Keeping Track

One of the things we can be as certain of as death and taxes is that in every meeting at least one person will hand out a document for comments and discussion. But think of the huge workload this gives rise to for the author. She can only hope that not too many people respond, or that they don't all do so at once!

But there's another way...

Microsoft Word has a nice feature called tracking. When you go through a document by hand, you cross words out here, insert a line there -- but of course the original document is still visible, no none of the changes is irrevocable.

Word has exactly the same facility:

Go to tools - and now when you delete a word it doesn't disappear, a red line is put through it. By the same token, when you insert a word it appears in green.

Next, place the document in an area where it's accessible to everyone, such as in the global directory in Mulberry place, and ask people to make their comments and alterations there. (save a copy elsewhere, though, in case somebody deletes it!)

An added bonus of using this approach is that when you place the mouse pointer over an amendment, it tells you who made it. That means you can ask them questions about it.

But the best part is that once everyone has put in their two- penn'orth, al you need do is accept or delete each suggestion with a click of the mouse. In fact, you can do all of it with just one click by selecting accept all or reject all.

This feature alone could save you hours and hours.

Terry Freedman has nearly thirty years' experience in education, and nearly 20 years' experience as a writer. A member of the UK's Society of Authors, Terry has had around a dozen books published, and over 800 specialist articles in leading newspapers and magazines. His website provides free access to many of his articles, a free newsletter with more tips like this, and more, or visit his blog.

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