Saturday, March 12, 2011

Well, Not Exactly A Website

Like many of you, I write my novel using Word, so today, I'm going to emphasize some of the features you can utilize to help you with writing, editing, and all that.

First of all, there are comments, notes you can make in the side of the document. Very useful for editing. In older versions of Word, go to View, Toolbars and then Reviewing to bring up the toolbar with both the comment button and the track changes, which displays changes you've made to the document. If you're undecided about deleting a paragraph, use track changes and it will keep the paragraph until you specifically tel it to get rid of it. Note that in post 2007 versions of Word, these functions appear under the Review tab.

Another neat function is the split screen function. Older versions: Go to the Window tab. Newer: go to the View tab. Either way, you click on the Split function and select a spot in the middle of the document to "divide" it. Now you can scroll up and down separately in the two areas and on chapter 1 while looking at chapter 9. A useful tool if you're moving information.

Next, you should know about section breaks because they help with page numbering--if you didn't already know, the first page of a chapter is NOT supposed to be numbered. But even though you start each chapter on a new page--a page break--that doesn't separate the sections in the document. And do to the way page numbering works, you can't selectively delete them. Considering how many chapters you may have, I don't know why you'd want to. But! This is where section breaks come in. At the end of the chapter, don't hit control-enter or "insert page break." You go to the Insert tab and hit "insert break," then select "section break" and "Next Page." Viola! New section, which means if you go to Format Page Number and select "different first page." The annoying part is, you have to select that in each section. I know. Stupid. It's Microsoft. What do you expect?

That's all for now. Any Word tips to add? Did I get something wrong? I may have in the page numbering section. Microsoft directions make no sense.


  1. Page numbering and formatting... it's a task I'm not looking forward to at all...

  2. This is so useful for someone who is catching up to all this techno-stuff :D

  3. I am an idiot (proud of it) and sometimes intend to revert back to older versions of my story after end of day.

    So I create a new copy of word (my story) every time I work. Use a excel sheet to save notes, comments about characters and to-do list.

    Probably should try your style.

    thanks for the same.

  4. Thank you - I learned something today.

  5. Wonderful tips. I didn't know you could do a split screen. I'm always jumping from one version to the other. I'm going to try that out now. Thanks! :D

  6. I knew about the valuable Comment feature, but not the split screen for the SAME doc. Cool! (If I want to have 2 diff docs up, my lovely 24" screen is wide enough to have both open.) :)

    I'd never heard of no paging on the middle chapters; that's just weird to me. I'll just do it on the first page of the ms and not the middle chapters.

  7. I have just tried the Beta for Scrivener and i am loving that. It reminds me of word, just with a couple of extra features.

    have posted the info here

    i did a quick poll and you are not alone in using Word. it was a fairly even divide between Scrivener, Ywriter and word as you rmain writing platform.

    Thanks for the post, i love splitting the screens on word. So handy


  8. Quite useful information - I will have to find all this on word for mac.

  9. Comments is so useful, I love them. Thanks for this information. :)


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