By Josi S. Kilpack
If you're using Microsoft Word to write your book, and most people do, here are a few time saving tips:
*To make a hard page break (end of the chapter, need a new page, and yes, you always need a new page at the end of a chapter)=ctrl & enter pressed simultaneously. (or if you are on a mac the apple key & enter pressed simultaneously)
*To make an em-dash, make two hyphens and keep typing. If for some reason they remain as two hyphens, go back to the end of the second hyphen and hit return. You'll get a new line, but it will complete your em-dash and you can then backspace.
*Sometimes when writing dialogue that does not end in a letter or common punctuation, the quotation marks will be backwards. To fix this, go to the ending point of your dialogue and type in a letter, then the ending quotation marks. Delete the letter and you're in proper form.
*To cut and paste without having to go into the edit viewer, use ctrl & X (or apple & X) and to paste it, put your cursor where you want the information to be put and press ctrl & V (or apple & V)--to copy instead of cut, use ctrl & C (or apple & C)
*When editing someone else's work, go to Tools, and click on 'track changes'. Set the parameters to highlight changes and then, as you make changes they show up as edited notes and colored text, allowing the other person to see the changes you make. They can then accept or reject those suggestions.
*Never underestimate the power of the 'undo' option, located under 'edit' on the word tool bar. It can go back several actions and restore things you thought you had lost.
*When I have a detail I need to research, such as the name of a hospital in Chicago, but don't want to take the time to look for it right now, I flag the place I need it with a ###. Then, when I'm ready to do some research, I click on 'edit' and then 'find' and ask it to find all the ### in my document. This takes me from one place, then another, allowing me to fill in the blanks without having to scroll through 300 pages to find the right place.
Do you have any tricks of your own? I'm all ears.