When asked to edit/critique someone else’s work, traditionally the editor would take a red pen and use it to make changes, and write comments. In the age of the internet, this is not always possible. Fortunately most newer word processors have functions, that when turned on will allow the user to insert comments and make changes that will show up as if they were made with the traditional red pen. The following tutorial explains how to use these functions in the most recent two versions of MS Word. To determine which version of MS Word you have, click on the help tab, and then select the about Microsoft Word option.
For Word 97-2003 there are two menu options that you need to use. The first is under the Tools tab. Choose the Track changes and select highlight changes. This will show any changes you make to the document as red lines or highlighted. The second option you will want to use is the insert comment option. To insert a comment, move the cursor to the desired place in the document (or select a section of the document) and then open the insert tab and select comment. A text box will open where the comment can be typed.
For Word 2007 the process is a bit different. First go to the review tab and press it. This will display the track changes button as well as the new comment button. There are other options that might be used for critiquing under this tab, however they may not work well when saving the document as a .doc file (as opposed to the .docx file that Word 2007 tries to save files as).
These two simple tools will allow the original user to see the changes that have been made, allowing them to accept or reject those changes. This will be helpful when editing or critiquing another persons work.