want to turn off Track Changes before doing that. Elsewise the manuscript may get filled with needless tracked changes since Word doesn’t discriminate when replacing ALL marks.

Single quote marks are the same as apostrophes in Word’s eyes. There may be cases where that causes a snafu.

Note that straight quotes are NOT the same as a double-prime — the mark used to mean inches. Any quotation marks that should be straight to indicate a double-prime should be replaced with the correct character, using “insert symbol” on the Insert ribbon.


Change a Section After Creating a Break

Section breaks are created around columns and tables of contents automatically, and they can be inserted to control any layout aspect of a certain segment of text. Section breaks can be deleted, but what if you just want to change the section. On a Mac, you can.

To change the type of a section after inserting a break:

  1. Place the cursor in the desired section.
  2. On the Format menu, select Document.
  3. Select the Layout tab in the Document properties dialogue box that opens.
  4. At the top, in the Section area, choose an option from the drop-down list beside Section start:
  5. At the bottom, choose an option from the drop-down list beside Apply to. The type of section can be applied to the section the cursor is currently in, to all sections following the cursor’s location, or to the whole document.
  6. Click OK.
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Troubleshooting

Break marks are only visible when non-printing characters are revealed. Click the pilcrow (reverse P: ¶) icon on the Home ribbon to show non-printing characters.

Sometimes in Print Layout view, section breaks get obscured at the bottom of the page. Switch to Draft view to reveal them.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on viewing break markers, start on p. 42 of the book.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

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Start a New Section, Not a New Page

Word lets you insert a section break, not just a page break. That lets you assign different settings for each section: margins, columns, line numbers, heading numbers, or footer layout, for example.

There are two main types of section break:

On the Layout Ribbon, you’ll find this drop-down list of Breaks in the Page Setup area on the left.
  • one break starts a new page (next, next odd, or next even numbered page)
  • the other starts a new section on the existing page (continuous).

Uses for Section Breaks

Section breaks can be used to change page numbering — from Roman to Arabic, for example — or to make sure there’s no page number on the first page of a chapter.

Section breaks can be used to restart automatic numbering for each new chapter, so that numbering starts at 1 for figures, tables, footnotes, and/or headings.

Section breaks are inserted automatically around blocks of text formatted with a margin or page orientation that is different from the rest of the document, and around a table of contents.

Uses for Odd Page Section Breaks

Since layout conventions have chapters start at the top of an odd numbered page (the right-hand page), inserting an Odd Page section break might be the most useful option, though it is seldom used.

By inserting the Odd Page section break, you can guarantee that the content following the break will start at the top of a right-hand page (in Word or in the printed/PDF output), no matter what content before it gets moved, added, or trashed. No need to insert blank pages. And typesetters and designers can use these breaks to automatically set layout via macros that read the code.

Uses for Continuous Section Breaks

The Continuous section break does not force the start of a new page. We see this type of break most often right before a column layout begins, and where columns end. It also appears before and after a table of contents.

Here the continuous section break is visible before the columns start, marked with a double zig-zag line.

Troubleshooting

To delete a section break, click on it and press the delete key. The settings for each section are contained in the break at the end of it. So, when a section break is deleted, everything in the previous section will take on the characteristics of the section following it.

Break marks are only visible when non-printing characters are revealed. Click the pilcrow icon (¶) on the Home ribbon to show non-printing characters.

Sometimes in Print Layout view, section breaks get obscured at the bottom of the page or at the end of a column. Switch to Draft view to reveal these breaks.

book cover cropped to banner size
For more tips on viewing break markers, start on p. 42 of the book.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Photo by Sergey G. gkhaus via Pixabay.

Start a New Page, the Right Way

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Don’t ¶¶¶¶¶¶¶. Use a page break to avoid layout nightmares.

Each chapter starts on a new page. Sometimes a section needs to start at the top of a page too. Even though Word is not a layout program, it helps the editorial process and the layout process to format the Word manuscript with proper page breaks.

The worst way to force a page break is to hit Return a bunch of times. Those hard returns mess up where the page breaks whenever content is moved around or margins are changed. And those hard returns misalign the page breaks whenever Word adjusts layout for another user’s printer; or when font changes either for headings or the body text. Those hard returns have to be manually removed by designers and typesetters when doing their work, and each of those changes is an opportunity to introduce errors and add cost.

Basically, the hard returns are a layout nightmare.

See the multiple blue pilcrows on the left page forcing a page break? They’re a nightmare.
Insert the Page Break from the Pages area of the Insert ribbon.

Instead, insert a page break. Place the cursor where you want the new page to start. On the Insert ribbon, select Page Break.

In Page View, all you’ll see is that a new page begins. To see where the page breaks are, either go to Draft view or turn on non-printing characters. Then Word will reveal a grey line at the bottom of a page, containing the words Page Break. That is shown in close up below, and in two-page view above, right.

Stop hitting return a bunch of times to start a new page. It messes up while you're writing, and down the road. It's terrible practice and there's a much easier way.

If there are still multiple hard returns in the document after inserting page breaks where needed, delete them. Use Find & Replace for ^p^p to ^p, to make this step easy.


cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Frog image by Alexandra Stockmar, Pixabay.

Find Comment Numbers

Word used to number comments automatically; you could see those numbers in the comment balloons at the right. Those numbers were handy because they aided cross-referencing and let us refer to specific comments in transmittal memos and other discussions.

Word still numbers comments, but those numbers don’t appear in the balloons in the markup area. Here are three ways to see them: in the Review pane, in Draft view, and by printing a list of markup.

