Newbie’s Guide to Track Changes

This is a brilliant blog post and video tutorial from the inimitable Dave Bricker — I too think track changes is THE best author/editor tool going, as it’s so great for ‘dis­cussing’ as Dave says, and builds up this cru­cial rela­tion­ship. Automated edit pack­ages are great for pick­ing out ‘com­mon’ gaffes, but so hard on the ‘voice’ and far less intu­itive than a flesh and blood edi­tor who’s famil­iar with your work.

If you’re not using your Word Processor’s Track Changes func­tion, you’re miss­ing out on one of the best writ­ing tools to have come from the dig­i­tal age. The good news it it’s quick and easy to learn. This video tuto­r­ial will show you how.

Track Changes is per­haps one of the most use­ful fea­tures in MS Word. This toolset is valu­able because it pro­motes a col­lab­o­ra­tive rela­tion­ship between writer and edi­tor. Many first-time authors fear the edit­ing process because they’re con­cerned an edi­tor will “process” their work and remove their unique, authen­tic voice from the prose. Track Changes pre­vents this from hap­pen­ing. By its very nature, Track Changes revolves around dis­cus­sion; it allows the edi­tor to make sug­ges­tions and the author to accept or reject them. And if an edi­tor makes a cor­rec­tion that doesn’t have an obvi­ous ratio­nale behind it, that cor­rec­tion can have an explana­tory com­ment attached to it. Track Changes does what its name implies: it tracks changes. Every revi­sion is saved; author and edi­tor can tog­gle between the edited text and the original.

Gone are the days when typed paper man­u­scripts were anno­tated with proofreader’s marks and com­ments in the mar­gins were attached with lines to cir­cled phrases. Track Changes is an essen­tial tool that helps guide your nar­ra­tive from rough draft to pol­ished manuscript.

P.S. Watch the video full-screen at 1080p for a bet­ter view.

One thought on “Newbie’s Guide to Track Changes

  1. Sure Jan, I can never publish without using a professional editor. Not all of them are good thought. The one I used for my second book was a sham, but I am getting something special with up-coming book.


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