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A Handy Tool for Writers

A Handy Tool for Writers

A Session with Earl Javorsky

Besides writing, I work as an editor and proofreader. When I get back a copyedited work, I am then tasked with—assuming it’s a Word doc with Tracking turned on—Accepting or Rejecting edits, which I can see in a Reviewing Pane and address one at a time, either right-clicking or going up to the ribbon in the Review tab at the top. Similarly, when I send out work I’ve edited, the writer has to respond to my suggestions.

Most of the time, the edits are things like comma insertions or deletions, hyphens, misspelled words, etc., and it’s laborious to catch them one at a time. It’s far easier to scan a section (a paragraph or two), Reject any changes I don’t agree with (usually the exception), then Select the section and, using an easy-to-create Macro , Accept all the changes in the paragraph.

In the accompanying video, I start with a page from Trust Me, a novel of mine, to which I added mistakes and then edited after turning Track Changes on. Then, using the custom Macro, I Accept them globally (within the selected section). In the next section, I find a change I disagree with, so I Reject it; then I repeat the global Accept (only within the section) using the Macro.

Creating the Macro is a breeze. Start a new Word doc and select the Review tab in the Word ribbon up top. Click on Track Changes and then type “xxx” and double-click to highlight it. Choose the Developer  tab in the ribbon at the top and click on Record Macro on the upper left. Give your Macro a name and description (optional) and select Keyboard. In the next screen, where it says Press new shortcut key, choose a pair that is unlikely to interfere with anything already preset in your system—I use Alt+a—and then press Assign. The window will disappear and you’ll be in your Word doc with a cursor that looks like a cassette tape. Now go back to the Review tab and click the arrow under Accept and select Accept Change. Finally, go back to the Developer  tab and select Stop Recording. You now have a handy Macro to greatly simplify the post-copyedit or post-proofing revision process (Comments will not be affected.)

I used to tell clients the easiest way to deal with line edits is to Reject the ones you don’t agree with and then globally Accept what’s left. However, globally altering a document is risky. Using this Macro allows you to deal with manageable chunks at a time.

Check the video to see how easy the cleanup process becomes!

I hope you find this useful!

About the Author…
Earl Javorsky is a writer living in Southern California. His second novel, Trust Me, was published by The Story Plant in 2015, and his new novel, Down to No Good, will be published in the fall of 2017. –




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  1. Evan says:

    Really great trick. I have done some line editing while working with freelance writers and this would have really come in handy on both ends. Wonder if you can do something similar in Google Docs? Do you have any experience there?
    Evan recently posted…The best tablets for writers & writing 2017My Profile

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