Editing in Word

You can change an author’s file on-screen relatively easily – but editing it efficiently and effectively requires more skill and specialist knowledge. Through a series of hands-on exercises, this course shows you how to make on-screen editing a more efficient process, improving the speed and quality of your work. You will learn ‘best practice’ in preparing files for import into typesetting programs. And you will also learn how to find the best resources on the internet.

Every student will have sole use of a computer with all relevant software. The basic techniques are applicable to all platforms.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • edit efficiently on-screen
  • prepare files in the best form for typesetting
  • create macros to ‘clean’ files automatically
  • flag changes to files electronically
  • customise Word for editing.

This course contributes to PUB 19 of the Book & Journal Publishing National Occupational Standards.

Who will benefit from this course?

Editorial staff and freelancers who use Word to edit text on-screen or who brief others to edit on-screen. This course is focused on teaching you how to edit on-screen, not what to edit. If you are a beginner, you would benefit from attending Copy-Editing Skills first.


  • Introduction to macros
    • Recording and running macros
    • Benefits of clean-up and house-style macros
    • A peek at macro programming commands
  • Preparation for on-screen editing
    • Benefits of and concerns about on-screen editing: version control, quality, physical issues, finding and briefing an on-screen editor
    • Checklist for an on-screen edit
  • Assessing the job
    • Identifying and correcting authors’ layout and formatting problems
    • Handling special characters
    • File preparation for optimal import into publishing programs
  • Templates, styles and codes
    • Understanding how templates work
    • Creating and using templates and styles
    • Benefits
    • Principles of coding
  • Viewing the document
    • The document map
    • The style area
    • Outline view
  • Find and replace
    • Tips for better, safer global searches
    • Replacing formatting and styles
    • The 'Special' menu
    • Wildcard searches
  • Shortcut keys
    • Efficient navigation and text selection
    • Case conversion
    • Inserting special characters
  • On-screen mark-up (Track Changes)
    • Tips to make Track Changes more useful
    • Comparing and merging documents
    • Protecting the document and checking for sensitive information
  • Master documents
    • Linking files electronically: creating and editing master documents
  • Customisation
    • AutoText and AutoCorrect
    • Customising shortcut keys and the Quick Access Toolbar
  • Tables
    • Creating and editing tables
    • Converting tables to text
    • Creating a table of contents
  • Online resources and further reading.

Your Tutor

Anne Waddingham trades as WordMedic (‘Making words better’) and has worked in STM publishing for over 30 years. She specialises in tutoring, on-screen editing and proofreading, and project management. She was editor-in-chief of the second edition of New Hart’s Rules (OUP, 2014), and wrote the on-screen editing chapter in the fourth edition of Butcher’s Copy-editing (CUP, 2006). Anne has a Licentiateship in Editorial Skills from the City & Guilds Institute.

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Note that most of our short courses can also be run as In-Company events.

  • Dates: 10 September 2015, 19 November 2015
  • Duration: A one-day course
  • A number of discounts are available

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