What I've Learned About Word

What I’m learning about Microsoft Word as I’m revising (which yes, thank you, I finished this morning – on to the sucknopsis):

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You can track changes. I’ve done this in critiquing, but never in my own work. You make the changes and it doesn’t save them as permanent till you accept the changes. I tried this because I wanted to tell my agent what pages I changed significantly so she wouldn’t have to read the Whole Thing again. It was pretty handy.

You can save different versions, and write a note to yourself in each. This would have been MUCH better than having HotShot0306, HotShot 0506, Hot Shot 0606, Hot Shot 062506….You get the picture.

How to make a page break, so when I change it from TNR to Courier, I don’t have to go back through to all the chapter endings and fix the pages.

You can compare documents. This would have been so handy Friday night when I was entering changes into 0606 instead of 062506.

There are so many other things I would like to know how to do. For example, how do you change the end quotes to go the right way after a dash?

What is the scrapbook and do I need it?

And I know Kris went to a workshop where the presenter showed them how to use footnotes or something, so you don’t have to search the document for references.

What do you know about Microsoft Word?

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11 comments:

Rene said...

I like that I can create my own style for my MS. I created my own headings for my chapters and my own body for my MS. I don't have to change the line spacing or font size, margins, etc.

I'm almost perfect at headers and footers. I also like the document map so I can click on a chapter rather than trying to scan through the whole document to find what I'm looking for.

Stacy Dawn said...

Not much...I actually just learned about track changes today.

Theresa said...

Congrats on finishing your revisions, Mary. That must be a great relief for you.

I use Word too. But don't know nearly as much about the program as you do. I've never even used track changes.

Our community college offers a class on Word, though. Which I intend to take at some point during the next few months.

Colleen Gleason said...

To make sure the end quotes go the correct way after the dash you have to type a letter after the dash, then the quote marks, then hit space. Then you go back and delete the extra letter.

That's the only way I know how to do it.

so...

blfttttt--l"

then erase the l.

When I was writing medieval historicals (which I hope to do again some day), I had to have a lot of single front quotes for 'Twas or 'twas...and it was a pain, because in order to get them to go in the right direction, I had to go to "insert symbols" every time.

I learned two different things to do in order to fix this:

1) there's a way you can assign a symbol by keystrokes--so I set it up that I hit CNTRL-~ and I got my correct facing single front quote.

2) the other way to do it is to write a macro for it (which basically records the keystrokes to pulling out the symbols table, selecting the right symbol, and inserting it) and assign a button on the toolbar to run the macro. So every time I had to put that character in, I just hit the button that made the macro run.

It's been a long time since I did that, but that's how I set it up to keep from having to stop when I was in the throes of typing (which of course didn't happen as often as I would have hoped!).

MaryF said...

Rene, that sounds cool. I went to "style" after reading your comment and I can't figure it out.

I do like the document map for revising and formatting.

Stacy, you will LOVE track changes!

Thanks, Theresa! It is a relief. I wonder how long it will take my agent to read. I did my newsletter article and my blog for tomorrow - now I'm going to finish reading No Plot No Problem before Grey's comes on.

I've seen community ed classes for Word, but they look pretty basic. The ones my district gave the teachers was REALLY basic. I need the next level, I think.

Interesting solution, Colleen! the whole macro bit went over my head. BUT it made me remember there's an article in an old RWR about shortcuts you can set up for typing your story. I need to do that, at least with names. I do have auto-complete on some of the names, though.

Need to pull out that article....

Candice Gilmer said...

I didn't know what tracking changes was until I got my manuscript back and it had all these bubbles on it. Kinda freaked me out, as a matter of fact. Didn't know how to deal with them right away.

Then I got used to them, and I was like "Accept change" "Accept change" "accept change" Lots and lots of clicking.. ;)

Michelle said...

Track changes is good for critiquing mss. I've also made a macro for query letters. Now all I have to do is hit CTRL-ALT-L, which is the code I assigned to the macro and bam! Instant form letter with my address info, space for editor's address, greeting, space for the body, my credits, and a closing. I can tweak it as needed. Macros are cool. :)

MaryF said...

Ooh, a macro for quesry letters - that would have been handy to know!

Candice, one time I got a critique back and the comments were hidden and I emailed her to say, uh, Kim? It was not a fun way to get a critique - you had to look at each line, practically. What I like about track changes is the "next" button!

Natalie Damschroder said...

Here's a much, much easier way to get symbols. Hold down the ALT and then type the numbers on your keypad.

Open single quote, ALT+0145

Close single quote, ALT+0146

Open double quote, ALT+0147

Close double quote, ALT+0148
That's the one you were specifically asking about.

Also:

é is ALT+0233
… is ALT+0133

A real M-dash, instead of -- is CTRL+ALT+ the - on the keypad (NOT on the keyboard)

Any other symbols, when you open Insert Symbol and click once on the symbol, it tells its code in the main area of the dialogue box, under the symbol section. Comes in very handy.

MaryF said...

Wow, Natalie, you are Word Guru extraordinaire! I'm chuckling over the "easy" bit, though!

Natalie Damschroder said...

What? It is easy! You just have to print the little list and keep it next to your computer until you memorize it. :)

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