Edit like a pro with Microsoft® Word 2010
Part of an editor’s job is to ask a writer to go easy on their usage of beautiful yet redundant phrases. While correcting the copy, they may need to keep a track of the changes that they made in order to let the writer learn their pitfalls and help them improve. Actually, there’s a good chance that my editor edited this article in just that very manner. Keeping these things in view, Microsoft Word 2010 is an editor’s best friend (I did not write this line, my editor did).
The Spelling and Grammar check feature is nothing new to anyone, so we’re going to instead discuss about some other features which might not be too useful for an average user but can make a world of different in the productivity of an editor or people who collaborate on documents.
First up, there is a ‘Research’ option that lets you research just about any subject that you might be working on, this is a handy little tool that ensures that your reader gets the information from a reliable source. When you select a phrase or a word and then click the ‘Research’ button, a pane opens in right corner within the open document displaying the results. There is a dropdown menu in that pane which lets you select the source for your research amongst many websites like Encarta dictionary, English thesaurus, Bing, Factiva iWorks and others.
What if a writer, in all their well meaning enthusiasm, ends up using an obscure Latin phrase that you don’t know the meaning of? Don’t go hopping to Google when you can just check it within the document. The translation ‘Screentip’ helps you understand the Greek and Latin they write, mostly literally though. A few more options, like changing the language of the text and checking the word count are also present in the same section.
Then we have the most important editing tool of all: ‘Track Changes’. This nifty little tool tracks all the changes that you make to the document and records them in real time. It tracks the additions and deletions made to text, formatting changes if any, and changes made to comments in the document. If there are multiple reviewers working on the document, you can toggle between them to see the changes that each of them made individually.
Once done, the editor may send the document back to the writer so that they may learn about the changes and gain a better understanding of what is good about their writing, and what are their areas of improvement. The writer on their part may then choose to accept or decline the changes. Quite honestly, writers are generally wary of pushing the ‘decline’ button (unless they happen to be a real stickler, in which case, enjoy the endless back and forth). Jokes apart, the review pane works great for both writers and editors, and makes collaboration the proverbial walk in the park.