Author Topic: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!  (Read 571 times)

vstewart

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Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« on: May 18, 2019, 02:51:32 PM »
I write my books in Scrivener. I love Scrivener. I adore Scrivener. I want to marry Scrivener and have its babies. Too far?

My editor likes to receive my manuscript in Word so she can make comments and track changes. I get it. I export a Word doc from Scrivener and let her have at it.

But then, when I get it back, I need to work on the edits and resolve her comments/notes/etc in the Word doc so I can send it back to her with all the stuff tracked properly.

AUGGHHH. I hate doing this! My novel is currently 98K words and the Word file is so clunky and slow. It was so bad last time, I had her split the Word file in half to hopefully avoid the sluggishness.

Well, it isn't working. When I type in an edit, it takes forever for my words to show up. I'm a fast typist at 130wpm, so this is especially frustrating. My typing accuracy is normally really high, but the delay causes typos because if I pause, I don't know exactly where I am in the sentence, or if it's going to catch up properly. If I have to backspace and fix something, it's so delayed I end up deleting more than I intended or not enough. It's a nightmare.

I am on a MacBook Pro, running Mojave. I've just run/installed all my system updates. I have a Microsoft subscription, so my Word stays updated. It's Microsoft Word for Mac, version 16.24. Anyone have this problem?  :help Anyone have tips/solutions to try? This is my number one reason I've never understood why anyone would want to write a book in Word! I'm ready to tear my hair out!

Aside: I have tried doing the edits in Scrivener and then pasting them in, but it's a lot of back and forth and the whole thing is just filling me with rage.

 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 02:56:02 PM »
I did this exactly once.

The resulting file was so big and clunky, I said never again.

Except I did do it again, only with each chapter being a separate file, and that was just as bad.

I use Word to write and edit in, but I will never use that feature again.

What you can do is make changes to a new version of the file, and then use the compare feature to create the clunky file to send back to your editor.

It helps if you have 2 monitors. Open the version to be edited on your main screen. Open the editor's version on the 2nd screen. Cut and paste the differences over, or just retype them.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 02:58:24 PM by TimothyEllis »
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Simon Haynes

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 04:42:24 PM »
I feel your pain. Did this with my fourth novel, and I ended up copying and pasting everything back into yWriter scene by scene because I simply couldn't work on a novel in word.

This won't help you, but a few years back I added a feature to yWriter whereby I can export a novel to RTF (and then, save as docx, using Libreoffice), and each scene has a tag which allows me to take the marked-up word file when the editor returns it, convert it to rtf, and then re-import it to yWriter. All the scenes go back into the same place, as long as the tags aren't disturbed.

Obviously I can't edit my scenes in yWriter while the file is out there, but it does mean I don't have to deal with Word. Ever. The rest of the project remains as-is, it's just the scene content which gets updated.




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Simon Haynes

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 04:45:37 PM »

Except I did do it again, only with each chapter being a separate file, and that was just as bad.



The very first version of yWriter, circa 2001, was just a list of Word Doc files. You could add titles and descriptions in the software, but underneath it was a directory full of doc files for the scenes.

Unfortunately, after one particularly long writing session, I discovered that Word wasn't shutting down each copy after it was opened. It hung around in memory, invisible, until there were over a hundred of them.

That's when I ditched word and started working with RTF files instead.

I've spent twenty years developing, honing and using my writing software. It does exactly what I need, and that's all I care about.

It looks like Microsoft will be supporting Winforms on the Mac and Linux eventually - really hope so, because that'll make it trivial to run my stuff on all three major OSes.


Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs. (Mac version in progress).
SalesScanner, free KDP/Google Play/Kobo/Smashwords report analyser & aggregator.
 

Al Stevens

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 06:14:34 PM »
This is one of those "use what works for you" topics.

I write in OpenOffice Writer and keep each chapter in its own file, maintaining a master document that integrates chapters into the novel. I do not use Word because its master document feature does not and has never worked properly. At least, not for me. I test it every time they come out with a new version, and they've never fixed it. Plus, I don't like the subscription marketing model.

I do not use the doc or docx formats during the writing and self-editing phases, and I do not track changes.

When it's time to send the manuscript to the editor, I export the novel's master .odt file to a single .doc file and send it out. The chapter files are relegated to the archives at this point. When she returns the .doc file, I use the changes she's tracked to update the .doc file in OpenOffice Writer, returning to the .odt format.

OpenOffice Writer's track changes format is compatible with Word's format.

I do not have performance issues with OpenOffice Writer. My novels are typically 70K + words, and I work under Windows 7 in a very old desktop computer.

This procedure has worked for me in about a dozen novels and a few non-fiction works too. I cannot promise that it will work for anyone else.
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Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 
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VanessaC

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 07:43:01 PM »
I also work in Scrivener, but although I export my MS to Word to send out for editing / beta reading, I don't work in Word when it comes back - instead I split my monitor with the Scrivener on one side and Word on the other, and input the changes to Scrivener manually.  Yes, it's a pest, and depending on how much is changed you might be better copying and pasting bits from Word.  But it means that Scrivener is always the "master" file and that makes my life a lot easier in the long run.

It also means that I think critically about the changes that have been suggested, and quite often come up with a different way of phrasing something to fix an issue that the editor / beta reader has spotted.

Mind you, I've only done one round of comments / edits so I've not needed to send the document out again.

However, if you need to send a revised document in Word back to your editor, you can re-export your revised Scrivener into word and then run a comparison between the editor's document she sent back to you, and your document to show the changes you've made to that, if you really need to show her your changes.

May also be worth considering if your editor does need to see the evidence of the changes you've made, or would she be happy with a clean (revised) copy to work on again?

