After using Microsoft Word 2007 for what seems like FOREVER, I finally upgraded to Word 2016 earlier this year and decided to purchase the second edition of Editing in Word 2016 to see if I could learn any new tricks. I consider myself a pretty advanced user of Word, but reading this book helped me pinpoint the areas where I could speed up my current editing workflow.
I won’t provide a comprehensive review of this book; Louise Harnby has already written a thorough review that will be helpful for editors who are thinking about purchasing the book.
Instead, I’ll briefly share how reading this book has helped me rethink and tweak some of my current practices to improve my productivity and efficiency as part of my continuing professional development.
I’ve included all the product information for the book below:
Title: Editing in Word 2016, 2nd Edition
Author: Adrienne Montgomerie
Description: Editing in Word 2016 is a self-study course for line editors, copyeditors, and communications professionals using MS Word 2016 (365) on Mac or Windows. It helps you be more efficient and effective when collaborating on documents, and gets Word to do the heavy lifting for a change. Integral to this self-study guide are the 24 demo videos and 24 self-check exercises as well as the support website with additional content previously only available through a $180 course.
Populating a Style Sheet
To create a style sheet for a project, I typically run PerfectIt on the manuscript before thoroughly copyediting the text and then add terms and style points to the style sheet as I go. But there’s another (possibly faster) way to do this by using macros.
The following macros—published by editor Paul Beverley in his free book, Macros for Editors—can help editors efficiently create a custom style sheet for a project:
- HyphenAlyze (analyzes all hyphenated words in the document)
- DocAlyze (analyzes various aspects of a document)
- AcronymLister (lists all acronyms used in a document)
- HyphenationToStylesheet (creates a word list from a HyphenAlyze file)
- AddWordToStyleList (adds the selected text to the style sheet)
Using Custom Dictionaries
Again, normally I use PerfectIt to check consistency throughout a manuscript (and I also add specific terms to check for), but using a custom dictionary for a project could add another layer of quality control to ensure that terms are spelled consistently and correctly.
This is also a good tool if you specialize in a certain niche such as editing medical or legal publications.
You can use macros or text expanders to automatically insert text that you frequently type, but you can also use AutoCorrect entries to do the same thing. (Creating a few custom AutoCorrect entries is something I had been meaning to do for a while now.)
For example, I created an AutoCorrect entry that will automatically change “AQ;” to the following author query:
AU: This sentence was revised for clarity and readability. Please confirm that it is correct as written and does not change your intended meaning.
This may not be ideal for longer text strings such as standard email responses or cover letters to authors, but it’s a great shortcut for shorter snippets of text such as author queries or comments. You may also wish to create AutoCorrect entries with a unique prefix for each client or project.
Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT)
I have a few items saved in my quick access toolbar, but reading Editing in Word 2016 caused me to evaluate what I have saved there. What do I need to add? What should I remove? Do I use those items often enough to justify them taking up space in the toolbar?
Going forward, I think I will reserve the QAT for macros I use frequently and for tools I use often when I’m editing, such as the style pane, spell check, and the track changes and markup functions.
I’d love to hear from readers—what tips and tricks do you use while working in Word 2016?