Using Word with Your Book Editor

Written by on November 22, 2013 in Books & Self-Publishing, Editing - Leave a Comment

Familiar enough with Word to finish your book?As you prepare to work with your book editor, it’s crucial to take some time to learn the ins and outs of Microsoft Word’s editing and collaborative tools. The more familiar you are going into the process, the less time your editor will have to spend teaching you about the program that you’ll use to polish your book!

Show formatting is your friend

As you’re reviewing your manuscript and preparing it for your book editor, consider turning on the “show formatting” function in Word. This function displays symbols to represent your formatting as you’re working. So, when you’ve left a space, it displays a small blue dot. Where you’ve entered a return, you’ll see the pilcrow.

It takes some getting used to, but displaying your formatting as you work can help you avoid typographical errors and easily troubleshoot the occasional tricky formatting issue.

Comments are convenient

If you navigate to your “review” panel, you’ll see a full suite of useful features for editing a manuscript. One of the most important is the ability to insert a comment without inserting any text into the manuscript. Your editor can navigate these comments easily, allowing him to address your questions without digging through pages and pages of text. He will also insert comments for you!

Track changes is essential

The other main function in the review panel is the ability to insert, accept, and reject changes. Most editors these days actually do their editing work with this feature. They’ll make their changes to the manuscript – inserting commas, rearranging wording, deleting unnecessary verbiage – and you’ll be able to see each change. As the author, it’s your responsibility to review each of these changes and, if you like it, accept the change. If you don’t, you simply press the reject button.

Being comfortable working with track changes is an essential element of having your manuscript edited so take the time to familiarize yourself before you receive your draft from your editor.

The review pane is handy

When you receive your edited manuscript, the first thing you may want to do is navigate back to the review panel and turn on your “review pane.” This feature displays an overview of changes across your manuscript, allowing you to easily see what changes were made to the main document, header, footer, endnotes, and more. When you first receive your draft, it can be overwhelming, but you’ll feel more in control with the review panel on your side.

Photo Credit

Leave a Comment