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Writer’s Word

February 16, 2008 by in category Archives tagged as , ,
Keeping Track
by Jenny Hansen

Do you have critique partners? Editors? Agents? Family and friends that look over your Work in Progress?

I’m betting that you trade manuscripts with these people and that, for those of you who don’t know how to use Track Changes, you buy a lot of paper. And ink cartridges. And red pens (or whatever friendlier color you use to write in the margin and remind your critique partner to use an active verb).

Consider this article my Valentine’s gift to ease the bottom line on your purchases at Office Depot – we’re going to talk about how to use one of my favorite features in Word.

Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature can be activated a few ways:

– Go to the Tools menu and choose Track Changes
– Hit Ctrl+Shift+E (remember, you don’t type the plus signs)
– Double click on TRK in the status bar at the bottom of your Word window.

Note: Your status bar is the area that starts with “Page 1” and “Sec 1.” On the right side of this status bar there is an area that says REC and TRK – these are grayed out unless they are activated. You may double-click on the TRK to activate the Track Changes feature (the REC is to record a macro, which is not covered here). You may double-click on the TRK again to toggle the feature back off. The darkened TRK in the status bar is the easiest way to tell at a glance that Track Changes is on.

When you turn on Track Changes, the following Reviewing toolbar will appear:

If you would like to turn this toolbar on and off separately from using Track Changes, simply go to the View menu and choose ToolbarsàReviewing, or right-click on any existing toolbar and then choose Reviewing from the shortcut menu. Since the Insert Comment and Reviewer Pane buttons are also accessible here, as well as a button to turn on Track Changes, this is an extremely great toolbar to keep on your screen.

Note: For those of you who are now using Word 2007, you do not have menus anymore –you have the Ribbon. You may add buttons and features to the Ribbon with the right-click method described above. Additionally, all the old shortcuts like Ctrl+Shift+E will work.

While the Track Changes feature is on, everything you do to a document is being recorded. The Reviewing toolbar has a great button on the far left that allows you to choose things like Original, Final or Final Showing Markup. This button is invaluable if you want to print out the manuscript without all the changes showing.

If you have set up your User Information in the correct tab in Options (located under the Tools menu) your initials will even appear next to the changes you make. If your critique partner decides to print up the document with the changes he or she will be able to tell your manuscript changes from that of your other critique partner who might be wild about head-hopping and adverbs.

My favorite part about the Track Changes feature is that the person receiving the critique can activate it on his or her own computer and choose to Accept or Reject Changes. Every change offered by a critique partner, editor or agent does not have to be accepted, as you know. At the end of the day, this is YOUR book.

Be sure to turn your Reviewing toolbar on and play with it – pass your mouse across all the buttons so that the yellow tool tip will tell you what each button means. As always, you can email me at jennyhansensmail@aol.com if you have more questions about the content in this blog.

In the meantime, Happy Writing! I hope Cupid was nice to you and your manuscript this month.

By day, Jen manages the sales and marketing for a national training firm (after 12 years as a corporate software trainer, it’s nice to be able to sit down while she works). By night, she writes women’s fiction, chick lit and short stories as Jenny Hansen.

She has been a member of OCC since 2001 and has served as the Orange Rose Contest Coordinator, as well as on OCC’s Board of Directors in a variety of capacities.

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Writer’s Word

December 17, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as ,

Words on 2007…
by Jenny Hansen

I planned an article on Track Changes for this month…really I did. Yet every time I’ve sat down to work on the blog, I’ve found myself writing other things — stories…emails…miscellaneous thoughts.

Christmastime is a very nostalgic season for me filled with family, traditions and memories of loved ones who are no longer here to celebrate. December marks the birthday of my first “baby girl” – 90 pound Akita, Hoshi – who just turned 12 today. That might not sound like a lot in dog years but in human years, she just turned 84. Impressive.

I made a celebration out of what could very well be her last birthday – bought pink party hats and a snazzy birthday bandana, gave her extra treats. We took her Golden Retriever friend, Tatum, to Dog Nirvana in Huntington Beach for a snack and a two mile walk…not bad for an old girl like Hosh.

Dog Nirvana is better known to locals as the Park Bench Café in Huntington’s Central Park where doggies get to eat breakfast (Hoshi had the Wrangler Roundup) with their humans and then walk along numerous trails, sniffing doggie smells and chasing ducks. If you’re an Orange County dog owner and you haven’t visited the Park Bench, you’re missing out! http://www.parkbenchcafe.com/

As we walked the trails, I looked down at my girl and lived in my memories of her. I thought of the changes we have weathered together these last twelve years: my entire 30’s, the tragedy of September 11th, the tearing grief of my mother’s death, the shining joy of my marriage. I’m hoping she will see the birth of my children and the advent of my 40’s next November.

Now that the party is over, she’s lying in a patch of sunlight in my office while I finish this article, snoring away as holiday music soars through the air.

After I post this, I will finish the baking I do every year at this time, bringing to life the treasures I’ve made each year for all my memory, as did my mother and her mother and grandmother before her. I make recipes like divinity, Almond Roca and Russian tea cakes that have been handed down through our generations.

Each November, I look forward to pulling out the package of papers and special notes, this one written in my grandmother’s elegant penmanship and that one in my mother’s bold scrawl. Each year, the ritual brings the shimmering presence of these strong women into my kitchen where I’m able to visit with them for a short time.

