1. Get comfortable with the Track Changes feature

Tools > Track Changes

Track Changes is excellent if you routinely proofread documents for your co-works. It clearly marks where you have made any edits and changes, then the author can accept or reject the modifications you have made. You can also make comments about why you made a certain change or ask a question in the margin.

WARNING: Make sure to accept all changes and save your document before presenting it to a client or prospect—you don’t want them to see all of the edits that were made to the document. (They don’t need to know how the sausage is made…)

2. Use Find and Replace for efficient editing and formatting

Edit > Find > Advanced Find and Replace

If you are editing a document and you observe that every time the author wrote your they meant you’re. You can easily and quickly fix this by using the find and replace function. Another great trick using find and replace is, if your company has a specific font they use for all documents you can find all Times New Roman for instance and replace it with the font your company uses for their branding.

3. Customize your toolbars to suit your daily needs and routines

View > Toolbars > Customize Toolbars and Menus

Most of us do not use all of the buttons and functions that are defaulted to appear in the toolbar of Microsoft Word. By investing some time personalizing your toolbar to have the functions you use more frequently, you can same yourself time in the long run.

4. Eliminate formatting frustration: Add the “Show all nonprinting characters” button to your toolbar

Have you ever been working on a document and you are trying to do a numbered list and Microsoft Word does something odd? It’s irritating but if you merely click the “Show all nonprinting characters” you will be able to see what elements are playing into your document and easily fix what is happening.

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