Mechanical Edit

Information to help technical writers and editors, shared by Jay Martin.

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Checklist for a quick proofread

Many problems are fixed (or confirmed absent) by a quick proofread of a Word document.


  1. Save a copy of the file as received. Save another copy to edit.
  2. Turn off Tracked Changes.
  3. If preparing a final document, click Review > Accept▾ > Accept All Changes.
  4. Select all, click Review > Language > Set Proofing Language. Click to clear the check box for “Do not check spelling and grammar” and click OK.
  5. Select all (Ctrl+A) and refresh (F9).
  6. Search for the word ‘error’ to find fields that failed to update.
  7. If preparing a draft, turn on Tracked Changes.
  8. If preparing a final document, click Review > Next to find comments to review and delete.
  9. Search for highlighting. Click Home > Find▾ > Advanced Find. Clear the Find What box. Click More. Click Format > Highlight. Click Find Next.




Copyright (C) 2020 Jay Martin.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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