These days, much editing is done using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature. It’s a great tool, and I’d like to share with you four things every writer should know about Track Changes.
**Note** This One Minute EditorTM runs about four minutes!
Your browser does not support this audio
- Change your view. Sometimes, the multiple changes made to a
document can seem overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to change the way the document looks on the screen. To do this, navigate to the Track Changes option and change the “view” from Final: Show Markup to Final. This will show you a clean document as it will be once all the changes are accepted. Then, edit at will. Your changes are still tracked, just temporarily hidden from view.(Note that changing the view to Final, will also hide comments.)
If you’d rather see all the tracked changes, but are distracted by the different colours imposed by multiple editors, try changing the Track Changes Markup options so that the insertions and deletions are noted in the specific colour of your choice (choose from the drop-down) rather than “by author.
- Accept or Reject more than one change at a time. Sometimes, you’ll
see several edits in a row that you would like to accept or reject, but you don’t necessarily want to accept or reject all changes in the document. You may have even highlighted several changes and then tried right-clicking to accept/reject them, but to no avail. There is a way to do this, however.
First, highlight all the changes you’d like to accept or reject. (i.e. click and drag your mouse over the changes.) Once you have the changes highlighted, click the little down arrow under the accept/reject option and choose Accept and Move to next (or Reject and Move to next, if you are rejecting the changes.) This will accept/reject those highlighted changes and then move your curser to the next change in the document.
- Accept or Reject the changes of one editor. Sometimes, when multiple editors have made changes to a document, you’ll want to accept all
changes made by one or more of the editors, while leaving other editors’ changes in play. This is accomplished with a two-step process. First, in the Show Markup/Reviewers options, check/uncheck editor names until the only editors checked are the editors of the changes you want to ACCEPT. All other editors’ changes will then be hidden from view.
Now you’ve done that, click the little down arrow under the Accept option and then choose Accept all changes shown.
To reject changes made by one or more of the editors, while leaving the other editors’ changes in play, in the Show Markup/Reviewers options, check/uncheck editor names until the only editors checked are the editors of the changes you want to REJECT. All other editors’ changes will then be hidden from view. Now you’ve done that, click the little down arrow under the Reject option and then choose Reject all changes shown.
- Blow up or deflate your balloons. Sometimes it’s better to have your
changes shown inline in the document, and sometimes it’s cleaner to have all edits show up in the balloon to the right of the document. Choose the option which best fits your mood:
- NEVER means your changes will be shown inline and your comments will be noted as a footnote where inserted.
- ALWAYS means all insertions, deletions, formatting changes and comments will appear in balloons, and
- ONLY FOR COMMENTS/FORMATTING
means the insertions and deletions will be shown inline and formatting changes and comments will appear in balloons in the markup area.
I’m Nicola Martinez, and that’s your One Minute EditorTM tip for today.