Do you have critique partners? Editors? Agents? Family and friends that look over your Work in Progress?
Iâ€™m betting that you trade manuscripts with these people and that, for those of you who donâ€™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).
Microsoft Wordâ€™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 donâ€™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 â€œPage 1â€ and â€œSec 1.â€ On the right side of this status bar there is an area that says REC and TRK â€“ 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:
Note: For those of you who are now using Word 2007, you do not have menus anymore â€“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 â€“ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Words on 2007â€¦
by Jenny Hansen
I planned an article on Track Changes for this monthâ€¦really I did. Yet every time Iâ€™ve sat down to work on the blog, Iâ€™ve found myself writing other things — storiesâ€¦emailsâ€¦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 â€œbaby girlâ€ â€“ 90 pound Akita, Hoshi â€“ 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 â€“ 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 walkâ€¦not bad for an old girl like Hosh.
Dog Nirvana is better known to locals as the Park Bench CafÃ© in Huntingtonâ€™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 youâ€™re an Orange County dog owner and you havenâ€™t visited the Park Bench, youâ€™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 30â€™s, the tragedy of September 11th, the tearing grief of my motherâ€™s death, the shining joy of my marriage. Iâ€™m hoping she will see the birth of my children and the advent of my 40â€™s next November.
Now that the party is over, sheâ€™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 Iâ€™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 â€œcute eyesâ€, 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 Changesâ€¦today is for family.
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.
A Proper Break
by Jenny Hansen
Several years ago, I traveled to the UK to train several groups of students there on how to use the (then) newly released Macintosh OS-X Jaguar and the new version of Microsoft Word that came out at the same time. I learned a lot in that trip to London, mostly about the many things that I thought I knew how to do and really didnâ€™t.
For example, I heard a lot about how to brew â€œa proper pot of tea.â€ Nearly every group I taught my first few days there had to show the American how to brew tea. They would take me over to the break room in between class sessions. (Mind you, we took breaks about every hour) and take me through British Tea 101: use cold water, bring to a full boil, warm the teapot with a good swish of hot water before you begin to steep the tea for 3-5 minutes. The directions were quite precise and without variationâ€¦Iâ€™ve included a link at the bottom of this blog for any who would like the full list of tea Doâ€™s and Donâ€™ts.
Proper tea was just another thing, along with phrases like â€œbeing hard upâ€ (poor) and â€œpissing downâ€ (raining) that I thought I knew the meaning of before I went. I heard all kinds of great phrases but I particularly liked the word â€œsquiffyâ€ â€“ I think it has a cute sound â€“ and, since I did participate in a local pub crawl, I heard it quite a bit (http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=squiffy).
George Bernard Shaw wasnâ€™t kidding when he described England and America as â€œtwo countries separated by a common language.â€ I discovered, as I taught these British students, how important it was to be precise in my directions to avoid confusion. I learned to drop slang from my classroom presentation â€“ we would end up talking about American slang instead of Microsoft Word â€“ and I absolutely delighted in listening to my students speak.
One particular girl came to several of my classes and I loved to hear her speak in her Cockney accent. She ended up visiting my classroom almost every day and every time she came, we made each other laugh. We had long discussions about the differences between our cultures. Iâ€™d thrill her with my impersonation of various American accents and sheâ€™d ask me questions like, â€œWhat do you mean youâ€™ve never seen a proper tea spoon?â€
It was from her that I learned that Americans work more hours and take less vacation than Europeans do. When I shared with her that we get two weeks of vacation a year as part of our standard employment package, she was struck dumb for a moment. When she recovered she said, â€œTwo bloody weeks a year? The lot of you must be mad! Iâ€™m dotty on less than four.â€
In return for all the fantastic local slang she shared with me, I stayed through lunch one day to brew her a proper pot of tea and teach her, in her own words, how to make a proper break.
A proper Break, you ask? How does one MAKE a proper Break?
In Microsoft Word, there is a tool that every creator of long documents â€“ particularly long documents with sections (like chapters) should know â€“ and that is how to use Breaks.
Think of a break as an interruption:
I want to interrupt this pageâ€¦ one would use a page break.
I want to interrupt this columnâ€¦a break would help again!
What about if I need to go to the next Chapter and have the Header or the Footer change to say Chapter 2 instead of Chapter 1 nowâ€¦once again, a Break!
There are several different kinds of Breaks and they are all located in the Insert menu under Breakâ€¦:
The keyboard shortcut for this is to hit the CRTL and the Enter button at the same time. This will immediately move you to the next page without having to hit the Enter key eighteen times to get there.
The keyboard shortcut for this is to hit the CTRL, the SHIFT and the Enter key simultaneously. If you are creating two or more columns of text (think about our newsletter or even your own notes and lists of words), the Column Break can keep you from having one little orphaned line at the bottom of a column. A Column Break says, â€œMove those lonely little words out of this column and into the next one.â€
Text wrapping Break
This is a new feature that was added to the later versions of Word and it is quite useful if you use a lot of tables or graphics in your documents. This ends the current line and forces the text to continue below a picture, table, or other item.
There are several different kinds of section breaks, though most writers use only one. I donâ€™t want to short-change anyone who wants to use them all so Iâ€™ll define each type in greater detail.
Section break types:
Inserts a section break and breaks the page so that the next section starts at the top of the next page.
I use section breaks in conjunction with changes to chapter Headers and Footers in my manuscript. (If you donâ€™t know what I mean when I say â€œHeaders and Footersâ€ you need to either refer to an earlier column or go to Word and hit the F1 key to get help on this feature.)
Next Page breaks allow you to break this chapter and go to the next. When you are finished with your manuscript, you will then go back through your manuscript and change each section to have the proper heading (i.e. Chapter 1, Chapter 2 and synopsis). By using Next Page section breaks, you allow your page numbering to stay consistent throughout your manuscript and this is HUGE. I know writers who put their page numbers in by hand and it breaks my heart to see them waste so much time. USE BREAKS!!!
I think of this as interrupting formatting for part of a page, rather than an entire page. For example if I want to have a page of text with three columns in the very middle of the page, the only way to do it is to put a Continuous section break before and after the text I want to turn into columns. Otherwise Word will turn the entire document into columns.
Note:The only individuals Iâ€™ve ever seen use the next two types of breaks are people who make course ware books for subjects like math where the text goes on the left page and the diagrams go on the right, or vice-versa.
Inserts a section break and starts the next section on the next even-numbered page. If the section break falls on an even-numbered page, Word leaves the next odd-numbered page blank.
Inserts a section break and starts the next section on the next odd-numbered page. If the section break falls on an odd-numbered page, Word leaves the next even-numbered page blank.
Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ve already guessed how this odd topic came up in an everyday discussion about Word. However, if you are still wondering, my student was one of that special breed of peopleâ€¦sheâ€™s a writer.
How to brew a proper pot of tea if you are British or Irish: http://www.superluminal.com/cookbook/beverages_tea_english.html
A list of all the Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts mentioned in this column, plus a whole lot more:
p.s. Keyboard shortcuts are the same between Macs and PCâ€™s â€“ you simply substitute the Command button for the CTRL button. The only notable difference is CTRL+Q, which â€œquits all paragraph formattingâ€ in Word for the PC, and Command+Q, which ejects a diskette for the Mac.