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Category: Editing Tools

Customizing the Spellchecker Dictionary

on November 3, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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There’s a dictionary that lives in your copy of Microsoft Word. In fact, there are several. In this blog, we’ll look at some ways to optimize and customize these tools to best suit your particular job.

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How to Use Microsoft Word AutoCorrect

on September 26, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Microsoft Word’s autocorrect can it fix common spelling errors and automate routine formatting and capitalization functions. It’s also highly customizable and easy to use.

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When Grammar Check Is Wrong

on April 4, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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I’ve already talked about the limitations of spell check, but grammar check is actually a trickier beast, sometimes offering what look like perfectly reasonable “improvements” to your work that actually are the opposite.

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3 Tips for Using a Thesaurus

on March 16, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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When used correctly, a thesaurus can help you punch up your writing by using just the right word when you want it. Here's three times a thesaurus can come to the rescue.

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Using MS Word Lists: Bullets & Numbers

on February 20, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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All writing tools or techniques should help you express yourself more clearly. Lists can be particularly useful for this, especially in dense academic writing. Presenting important information in discrete items, rather than a block of text, can alleviate visual clutter and even provide a key to structuring your piece.

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Hanging Indents with MS Word Ruler

on January 13, 2018 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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the first-line indent, by virtue of being so ubiquitous, seems quite intuitive and natural. But there’s another kind of indent, found almost exclusively in academic writing: the hanging indent.

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Top 10 Changes in Chicago’s 17th Edition

on November 16, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Clocking in at 1,145 pages, this is not a book meant to be read cover to cover (thank God), so Chicago has a handy guide to the edition’s updates. The problem is, the handy guide is itself somewhat daunting. So I’m going to cover the top ten changes,

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Recovering Lost Documents

on October 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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However it happens, we all learn to fear the aftermath, the moment when we click open the folder where we save our work and see that the file we were editing only moments ago is just . . . gone. Here's a quick-and-dirty guide to getting it back.

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Compare Versions in Microsoft Word

on October 5, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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MS Word's Compare function looks at any two documents and lists all the differences paragraph by paragraph.

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How to Use Word References Tool

on September 22, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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In this post, I’ll give specific instructions on how to use Word to add reference citations to a document. One word of caution about this function: you need to know your style guide extremely well to use this function effectively.

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Guide to Word’s Table of Contents

on July 25, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Word’s Table of Contents function updates numbers and names with just a few clicks as you write and edit. But you have to do the work to set it up.

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Harvard Citation Style Explained

on April 28, 2017 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Harvard is just another parenthetical author-date citation style. If you can learn a few key points, you can successfully cope with Harvard referencing.

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How to Edit PDFs

on November 9, 2016 by admin in Editing Tools
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PDFs can be scary for an editor. After all, you can’t just turn on Track Changes as in Word and go to town. The entire point of a PDF is that it always looks the same. So how do you make changes or suggestions?

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Lie vs. Lay vs. Lied vs. Laid vs. Lain

on October 27, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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One of the hardest irregular verbs in English to use properly is “to lie,” and another is “to lay.” The verbs have a multitude of overlapping meanings, and then they’re conjugated differently while being spelled the same. However, you can become an expert if we take it one step at a time. And we’ll start with the hardest one.

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2 More Great Tips for Self-Editing

on September 6, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Another way to get your brain to take a fresh look at what you’ve written is to print it out and read it on actual paper. These days, most of us do our writing on the computer; we type and the words appear on the screen. By printing out your document and reading it with a pen in hand, you may notice problems, errors, and quirks that you didn’t see on the screen.

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How Reliable Is Spell Check?

on July 8, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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The first time I saw Office Suite’s spell check function, I just about cried with joy. (Shut up. I’m a nerd.) Gone forever would be the days of having words like “metaphore” and “ocurrance” litter my papers and irritate my professors, dragging down my grades and self-esteme . . . uh, esteem.

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Guide to Using Hyphens in Compound Words

on July 7, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Recently I’ve gotten a little obsessed with compounds words and the hyphen, that little punctuation mark that can cause so much confusion. My interest in this started when I was looking into the spelling of the word “healthcare.” Oops! I mean “health care”… or “health-care”?

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2 Great Tips for Self-Editing

on July 7, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re a writer, professional editor, or client for a professional editor, you can always benefit from a little self-editing. However, we’re all too close to our own work; we know what we meant to say, and this can get scrambled up with what is actually on the page.

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4 Fixes for Comment Boxes in MS Word

on May 28, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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Whether you’re an editor orworking with an editor, you’re going to deal with comment boxes, which can bring up a whole new realm of issues, which can lead to a whole new range of curse words. But here’s a quick guide to fixing the four most common problems:

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MS Word Formatting Errors

on May 26, 2016 by ProofreadingPal in Editing Tools
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When it comes to the controlling the flow of text across lines and pages, many MS Word users treat this sophisticated, responsive software as if it were an old IBM Selectric. Here are some of the formatting errors we see multiple times a week, errors that can actually keep Word from functioning properly.

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