Reviewing Revisions with the Keyboard

Last week's article on paperless proofreading explained how to use Word's Reviewing toolbar to review revisions in a merged document. It's a great tool except for one thing: the need to locate and click those tiny toolbar buttons for every revision you want to find, accept, or reject. Wouldn't it be nice to use the same commands from the keyboard? Here's how:

1. Click Tools > Customize > Commands > Keyboard.

2. In the Categories window, find and click "All Commands."

3. In the Commands window, click "ToolsRevisionMarksNext."

4. Put your cursor in the box labeled "Press new shortcut key."

5. Press the keyboard combination you want to use. For example, for the "Next Change" command (ToolsRevisionMarksNext), you could use ALT + SHIFT + N.

6. Click the "Assign" button.

7. Repeat steps 1 through 6 for the following commands:

ToolsRevisionMarksPrev ("Previous Change," ALT + SHIFT + P)

ToolsRevisionMarksAccept ("Accept Change," ALT + SHIFT + A)

ToolsRevisionMarksReject ("Reject Change," ALT + SHIFT + R)

8. Click the "Close" button.

Now by pressing the key combinations you specified, you'll be able to review, accept, and reject changes just as if you were using the toolbar buttons--but without the aggravation. As a bonus, you now know how to assign commands to keyboard combinations.



I received some great messages from readers in response to last week's article.

Anna Marshall wrote:

Thanks for another great Editorium Update! I enjoyed very much your proofreading sequence. It's essentially what I use, aided by your Editor's ToolKit and FileCleaner tools.

One step you might add to your sequence is viewing the text differently by changing the background color, using columns, or employing one of the other methods you listed in previous newsletters:

Although these methods don't completely substitute for a review of the printed document (for me), they get darn close.

Also, your sequence doesn't acknowledge the importance of interplay between text and images in the final document. I've never seen text stand with no changes once imported into a layout. Frustrating as it is to document managers and designers, the layout generally spotlights a need for minor text adjustments if not content adjustments (e.g., certain content commands more visual emphasis than intended).

Some designers I know import a rough draft of the text into the layout to nail text-design interplay issues up front, so that when final text comes through, it gets imported into a final layout, and there should be few surprises.

Brad Hurley wrote:

Thanks for the paperless proofreading tips--I used the same procedure when working on magazine articles that were reviewed by several outside experts and editors.

Here's another tip that might be useful to some of your readers: Recently, I edited a government publication that was put through an unplanned multi-agency review after the report had already been laid out in Quark. The process lasted several months, and there were extensive revisions. I saved a ton of time and hassle by buying a copy of Quark CopyDesk, which allowed me to make direct edits to the text in the Quark file. No need to give the designer marked-up hard copies, and CopyDesk protects the layout so the artist needn't worry about the editor messing up the design. Furthermore, CopyDesk lets you easily extract the text as a Word file, which allowed me to track all the changes I'd made: I extracted the text from the original CopyDesk file, and then when the revisions were complete I asked the designer to send me a new CopyDesk file. I extracted the text from the new file into another Word document and used Word's "Compare Documents" feature to reveal the differences between the two versions.

For me the real value of CopyDesk wasn't so much fitting the copy to the layout, but being able to make text edits directly to the Quark file without having to fax marked-up copy or e-mailing a commented-up PDF to the graphic designer. It reduces the opportunity for error and saves a lot of time.

Steve Hudson wrote:

Automated processes? Live on 'em 🙂 I generally use all of these:

Reapply all styles

Spell / grammar check

check for bad bookmarks (multi-paragraphs)

bookmark all headings ready for x-reffing

remove all un-reffed bookmarks

phrase finder to check consistent vocab use

Set page layouts

report on picture names, compare against directory

find slang words

strip bad spacing

prep for online use (cleans up tables, bullets and the like)

apply autocorrections

apply casing to headings

Anna Marshall wrote with the following question: "Here's a problem for you. Do you or any of your readers have a macro that will take comments out of the comments area and paste them into the running text of a document?"

If you, gentle reader, have such a macro that you'd be willing to share, please let me know.

Thanks to all for their comments and suggestions.



Interested in a program designed specifically to handle revision control? You might want to try ComponentSoftware RCS, which can be used at no charge for single users. Here's what the Web site says:

"ComponentSoftware RCS (CS-RCS) is a powerful, inexpensive revision control system for Windows. Based on the widely used GNU RCS, it is fully integrated with the Windows Explorer, providing the most intuitive and easy-to-use configuration management and change control solution in the market. CS-RCS supports multi- platform workgroups, making it the ideal solution for sites that share common files on UNIX and Windows platforms.

"CS-RCS handles all types of documents including program files, project files, resource files, HTML documents, MS-Word documents, pictures and drawings.

"CS-RCS can use any file server or local drive to store the archive repository. Network connection to the archive repository can be LAN, corporate wide-area network (WAN), dial-in connection (RAS) and the Internet.

"CS-RCS Basic is used for general-purpose document revision management as well as for entry-level software configuration management. CS-RCS Pro includes advanced features needed for complex software and web development projects."

You can learn more (and try the program) here:

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