Friday, January 20, 2012

Assignment Three

Optional pre-assignment for
Advanced Editing seminar:
Chris Yavelow

1) Familiarize yourself with the Word’s Preferences window and it’s many panes. If you use Word for Windows, this is likely called “Word Options.”

Accessing your Preferences is easy on a Macintosh (press command+comma in practically any program, including Word), but this may not be the case if you are using Windows. In Word for Windows 2007, click on the orb in the upper left corner of the frame. Next, click on the 'Word Options' button that appears. In Word for Windows 2011, click the File tab and choose “Options” from the menu that appears.

Hovering your cursor over a Preference option will usually display an information popup about that option. Nowadays, many versions of Word have a “Description” field at the bottom of each Preference Pane to provide more detailed feedback.

Here’s one example of why you should make sure your Preferences are set correctly. I was recently handed a manuscript and noticed that the first pages had sentences beginning with the word “On” in which the “O” was really a zero. I asked the author if he had run the manuscript through Word’s grammar/spell checker. He assured me that he had. It turned out that he had left the “Ignore words with numbers” preference enabled. You may be surprised to discover that Word comes with that option enabled. The time wasted to repair this mistake could have been better spent on writing. This seminar will teach you how to avoid such potentially costly errors.

2) If you want to experiment with the examples that will be covered in the seminar while they are being presented, bring your laptop and a backup copy of your manuscript file (the longer, the better). Note that it is not necessary to follow along with your computer during this seminar because you will be provided with detailed step-by-steps as additional handouts for all the material presented at the seminar. However, if you can apply a few of the techniques right away, it can help you comprehend just how much time you can truly save using the simple steps you will learn.