Troubleshooting

The primary way that numbering gets tripped up is that numbers update every time a comment is added, deleted, or replied to. That means that when someone replies to comment 2, every comment from there on is bumped up one number. And when commend 47 is deleted, every comment following it is “demoted” by one number. Remember this if you are cross-referencing comments. Numbers can change; be sure to double check them.

You can avoid the renumbering snag by setting comments to “resolved” rather than deleting them, and my replying within a comment rather than replying to it. That first trick isn’t always available, however, and neither trick is best practice. All comments will still have to be all removed to finalize the document.




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Number Comments in Word Automatically

UPDATE: Find existing numbers and a better way to cross-reference comments!

Sometimes it’s nice to have comments numbered in a document. That lets you refer to comments by number, which is useful for cross referencing (e.g., “See comment 12 again.”) or for talking about the comments in a transmittal memo, for example. Word used to number comments automatically. It still does, but those numbers are usually hidden. You can see the numbers on comments if you print off the markup, or by looking in the Review Pane. Numbers on comments also reveal themselves when looking at a document in Draft mode.

Modify the style for Comment text, setting the text to automatic numbering:

  1. Open the Modify Styles dialogue (instructions are in last week’s post).
  2. At the bottom of the box, click the Format button to open a sub-menu.
  3. Select Numbering…
  4. Select one of the numbered styles (not bullets). Customize it if you like.
  5. Click OK. Then click OK again.
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Find more on working with Comments (and Track Changes) starting on page 18 of the book. For more on Styles, begin on page 59.
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Select Numbering from the drop-down Format menu at the bottom left of the Modify Styles dialogue box.

Troubleshooting

Windows users may find that comment text is styled as Normal instead of as Comment Text. Changing the Normal style will change all text in the document that is set to Normal, and you probably don’t want to do that.

There are two primary snafus to be aware of when using this numbering method:

  1. The numbering applies to all comments, not just your own. You’ll see that other reviewers’ comments are numbered sequentially along with your own.
  2. As with any numbered list, the numbering will update every time you add or delete a comment, and when you reply to a comment. Remember this if you are cross-referencing comments. Numbers can change; be sure to double check them.

If your comments contain paragraphs, each paragraph will get numbered. To avoid this, use a “soft return” instead of a paragraph break. On a Mac, do this by holding down shift when you hit return.



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!

Print Tracked Changes and Comments

There are at least two reasons you might want to have a “print” copy of the tracked changes and comments in a Word document: to distribute hard copy, or to extract the information into a memo or other use. Print is in scare quotes because this method can produce a PDF just as easily as a paper copy.

  1. Tell Word to print the document.
  2. In the print dialogue box, open the Word settings. This will look slightly different on your computer than shown below, as the print dialogue box is custom to your printer.
  3. Select “List of markup” from the Print What: options on a Mac or from the Settings on a Windows computer.
  4. Either click Print for a paper copy or click PDF to generate an electronic version.

A paper print of “Document showing markup” (or “Print all pages” plus “Print Markup” on a Windows computer) will look just like it does on screen, with the markup area on the side.

Printing the List of Markup generates a literal list of the markup, separated by page.

Why Use a PDF

The advantage of PDF format — aside from the usual, that it is “unalterable” and transmittable electronically — is that the contents can then be exported. The text in a PDF can be copy–pasted into a Word document or an email to summarize as transmittal notes, create a checklist of issues, or any other editorial use.

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

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition

Change the Look of Comment Text in Word

By changing the style settings of Comment text, you can make the text size bigger, make the lines double spaced, change the font, its colour, or any other attribute.

Open the Styles Pane from the Home ribbon on a Mac

Place the cursor inside a comment, and its style will be selected in the Styles Pane. There you can click the right edge of the Current style field and select the Modify Style… option. In the dialogue that opens, you can set any attribute of the comments font.

The Modify Style pane on a Mac

Earlier we looked at an easy way to increase the size of comment text by zooming in. But that’s a temporary solution. Changing the style will stick, wherever the file goes.

Next week, we’ll look at how you can use styles to number comments automatically.

Troubleshooting

Sorry Windows users, because your version of Word sets comments in Normal style, you can’t change the style without affecting anything set as Normal in your document — which may be all of it.


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!

Reject All Changes by Reviewer 2

In contrast to last week’s post, there are times when you may want to reject all changes by just one reviewer. Perhaps they misunderstood the brief, or used the wrong style guide. Or perhaps they’re the dreaded “Reviewer 2.” No matter what reason you’ve got, ditching their suggestions is easy. It takes only a few clicks. Hooray!

First, hide everyone else’s changes: on the Review ribbon for Mac users, click Markup Options, scroll down to Reviewers, and click All. Windows users click Show Markup on the Review ribbon, then select All Reviewers from Specific People. Finally, return to the Show Markup/Options icon and select the one reviewer whose mark up you want to see.

You may want to scroll through that reviewer’s changes now to be sure any changes that need to be incorporated are accepted. But take note of the snafu alert below.

Reject all changes shown in both the Comments area and in the Changes area.

Now click the tiny arrows beside “reject” in both the Comments area and in the Changes area of the Review ribbon and select “reject all … shown”. (Detailed instructions are in another post.)

Finally, go back to the Markup Options and set it to show all Reviewers’ markup again.

Snafu Alert

Everyone’s changes are showing when you tell Word to flag only one reviewer’s markup, and they’re still tracked. Those changes just are not flagged in the current view anymore. This can result in some horrid messiness, where both deleted and inserted text are shown. Just remember the purpose of what you’re doing and resist the urge to fix oddness until everyone’s changes are flagged (shown) again.

book cover cropped to banner size
Find out more about using Track Changes starting on pp. 8–27 of the book.

cover of editing in word 2016 2nd edition