Making comments in MS Word or Helping the Intrepid Critique Master.

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.


Users’ Advocate: Blame the Author If Communication Fails? by Marc Baker

Well, it’s Monday and rather than writing something ourselves we came across this article on the Techwhirl site.

Users’ Advocate: Blame the Author If Communication Fails? by Marc Baker

What do you think?

Why Write a Business Plan?

I have some friends who are batting around the idea of starting a business. I asked them if they had written a business plan and received two different answers.

One friend said he hadn’t decided which of three options (for example: a bakery, an ice cream parlor, or a clothing store) he was going to choose and was waiting until he had made that decision before he started a business plan. One asked what a business plan was and why he would need one.

A business plan does two things. First, it is a tool that will help define the pros and cons of each option and clarify your decision. It can tell you which option or business will be the most profitable within your community or which has the least start up cost; among other things.

Second, it defines your products or services, your pricing, and your schedule. This allows you to go to an investor and explain exactly what you are selling. It will also point out any issues before they become problems.

This is just the tip of the ice berg of what a business plan can do for you and your business. We are willing to help you bring your business to life.

What can a technical writer do for your business?

A technical writer can update documentation to reflect new information, new images, or new branding.  A technical writer can create or update training materials to ensure employees understand their responsibilities. A technical writer can document processes to ensure that they are understood by employees and are done correctly by employees. A technical writer can interview subject matter experts to create manuals and service bulletins.

We are very proud to offer our services to help your company maintain its standards.