In a few hours, my house will smell like the home of my childhood and Hoshi will come lay her head against my leg and look up to give me “cute eyes”, begging for treats. In these final days of 2007, I wish each of you such a perfect day.

Next month is soon enough for the article on Track Changes…today is for family.

Happy Holidays!

By day, Jen manages the sales and marketing for a national training firm (after 12 years as a corporate software trainer, it’s nice to be able to sit down while she works). By night, she writes women’s fiction, chick lit and short stories as Jenny Hansen. She has been a member of OCC since 2001 and has served as the Orange Rose Contest Coordinator, as well as on OCC’s Board of Directors in a variety of capacities.

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Writer’s Word

November 17, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as ,

“Replace” the Tendonitis
by Jenny Hansen

At the November meeting our Esteemed Presidents plugged my column at the podium and invited anyone who had a question about Word to email me. One brave soul stepped right up and shared with me that her editing was giving her a BAD case of tendonitis.

Her question: I’d like to see the Find feature be enhanced in Word. When I edit, I use this to find my overused words like- she/her, was, “ly” adverbs, etc. I highlight them in different colors, then go back and edit them out. Problem is, I get tendonitis in my arm from working the mouse back and forth between the word and selecting the color! Is there any way to “hold” or “lock in” the color selection?

No one should have to deal with tendonitis from writing, especially with something like this that can be done so much easier. There are actually two fixes – one is more manual and one is more automatic. I will share both of them with you, along with some of my thoughts about the beauty of the Replace feature.

Manual method:

In all Microsoft programs, the F4 button on the keyboard means “do that again!” So if you highlight the word you want and set the color, then the next word you highlight should allow you to hit the F4 key and give you the color again. I can’t say this has a lot of finesse, but it will save your arm when it comes to changing the color of the words in the first place.

Note for those of you who do not know how to change the Font color in Word:
You can click on the Format menu and choose Font and pick a color from there (CTRL+D brings up the Font dialog box with no mousing) OR you can simply click on the last button of the Formatting toolbar. It looks like the letter “A” with a colored line under it. The color of the line will most likely be black but, if you’ve been playing with the colors, it will be the shade of the last color you chose.

Automatic method:

If the F4 method doesn’t work for you (perhaps you want your words to be bold AND purple), you might want to use the Replace feature instead.

The Replace command is located in the Find dialog box – it is the second tab. To use the keyboard: Find is brought up with the CTRL+F keyboard shortcut, Replace is brought up with CTRL + H. I also know people who like to double-click with their mouse on the Status bar at the bottom of the screen in Word – this is the one that says “Page 1” and “Sec 1” and sits at the bottom to the left of the page numbers (these look something like “2/12”). If you double-click on the Status Bar, the Find/Replace/GoTo dialog box will pop up. Simply click on the Replace tab and you are in business.

In the Replace dialog box, there is a button called “More” with a double arrow on it. If you click on that More button, it will expand the dialog box to where you see an entire lower section that contains a bunch of nifty stuff. In order for you decide for yourself which nifty stuff you really like, I encourage you to click on the question mark in the upper right corner of this dialog and see what is here.

Now that you have expanded the “More” section, that same button will read “Less” to shrink things back down. Definitely take a look around here – this is a jackpot for writers.

For example, if you wanted to find all the “she” or all the “her,” you could put the same word in both the “Find what” and the “Replace with” lines. Then highlight the word in the “Replace with” line and click on the Format button down in the lower section of the dialog – pick the font color and style you want. Hit the Replace All button. This will replace every instance of that word with the same word in the formatted style that you want. You can always do the same thing with a different font/color request to change everything back. There is no mouse involved in this, hence less tendonitis.

The unnamed Chapter Member who asked this question found a piece of “shareware” out there that I thought I’d pass along. It’s called Fore Words. It’s an add-on to Word, and will find repetitive words and phrases. It is priced at $14.95 and I’ve included the link: http://www.cro-code.com/forewords.jsp

If anyone thinks up another question that MUST be answered, just email me at jennyhansensmail@aol.com. Otherwise, prepare for a column on using Track Changes next month. By then, my Christmas baking should be all finished!

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Writer’s Word

July 11, 2007 by in category Archives tagged as
by Jenny Hansen

Keeping Your Hands on the Keyboard

Are you ever typing so quickly that you are afraid to let your hands leave the keyboard? Do you have times when new ideas are coming and you don’t want to stop to pick up your mouse to format?

You have choices. We talked about creating templates in last month’s column. This month I want to share with you the keyboard shortcuts that are available to you in Microsoft Word…some of them even work all over Microsoft Office.

Hit the CTRL key at the same time that you hit the letters on the keyboard to do these shortcuts (ex: Ctrl + A).

* The letters with this symbol next to it work throughout Microsoft Office.

Other Word Shortcuts.

I hope you’ll share with me whether these tricks help save you time. If there are terms like “hanging indent” that don’t make any sense to you, just use the F1 function key to look it up in Word and get an example (think party invitations where the “Where” is on the left side and there all the information about “where” is lined up about an inch to the right).
I’m just back from my honeymoon in the Pacific Northwest and am so sorry to have missed the deadline…you’ll have these when you return from the National Conference! Until next time…
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