Years ago, Microsoft introduced an Office feature called review. This mode allows one or many people to edit a document and preserve/review changes. Office highlighted the edits in different colors, and the first editor is always red.
This feature allows reviewers to quickly scan through changes, which is super useful when applied correctly. However, there are downsides. Turning on review mode requires more processing power and increases file size. Another is that sometimes characters in “No Markup” (the final printed form) cannot be deleted. Plus, Microsoft did not include a hotkey for switching between “Tracked Changes” (showing the edits) and “No Markup.” However, I found this gem:
I wanted to blog about another aspect of this feature. When a person is using review mode, they often do so in “Tracked Changes” and not “No Markup.” Unfortunately, this editing mode causes an editor to miss obvious mistakes. Allow me to demonstrate. Because of the text-based limitations of this blog, please imagine CAPATOL LETTERS as the red tracked changes.
Original sentence with a flaw: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dogie.
Red Line: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog DOGIE.
Printed: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog .
Did you see the extra space before the period? It’s easy to miss when the red line changes are next to the original words. Clearly reviewing the document in “Tracked Change” view caused the problem. Yet, many people, including professional editors, have yet to discover this fundamental flaw. I think the problem occurs because of the disbelief that the resulting edits will be perfect. “My sentences are better than the originals.” As opposed to, “A solid result is the goal. This may include fixing my own introduced flaws.”
There is another reason for working in “No Markup” view. A mental block gets released when an editor cannot see red changes, and they have the freedom to explore, update and change anything. (As opposed to making the original author feel bad for all the corrections.)
People have strange ticks, and I find it amusing that “Tracked Changes” has led to so many screwed-up documents. Fortunately for my four blog readers, I do not use review mode for blogging. So you get the raw words out of my keyboard!
You’re the best -Bill
May 04, 2022
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