Many are more experienced that I, so here is a quick tip that I used recently when making final editing revisions on a manuscript.
One of the last things to do in editing is to highlight weasel words, passive voice (was/were), general weak verbs, tighten your prose words, and general words that you tend to overuse. But HOW do you do that quick and easy? By finding and highlighting them:-)
For grins, I will search and highlight all WAS words (not case sensitive) to yellow:
- In Word, click highlight in the toolbar and select YELLOW
- <control>f (for FIND), enter the word “was” in the FIND WHAT field
- click on the REPLACE tab, then enter the word “was” in the REPLACE WITH field
- click on the MORE button then the FORMAT button, click the word HIGHLIGHT
- click REPLACE ALL
Repeat for all other words you want to highlight in your manuscript. Word will replace the letters in a case-sensitive manner.
I took the liberty to use different colors for different types of words: I used yellow for passive voice, blue for weasel words, purple for weak verbs and so on. Then I was able to scan the entire document and replace as needed.
When done editing, hit <control>a then click highlight in the toolbar and select NO COLOR. All the highlighting goes away.
Let me know if this post helped you 🙂
Filed under: Writing Tip on October 28th, 2011