What does my editing look like?

In most cases, I will be editing your manuscript or project in Microsoft Word using the Track Changes feature. Track Changes is a great tool that allows an editor to make revisions directly in a Word document, along with comments and questions to the author out in the margin. Here's an example of what the text might look like when you receive your edited document back:

 In this sample, you can see that some letters, words, and punctuation have been edited. There's also a consistency issue with one phrase, so I've highlighted it and added a comment to the author.   

In this sample, you can see that some letters, words, and punctuation have been edited. There's also a consistency issue with one phrase, so I've highlighted it and added a comment to the author.

 

How to view and Apply My Edits

Once you receive the edited document back, you can click on the "Review" tab at the top of your screen in Word. You'll be able to click through each of the revisions I've made and click "Accept" or "Reject." 

You can control how you view your edited document using the three buttons next to the "Track Changes" button. (Note: these buttons may look different depending on which version of Word you have. Sometimes "All Markup" is called "Full Markup.") By clicking on the top button, you can decide how much of the editing you want to see: all of it, comments only, or only the final version. Using the "Show Markup" button, you can choose to view the edited text with the revisions noted out in the margin, as in the example above, or "inline" with the text. For example, if you are viewing your document in "All Markup," you can  click on "Show Markup" and change "Show Revisions In Balloons" to "Show All Revisions Inline." Now your document will look something like this:

It's the same document as before, but now you can more easily see things that were deleted or changed. It'll take an extra click to view the comment, but it'll be easier to tell which phrase the comment refers to. Each setting has its pro and cons, so you might develop a favorite setting or even switch back and forth as you revise.

 

Comments

If I've made a revision directly in the text of your document, it's because I'm making a necessary correction or a revision I'm fairly confident you'll choose to accept. But I also make frequent use of the "comments in balloons" out in the margin for various reasons.

I sometimes add a comment because a change is needed but there are multiple ways to address it, and I'd like you to make the choice between them (as in the example above). Sometimes I'll add a comment to simply discuss an idea about the text, leaving it up to you to take it or leave it. 

I'll often phrase my comments in question form. This doesn't mean I need to hear back from you on the topic (if I did, I would have emailed you about it while editing); it's usually because I think the reader might be unclear on what you're saying or might need more information. Sometimes I'll use the comments to explain why I'm making certain revisions.

Finally, sometimes I'll make a comment just to bring your attention to something you've done well; helping writers recognize and grow their strengths is one of the most rewarding things about being an editor.