Annual Meeting Report

Word Tips for Editors

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Rachel DiGiammarino
Client Services Manager
Sheridan Journal Services
Waterbury, Vermont

Elizabeth Blake
Director of Business Development
Inera Inc.
Belmont, Massachusetts

Peter J. Olson
Senior Copyediting Coordinator
Sheridan Journal Services
Waterbury, Vermont

Resa Roth
Freelance Editor
University of Washington Yeast Resource Center
Seattle, Washington

Elizabeth Blake opened by explaining the history of Word Tips for Editors: CSE has offered this session since 2003 and presenters have compiled at least four hours of material on this topic over the years. Blake presented the “greatest hits” in the 2017 session. She covered many of the same tips and tricks offered in the short course (see the report on the Short Course for Manuscript Editors for this information).

Blake demonstrated how to personalize Word using Word Options, customize the ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar, apply editing shortcuts, and use efficient document navigation. Editors can use right-click to explore even more customizations, including the status bar at the bottom of Word. Additionally, some keyboard shortcuts include the use of Ctrl + Y (or F4) to redo the last action and Ctrl + Z to undo the last action. It can also be helpful to turn off unused tabs, create new tab groups, or change the tab order. Above all, she encouraged editors to explore all of the Options in Word (File → Options).

For the second portion of the lecture, Peter J. Olson discussed tables and table editing specifically. He first outlined the purposes of tables within a manuscript: they support the author’s conclusions; provide a concise way of viewing study findings; and highlight relationships between data, including trends. Olson also emphasized the need for editors to ensure tables are concise and compact. He recommended using abbreviations within the table to save space (terms must be defined adjacent to the table) and reviewing table titles and using straddle headings or combined columns where appropriate. A manuscript editor should also look at the clarity and consistency of the table itself: footnotes should be used to explain certain data findings and these explanations should be presented consistently and clearly. Last, editors should make sure headings are not cluttered by extraneous information—it should be consolidated or made into a footnote.

To assist with table editing, Olson also included a brief demo session where he covered the following aspects of Word: the use of shortcuts; manipulation of rows, columns, and cells (including aligning decimals and text conversion); and use of various text commands as they pertain to tables (e.g., use Shift + F3 to change case).