Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pointing and Clicking Until My Eyes Burn

Yep. That's what I did all day today at work.

You see, just when I was almost done with the 500+ -page manuscript I've been working on, I realized that for some reason the Spellcheck was off.

Now, as an editor, I pride myself in not really needing spellcheck. I have a pretty darned good noggin for spelling and punctuation placement. But in the midst of cleaning up the Works Cited, I noticed that I spelled "January" as "Januray" a couple of times, and so I wanted to make sure that I ran the automated spellcheck before I declared myself done.

Problem, the first: There is a way to turn off Spellcheck in Word. It's not easy, mind you, but it's possible. And the author - who was writing about a lot of people with really strange names - had turned it off for about 80% of the document. So, when I ran it, it would bounce around to about 20 incorrectly spelled words and declare itself done.

But I knew there were more issues than that. If nothing else, there were all of those strange names that it should have noticed.

So I spent about 20 minutes searching out how to turn Spellcheck back on for the whole document. And then I did just that.

Problem, the second: I didn't turn off the Track Changes feature, because I figured I wasn't making any changes to the manuscript. Word, on the other hand, decided that turning Spellcheck back on was a Formatting change. And it popped up about 10 or 20 "Formatting: Spelling and grammar check." notes in the margin of each and every page.

I probably could have ignored it and moved on, but I'm a nice guy. And...

Problem, the third: There were already so many changes on each page that I need the author to pay attention to, that I couldn't deal with him also having to slog through all of the changes that didn't matter. So I did what I had to do.

I spent all day, today - well, not quite all day, only 7.5 out of 8 hours - pointing, clicking, and accepting those formatting changes so that they would disappear from the manuscript that the author will see.

I'm happy to say that, by the time I got home, my wrist had relaxed. And so had I.

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