What “Track Changes” Looks Like

Hey, y’all!

I’ve finally found a break in my schedule to blog again, now that Christmas is over and my next term doesn’t begin until the end of January. (Hurray! I actually get to work on my own writing!) Since I’ve opened my writing business I wanted to share something directed toward writers. Yes, I know this is The Reader’s Blog, but writers are just readers on steroids. Right? 😉

Ok, back on track. I received feedback from an editor on my wip (work in progress) recently. In the editor’s return e-mail, she explained to me that she uses track changes to edit. There was a thorough explanation of how to turn on the feature and use it. I skimmed through it, glad I didn’t need it, but it got me thinking. How familiar is the average writer with the editing features on this popular writing software?


To shed a little more light on this subject, I’ll share my personal experience with non-tech editing. Several months back I joined a local critique group. The members would print out a chapter, share it, and then each member critiqued by hand. I, a child of the 90’s but certainly not of the technological age my children are growing up in, was shocked. I adapted my style and critiqued with thorough notes; however, I found this method time-consuming as I lacked the space to insert notes nessisary to make good examples of needed corrections. As a wife, mom, student, business owner, and writer, my time is precious. Thus, I try to spend it wisely. I can’t go through jotting notes in the margins of paper when Word is offering me a space of 50-100 words per comment. (Yes, sometimes a comment of this length is needed, and if you’ve never seen one you might want to get out in the writing community.) This is why I highly recommend utilizing the many editing features in Word.

I’m planning a series of posts introducing writers to the different features of Word, as most computers come equipped with this software and its formats are universal to a variety of programs. Watch for those posts in the weeks to come. For now, I’m beginning with this short snippet of what track changes in Word looks like. I went back in my files and dug up an old story and edited it. I hope you find it helpful, and that you’ll be inspired to examine whether or not you’re utilizing the tools available to you.

What technique do you use when editing?

Do you draft by hand then type, or do you print a typed version then red-pen it?


trackchangsampKeep watch for additional posts about useful features in Word. The next will touch on comments, and I plan to use some technology new to me to share a tutorial as well. Until then, keep reading, writing, editing, and happy new year!

~ Kyleann


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