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How to Avoid Embarrassing Editing Marks on Your Word Documents

18 Jan 2016 10:25 AM | Anonymous

By Brenda Bernstein
The Essay Expert

Ever get a document back from an editor that has tons of red or blue lines (maybe even some green ones), and have no idea how to get rid of them all, or view the document the way it’s supposed to look? This article is for you!

Why I Love Track Changes

Microsoft Word has a very useful feature called “Track Changes” that keeps track of changes that an editor makes to a document, and allows subsequent readers to see what changes were made. When the “Track Changes” feature is turned on, anyone who opens the document can see every change made to the original document, whether to fonts, page formats, margins, and text.

Track Changes also has a “Comments” feature that allows explanations and suggestions to be entered in the margins of your document.

The value of Track Changes to me as an editor is that my clients can see what I’ve changed, and I can see the changes they make. I do not then have to go through their resume word by word to see what alterations have occurred. It’s also easy to accept or reject changes, without having to change individual fonts or colors. Gone are the days of manually inserting a strikethrough to indicate a deletion!

The Dangers of Track Changes

Track Changes can be troublesome too. You don’t want to send a document with lots of red lines and bubbles all over it to an employer or a school (many people have embarrassing stories of doing this)! The recipient then sees all the suggestions, changes, and possibly the original language and mistakes that needed changing.

As part of proofreading and preparing the final draft of a resume, cover letter, or essay, take the following steps to ensure that you do not inadvertently send a marked up copy to an employer:

Directions for MS Word 2007/2010

Review Tab

  1. Check to see if there are any comments or tracked changes in the document:
  • Go to the “Review” tab and click on the window that says “Final Showing Markup.” Go to the “Show Markup” menu and make sure there are check marks in all the boxes (otherwise you might not see the comments or formatting changes when you look at “Final Showing Markup”)

  • NOTE: If the window says “Final” and you do not see any redlines, this does not mean they are gone! Make sure you are viewing the markups before determining that your document is clean.
  1. If you do not see any changes or comments and you do not make any other changes to the document, you’re good to go.

  2. However, if you do see comments and tracked changes, you can do one of two things:
    1. Change “Final: Show Markup” to “Final” and save the final document as a PDF. This solution works if the place you’re submitting your resume accepts.pdf files.

    2. Accept all the tracked changes and delete all edits and comments (unless you only want to accept some of them, in which case see step 4). NOTE: You need to delete edits SEPARATELY from comments!

    3. Under the “Review” tab, go to “Accept” icon and accept all changes.

    4. Under the “Review” tab, go to the icon that says “Delete” (next to the “New Comment” icon, and click “Delete All Comments in Document.”
  3. If you want to accept some changes and delete others, you can accept or reject changes and comments one at a time by right clicking on them individually. You will get a drop-down menu with choices of what to do.

  4. Repeat Step 1.

Directions for MS Word 2008 for Mac

  1. Check to see if there are any comments or tracked changes in the document:

    Go to the “View” menu and Select “Toolbars,” and within it select “Reviewing.” Go to the “Show” drop-down menu and make sure there are check marks next to the first three items shown (otherwise you might not see the comments or formatting changes when you look at “Final Showing Markup.”)

  2. If you do not see any changes or comments and you do not make any other changes to the document, you’re good to go.

  3. However, if you do see comments and tracked changes, you can do one of two things:
    1. Change “Final: Show Markup” to “Final” and save the final document as a PDF. This solution works if the place you’re submitting your resume accepts.pdf files.

    2. Accept all the tracked changes and delete all edits and comments (unless you only want to accept some of them, in which case see step 4). NOTE: You need to delete edits SEPARATELY from comments!

      Go to the drop-down menu with the green checkmark, and select “Accept All Changes in Document.”


      Go to the drop-down menu with the red X, and select “Delete All Comments in Document.”
  4. If you want to accept some changes and delete others, you can accept or reject changes and comments one at a time by clicking on the icons with the left arrow or right arrow to move to the previous or next change and then click on the drop-down menus with the green checkmark or red X to accept or reject each individually.

  5. Repeat Step 1.

Directions for MS Word 2003

  1. Check to see if there are any comments or tracked changes in the document.
  • Go to the “View” Menu and click on the “Markup” option. This feature can be switched on or off. On the Reviewing toolbar, click Show, and then make sure that a check mark appears next to each of the following items. If a check mark does not appear next to an item, click the item to select it.
    • Comments
    • Ink Annotations (Word 2003 only)
    • Insertions and Deletions
    • Formatting
    • Reviewers (Point to Reviewers and make sure that All Reviewers is selected.)
  • When on, you will see all the comments and changes. When off, you will see the document in its final form. Note: the default setting may be set to off. Therefore, never assume your final Word document does not contain any hidden comments or changes!!
  1. Get rid of all the redlines and comments (you must delete edits and comments separately). Do this on one of two ways:
    1. Turn off the View Markup option and convert the final form of the document into a PDF. You can use a program such as Primo PDF ( http://www.primopdf.com/ ).

    2. In the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Reviewing.
  • On the Reviewing toolbar, click Next to advance from one revision or comment to the next. Click Accept Change or Reject Change/Delete Comment for each revision or comment. Repeat until all the revisions in the document have been accepted or rejected and all the comments have been deleted.

OR

  • To accept all the changes, click the arrow next to Accept Change, and then click Accept All Changes in Document. If you know that you want to reject all the changes, click the arrow next to Reject Change/Delete Comment, and then click Reject All Changes in Document.

  • THEN, to remove ALL comments, click the arrow next to Reject Change/Delete Comment, and then click Delete All Comments in Document.

  • If you want to accept SOME changes and delete others, you can accept or reject changes and comments one at a time by right clicking on them individually. You will get a drop-down menu with choices of what to do.
  1. THREE Repeat Step 1.

Important notes for all versions of Word:

  1. If you accept all changes before reviewing the document and there is a comment in the middle of your document like “(dates?)” then that change will be accepted and become a part of your document! Make sure you respond to all questions and make any revisions needed inside your document before accepting all changes.

  2. ALWAYS proofread your final document at least 3 times! As much as The Essay Expert and other editors attempt to ensure that your documents are perfect, final approval is ultimately your responsibility.

  3. If you don’t want all your future edits to show up as marked on your document, turn Track Changes off by clicking on it. It’s a toggled function. Click it on, click it off.

  4. Finally, when you receive an edited document, whenever possible accept or reject the changes before making your own edits! This practice will make it much easier to look at the NEW edits you have made to the document.

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