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  • Writer's pictureAbby

Updated Editing Formats

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

This past year, a few of my clients reached out to let me know that upon receiving their revised manuscript, they were experiencing formatting errors, with issues like inconsistent spacing or inaccessible features (in one case, even some revisions that weren't visible).

After a lot of research and time communicating with Microsoft, I discovered this was due to the latest versions of Word being incompatible with previous editions, as well as other word processors. Word has always been my go-to, but I've realized now that it may not be everyone's, and books need to be revised regardless.

To start 2021 without these concerns, I've decided to offer additional options, and changed the format of receiving and returning manuscripts.

This is my personal favorite program to use for revisions, and I think it's fair to say that most of my clients use it at some point in the writing process. I update to the latest version when it's released to utilize new features that are incredibly helpful during the editing process, but not all clients have the newest edition. This leads to bizarre formatting post-edit, spacing issues, hidden comments, and errors in "track changes" accessibility. Documents edited using the latest version are not fully integrable with Google Docs, Open Office, Scrivener, or other popular programs.

If Microsoft Word is also your processor of choice, I strongly recommend updating to the latest version prior to receiving your edit.

To proceed with Word, I will need your final manuscript broken down into separate documents consisting of five chapters (maximum) each. Upon completion, you'll receive a file containing all the segments and can compile them into a single document after applying edits.

With this new process, I hope to avoid any formatting issues. If they do come up, the smaller document size will make identifying any problems and remedying them much simpler and faster.

A few years ago when I was starting out, I used Google Docs for a short time. I found it to be incredibly helpful and enjoyed the live-sharing feature. It also has comment capability and edits tracking, and many authors use this online-based program (with offline editing available) for their work. If you don't have the latest version of Microsoft or have used other word processors, I would strongly recommend going this route.

If you go with Google Docs, your manuscript will need to be sent in separate documents consisting of five chapters each (maximum). I'll upload the documents to my Google Drive, apply all edits via Docs, and compile the completed versions into a Google Drive folder. Upon completion, I'll email you a link to view the files and apply the edits yourself in Docs, after which you can download and compile using the processor of your choice.


I'm excited to give clients the choice based on what they're most comfortable with, and I hope to offer more options in the future. It is frustrating to navigate program errors when you have larger concerns on your mind, and my priority is erasing those problems, not adding to them.

As always, if you have any concerns or suggestions, please don't hesitate to shoot me an email.

Here's to 2021 and new beginnings!



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