Using Microsoft Word Editing and Markup Tools

by Zoe and Doc Murdock

In our writing workshops, writers submit their work by email. Members of the group use the Microsoft Word editing and markup tools to note errors and to provide feedback and suggestions. The marked-up document is then returned to the writer. This article describes how to use the Microsoft Word editing and markup tools for that purpose. If you only want to use the basic editing and feedback tools, there is a quick-start summary at the end of this article. Click here to go to the quick start summary.

To get started, carry out the following steps:

1. Customize your user information. This will tell the writer who made the editorial comments.

From the Tools men, select Options. Then select User Information. Enter the name you want to be displayed with your edits in the Name box.

2. Display your Markup Icons on the Toolbar. This will make all the markup options readily available on the Toolbar.

From the View menu, select the Toolbars option. Then, select the Reviewing option to turn it on. (When the Reviewing option is on it will have a check next to it.) The tracking options will then appear on your Toolbar. They are the little yellow icons. One has a left arrow, another a right arrow, and a third an "X" on top of it, etc. That whole row of icons is related to the Markup, Tracking, and Reviewing features of Word. Put your cursor over each icon to display its function.

3. Select your Markup Display Options . This allows you to determine the way your edits and comments will be displayed when you are marking up a document.

From the Tools menu, select Options. Then select Track Changes. Choose the way you want your corrections to be displayed, i.e., as Color Only or in Bold or Underlined, etc. It's up to you how you want them displayed.
Next, check the Use Balloons in Print and Web option (the comment balloons will only be displayed when you are in Web Layout or Print Layout mode - these are options under the View menu) and the Show lines Connecting to Text option. Finally, select Left Border for the Changed Lines option.

Marking up a Document

1. Turn on the Tracking function. You will have to do this each time you want to markup a document.

Either turn tracking on by going to the Toolbar and clicking on the little yellow icon that looks like a document with red text. Or, you can press Ctrl + Shift + E. When you are finished marking up a document be sure to press the key combination again (or the icon on the Toolbar) to turn tracking off. You will know that the tracking option is turned ON if you see the letters TRK in the status line at the bottom of the screen.
NOTE: You can also turn tracking ON/OFF by clicking the right mouse button while the cursor is over a editing or comment balloon. You can also accept and delete Reviewer edits in this way.
Once the tracking option has been turned on, any changes you make to the document will be shown "in the color you have selected" and as "balloons" in the right margin.
NOTE: The "balloons" will only show up on the right side of the text when you are in Print Layout, otherwise they will show up in a box at the bottom of the screen. To get into Print Layout, open the View menu and select Print Layout before you start marking up a document.

2. Making Edits and Inserting Comments

To display the edits that you make in a document you must have Markup turned on. To do this, select the Markup option from the View menu.
To make an edit, just click the cursor where you want to make the change and start typing. If you want to delete something, just do it. The program will mark the changes in color as you make them and a balloon will appear in the right margin indicating the change (this happens only if you make a comment or delete something - added words will just appear in the text in color).
If you want to make a comment about something in the text, use the mouse to highlight the text you are referring to and then go to the Toolbar and click on the little yellow icon with the star in the upper left hand corner. (If you put your mouse cursor over that icon it will say, New Comment. ) A balloon will appear in the right margin of the document in which you can type your comment.
After you have made all your editing changes and comments, turn off the Track Changes feature by again pressing Ctrl + Shift + E.

Quick Start Summary

If you only want to mark up a document and enter comments, there are two easy steps:

Step 1. From the View men, select Toolbars/Reviewing.

A new set of new icons will be displayed across the top of the screen, a small yellow box and two red and blue arrows (one pointing left and one pointing right). You can click on the yellow box to enter a comment at the cursor position. You can click on one of the arrows to move to the next (previously entered) markup.

Step 2. Press the following combination of keys: Ctrl+Shift+E.

The letters TRK will show up at the bottom of the screen. This means markup tracking has been turned on and anything you enter into the document will show up in color. Press the same three keys in combination to turn tracking off again.

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