PDF-Xchange Viewer

In the publishing house where I used to work, we experimented with what I call “paperless proofreading.” A previous newsletter explains the concept:


We also talked about having proofreaders work from PDF files, but that would mean they’d need to get the full-fledged Adobe Acrobat software so they could annotate the text, pointing out errors for the typesetter to correct and inserting queries for the editor. Acrobat has some wonderful features, but at $299 it’s a tad expensive for many proofreaders:


If only we’d known about the wonderful (and free!) PDF-XChange Viewer from Tracker Software Products:


It won’t do everything that Acrobat does (for example, merge annotations from multiple PDF files), but it includes a wide range of PDF annotation tools. And that means you could send PDF galleys by email rather than sending paper galleys by postal mail. How much money would that save you? A 300-page book at 2.5 cents (or more) per page to print or photocopy comes to $7.50. If you make three copies (for two proofreaders and the author), that’s $22.50. Add postage of, say, $4.60 X 3 = $13.80, for a grand total of $36.30:


If you want overnight delivery (deadlines, right?), you’re looking at postage of about $65, for a grand total of $87. And that doesn’t include mailing envelopes, time spent copying and mailing, or the time cost of losing at least two days in transit. How many books do you handle a year? Ouch!

So, would PDF proofreading work for you? If you’d like to find out, PDF-XChange Viewer could be the way to go.




After reading “Deleting Multiple Comments” in the previous newsletter, Greg Ioannou wrote to explain that in Word 2003 and 2007, no macros are needed to delete multiple comments:

From Word’s help files:

– To quickly delete all comments in a document, click a comment in the document. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click the arrow below

Delete, and then click Delete All Comments in Document.

It is a bit more complex for just one reviewer:

– On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, click the arrow next to Show Markup.

– To clear the check boxes for all reviewers, point to Reviewers, and then click All Reviewers.

Click the arrow next to Show Markup again, point to Reviewers, and then click the name of the reviewer whose comments you want to delete.

– In the Comments group, click the arrow below Delete, and then click Delete All Comments Shown.


Ron Solecki wrote:

I think I’ve found something “new” in Word. Well, it is not documented in any of the M$ Word books I have, the online help, M$ KB (but finding anything specific there is a minor miracle, I suppose it may be buried in there somewhere), or a Google search (first 26 entries) … so something “new”!

What is this new thing? It is a way of providing fine control displaying levels in View / Outline.

The previously documented methods I’ve found are:

1. default keyboard shortcuts, ALT + SHF + 1-9, +/- , A

2. outline toolbar, “+” and “-” buttons to open close a selected heading

3. outline toolbar, dropdown “Show Level #” list

4. outline toolbar, “Show Level” buttons (older versions of Word)

5. macros, assign macro to user defined toolbar buttons to recreate the old button method

6. click on the “+” sign beside the heading level in outline view

Now there is a 7th!

7. Document map.

I found that displaying the document map when in outline view provides finer control over the heading levels displayed. In the past I never used the document map with outline view. Why bother, they show the same thing, condensed headings. Occasionally I would use the document map because it provided a slightly more condensed (smaller text) view to jump around in the doc.

The new thing I found is that I can use the document map to provide fine level control in the outline view. This is how …

– display outline view: View / Outline

– concurrently, display the document map: View / Document map

The two displays are “in sync” showing the same levels. The first 5 methods described above affect the whole document, and clicking on the “+” sign beside a level in outline view opens up everything below it, including the text, which is more detail than I want to see.

Right clicking in the document map displays a drop down with “+/-” signs and “Show Level” options. I’ve found the “+/-” options unpredictable in the document map, and the “Show Level” choices work exactly like the toolbar option (probably invoke same command) affecting the whole doc.

The “new” thing is that clicking on the “+” sign beside a heading in the Document Map only opens up the specific heading 1 additional level at at time, unlike when you do it in the Outline view, which opens up everything (including text!). And no matter how far down you click in the document map, it will only expand the associated outline view to display headings, never body text!

The result is that you can have the whole document in outline view displaying only level 1 except for 1 heading that you have drilled down as many heading levels as you want using the document map. I’ve gone down 6 or 7 levels to organize the headings at that level.

It makes sense since both document map and outline view work with heading styles. And the one way fine control makes sense for the same reason. The document map can only display headings, never body text.

I have tested this in Word 2002/XP.

I also tried it in Word 97. But Word 97 has (always had, in my experience) problems displaying in outline view. I found that it has a bad habit of arbitrarily displaying body text in the document map and outline view seemingly at random, making it hard to confirm this tip. Reapplying “Normal” style hides the unwanted displayed text, but it does not always ‘stick’.

Many thanks to Greg and Ron!



If you’re interested in self-publishing or setting type with Microsoft Word, you’ll find some interesting information on Aaron Shepard’s Publishing Page:


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