Friday, June 21, 2013

Use Word’s Reviewing Functions For Maximum Effect

Microsoft Word's Reviewing Tab options include three key buttons: New Comment, Track Changes and Final: Show Markup.
One of the ways Microsoft Word can help your business grow is by allowing several people to work on a document. Several people giving input means the document stands a better chance of achieving its desire results.
From versions 2007 on, Word includes a Review tab filled with tools that lets people comment on a document.
To use the Reviewing functions, switch to the Review Tab and familiarize yourself with the tools. Spelling & Grammar should be used on every document, no matter how many people read it or approve it. The Thesaurus is helpful when you want to avoid using the same word several times in a sentence or paragraph. Word Count is helpful in ensuring some sentences and paragraphs are not too long, which can bore your reader. The Translate function works OK in a pinch … but not as well as having a native speaker review it.
Three key functions are New Comment (Previous and Next are simply navigation tools), Track Changes and Final: Show Markup. Let’s examine each of these functions in detail.

This gives example of Word's reviewing comments.

New Comment

Use New Comment when you want to say something about part of the document. Click your mouse where you want to insert the comment. Alternately, highlight a section and then click to show your comment applies to that portion only.
Use the New Comment balloons to insert corrections and suggestions. Examples can include: “The sales price listed here is wrong. The new price is …” “You are missing a word here.” “Are you sure this is accurate? It doesn’t match what I know.”
In the interest of teamwork and morale building, be sure to include at least one compliment when the writer makes an especially good point.
Another tip: Adding too many comments makes the document impossible to read. The original writer can get confused about what changes to apply and where to make them.
A benefit of the New Comment function is that it automatically inserts the initials of the person making the comment. The initials let the original writer keep track of who said what and who wants what.

Track Changes shows all alterations, no matter how minor.

Track Changes

When Track Changes is turned on, every alteration to the document, to the point of every backspace and minor correction, is documented. This includes major revisions, like chopping out a paragraph or section, and minor ones such as altering punctuation.
Some companies like to use this method on every document. Personal preference is to save multiple named versions of a document when wholesale revisions are going to be made. Having “draft1a,” “draft1b,” “draft2” and “FINAL,” for example, lets you make major changes and not erase critical information from an earlier version.

Final: Show Markup

Final: Show Markup” is one of several reviewing options you can select from a drop-down list. Others include “Original,” “Original Show Markup” and “Final.”
These options let you see what changes were made. The person with final authority can then decide if they like all, some or none of the later changes.
Going to “Final” option (the Show Markup is not selected) lets the reader see a complete version without the distractions of comments and indications of minor revisions. The “Final” version shows you what the document would look like if you printed it or sent it to someone.

Other Tools And When To Use Them

“Everyone makes mistakes but to really screw up requires a committee.” If you agree with that comment, you can understand why Microsoft included the Accept and Reject changes buttons.
Just because one person makes a comment does not mean the boss agrees with their assessment. If the author does not like a comment—the referenced error has been fixed but the reader missed it—they can reject it.
Compare lets you compare two versions of a document side by side. This is very helpful when you want to ensure no errors have been added to a document and that key information is present.
Restrict Editing is helpful when many documents are on an open network. People who may not need to comment, or whose changes could be detrimental, can be locked out by the original author. When an unauthorized person tries to read such a document, they will see a message saying, “Document Locked for Editing.”
They can still copy the document and make changes to the copy, but they cannot alter the original.