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 email@example.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.
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.