Macros and abbreviations are wonderful tools to get to know—especially for over-worked editors who find themselves making the same comment over and over again.
Applications like Word and WordPerfect have a feature—called AutoText and Abbreviations, respectively—that enable you to set up an abbreviation and then expand it to its full version. For example, in Word, you can set up the abbreviation acc, press F3, and have it expand to Austin Community College.
Imagine the uses for this abbreviations feature. As an editor, you make certain comments again and again. In the process you become increasingly terse and decreasingly explanatory. You can design an abbreviation to be wonderfully verbose and helpful. You can even include references to standard grammar books. And then every time you see the problem, you can be as fresh and explanatory as the first time you ever made the comment.
To distinguish your edit comment from the writer's original text, you may want to put your comment within brackets and give it a different color. To change color, highlight the comment text, click on Format and then on Font. Click on Color in the Color Options: field and select the color you want. Then set up the abbreviation item.
Note: If you plan to use abbreviation items as a part of your standard work procedure, you'll need to move them into your own template file (a .dot file in Word). Let me know if you need to understand how to do this.
Macros offer a different set of online editing possibilities. You can use them to highlight text with a different color and to insert comments or suggested revisions. You can also set up a macro that strikes through text and turns it a different color.
Comment insert. Start with a macro that inserts a pair of brackets, turns the font blue, and places the cursor between the brackets—all with one keystroke.
Text highlight. For various reasons, as an online editor, you'll want to highlight text with a different color—for example, to tag it to some comment.
In my own practice, I have macros set up for different colors (including black in case I mess up). I have macros for different colors of insertion brackets and a red-strikethrough macro.
However, when writers get a file marked up this way, they must manually must go through delete or change everything. Software like Word, WordPerfect, and FrameMaker offer these track-change functions natively.
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