Build Your Skills: Save time with improved reviewing tools in Word 2002

Analysis of Microsoft Word 2002 tracking and reviewing features

If you work in an environment where several people need to review the same copy of a Word document, you know that tracking everyone’s changes (and accepting or rejecting them) can be pretty tricky. In Word 97 and Word 2000, you had to work pretty hard to decipher who made which changes, since the changes were color-coded by author.

When you make the move to Word 2002, you’ll discover some new timesaving features that will make life much easier for everyone performing team-edits on a given document. Let's take a look at how the new features make routing a document for review much easier than in previous versions of Word. The screen shots in this article were taken using Word 2002 (10.xxxx.xxxx) and Outlook 2002.

The new kid on the Send To block
Suppose you’ve created a new document and you want to send it to someone else to review. In Word 2002, simply go to File | Send To | Mail Recipient (For Review), as shown in Figure A.

Figure A
In Word 2002, use this new Send To option to route a document for review.

When you choose this option, Word will open a new Outlook message window, like the one shown in Figure B. Just enter an address and click Send.

Figure B
When you send a document for review, Word automatically attaches the current document and inserts a Please Review message in the subject line.

Replying with changes
When the recipient of the e-mail message opens the document, the new Reviewing toolbar will appear. After making additions or changes as required, the reviewer simply clicks on the Reply With Changes button, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C
Word 2002’s new Reviewing toolbar activates the Reply With Changes button when a reviewer opens the document you sent.

Then, Word creates a new reply back to the original sender, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D
When the e-mail message opens, you have the option of typing in a message before you click send and return the document to the original sender.

Introducing the new Reviewing toolbar
Of course, using the new routing feature is just the beginning of the cool new reviewing features in Word 2002. In prior versions of Word, you could review and then accept or reject changes by going to Tools | Track Changes. In Word 2000, you’d then choose Highlight Changes to display the dialog of the same name, and toggle the display of changes onscreen and in the printed document. By going to Tools | Track Changes | Accept Or Reject Changes, you could cycle through each change in the document, accepting or rejecting each change on a case-by-case basis.

In Word 2002, going to Tools | Track Changes displays the new-and-improved Reviewing toolbar. The first two drop-down lists control what you’re seeing. For example, as Figure E shows, you can display the final and the original versions of the document, with or without changes. By clicking on the Show drop-down list, you can decide whether to show any or all of the Comments, Insertions And Deletions, or Formatting changes.

Figure E
Word 2002’s Reviewing toolbar lets you control which document version and what kinds of changes are displayed.

As Figure F shows, when you click on Reviewers, you can display changes made by all reviewers, or you can choose which reviewers’ changes you want to see.

Figure F
The Reviewers option lets you view changes made by all reviewers, or you can opt to view changes made by a specific reviewer or group of reviewers.

Accepting and rejecting changes
Word 2002’s Reviewing toolbar features a couple of familiar icons—Previous and Next—whose functions have been expanded. In addition to finding the previous or next editing change, these buttons also locate inserted comments.

Once you locate a change or comment, you can click the Accept Change button to make the change permanent. To reject a change or delete a comment, click the Reject Change/Delete Comment button. Figure G shows the options available for each of those buttons.

Figure G
When you’re making the final review on a document, use the Accept Change or Reject Change/Delete Comment buttons to keep or discard edits made by other reviewers.

Looking for a way to add or edit a comment? Click the New Comment button. If you’ve located an existing comment, you’ll have the option of editing or deleting it. The New Comment button also lets you insert a voice comment, if your computer is equipped to record an audio comment.

Get familiar with new Reviewing pane
The last piece in the document-reviewing puzzle is the Reviewing pane. You can toggle its display by clicking the Reviewing Pane on the Reviewing Toolbar. Figure H shows how Word 2002 “stacks” the changes in separate rows. At first glance, the Reviewing Pane looks kind of busy, because each change is labeled with the ID of the person who made the change.

Figure H shows a sample document with comments and changes displayed both in the document and in the Reviewing Pane. Note that to display the comments and changes in the body of the document, go to View | Markup.

Figure H
Go to View | Markup to make your changes visible within the body of the document. To display the Reviewing pane, click the Reviewing Pane button on the Reviewing toolbar.

Only the beginning
Word 2002’s new reviewing tools and Mail Recipient (For Review) send-to option represent a big improvement for teams that have to have multiple editors working on the same document.

Catch the Word 2002 wave
To comment on this crash course, or to share your Word 2002 tips, post a comment in our discussion center.


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