I'm mid-edit just now, so you have my sympathy. 
     

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APP

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2019, 12:30:22 AM »
I also work in Scrivener, but although I export my MS to Word to send out for editing / beta reading, I don't work in Word when it comes back - instead I split my monitor with the Scrivener on one side and Word on the other, and input the changes to Scrivener manually.

Ditto^
 

Denise

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2019, 01:01:24 AM »
I didn't read all the comments.

I also have a Mac, and my Word is quite clunky (crashing and freezing often).

I now use Google docs, and it's much faster and better. That's my suggestion for you if you need to edit a docx.
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2019, 05:01:10 AM »
This is one of those "use what works for you" topics.

Sure. I'm not meaning to pit anyone against what they like or use. I'm just stuck at the moment. I can't switch to a whole new system or way of doing things because all of these comments and suggestions from my editor are in Word and Word is behaving very badly for me. I can't split the document without losing her comments, and I find pasting my changes back into this sluggish document, ridiculously labor intensive and soul killing.
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2019, 05:03:12 AM »
I also work in Scrivener, but although I export my MS to Word to send out for editing / beta reading, I don't work in Word when it comes back - instead I split my monitor with the Scrivener on one side and Word on the other, and input the changes to Scrivener manually.  Yes, it's a pest, and depending on how much is changed you might be better copying and pasting bits from Word.  But it means that Scrivener is always the "master" file and that makes my life a lot easier in the long run.

It also means that I think critically about the changes that have been suggested, and quite often come up with a different way of phrasing something to fix an issue that the editor / beta reader has spotted.

Mind you, I've only done one round of comments / edits so I've not needed to send the document out again.

However, if you need to send a revised document in Word back to your editor, you can re-export your revised Scrivener into word and then run a comparison between the editor's document she sent back to you, and your document to show the changes you've made to that, if you really need to show her your changes.

May also be worth considering if your editor does need to see the evidence of the changes you've made, or would she be happy with a clean (revised) copy to work on again?

I'm mid-edit just now, so you have my sympathy.

This is what I ended up doing last time. Making changes in Scrivener and then pasting those changes into the Word file. But it was really, really messy in a manuscript this size. It's amazing how many little things I'd change in Scrivener and then forget to paste into the Word doc. So stuff got lost after I sent the changes back to the editor for another round.

I really do think sending her the copy where I've answered her questions, replied to her comments, etc. is valuable. I can't get her to change her entire norm and switch her to a different program, so I feel really trapped.
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2019, 05:04:07 AM »
I didn't read all the comments.

I also have a Mac, and my Word is quite clunky (crashing and freezing often).

I now use Google docs, and it's much faster and better. That's my suggestion for you if you need to edit a docx.

I have trouble with Google docs as well, once my MS reaches a certain size. Their change tracker and comment system is nice, but I still run into super big lags and slow responsiveness once we have 300+ comments/changes tracked in a huge file. Plus, I can't force my editor to use a different system.
 

Dormouse

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2019, 06:04:15 AM »
 :shrug Starting to sound as if the simplest solution is changing your editor to one with a system that works for you.
Have you ever checked whether they might be willing to use other software? Most people can use Word, but most people also use some other programs too.
Very big docs can often be a problem, especially when you add comments, versions &etc
 

Denise

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 07:52:03 AM »
I didn't read all the comments.

I also have a Mac, and my Word is quite clunky (crashing and freezing often).

I now use Google docs, and it's much faster and better. That's my suggestion for you if you need to edit a docx.

I have trouble with Google docs as well, once my MS reaches a certain size. Their change tracker and comment system is nice, but I still run into super big lags and slow responsiveness once we have 300+ comments/changes tracked in a huge file. Plus, I can't force my editor to use a different system.

Really? Google docs is no problem for me, even with a lot of comments. You don't need to ask the editor to use a different system, you can upload a docx, so even if it comes from Word, it can be read in Google docs, and the comments and changes appear there too. My Word goes berserk with track changes and can't really handle long documents.

If it's still slow, maybe you could send your ms in separate chapters to your editor and ask them to send it back in chapters? That could maybe solve part of the problem.

Good luck!
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 08:11:13 AM »
:shrug Starting to sound as if the simplest solution is changing your editor to one with a system that works for you.
Have you ever checked whether they might be willing to use other software?

Yes, I have. She has a lot of clients and really isn't interested in learning a new program. I get it, she wants to stick with what works.
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2019, 08:12:58 AM »
I didn't read all the comments.

I also have a Mac, and my Word is quite clunky (crashing and freezing often).

I now use Google docs, and it's much faster and better. That's my suggestion for you if you need to edit a docx.

I have trouble with Google docs as well, once my MS reaches a certain size. Their change tracker and comment system is nice, but I still run into super big lags and slow responsiveness once we have 300+ comments/changes tracked in a huge file. Plus, I can't force my editor to use a different system.

Really? Google docs is no problem for me, even with a lot of comments. You don't need to ask the editor to use a different system, you can upload a docx, so even if it comes from Word, it can be read in Google docs, and the comments and changes appear there too. My Word goes berserk with track changes and can't really handle long documents.

If it's still slow, maybe you could send your ms in separate chapters to your editor and ask them to send it back in chapters? That could maybe solve part of the problem.

Good luck!

Yes, I've used Google docs for beta readers and oof, it really chugged along badly once we got to a certain point. Right now I have 1160 revisions, notes, comments etc. in this Word doc. I'm so frustrated, so I'm going to try to import it to Google docs and try. Will it let me export with all the changes intact if it works?

Though I really don't want to use Google docs. I work away from wifi a ton (the wifi at the library is particularly dodgy), and I've never had good luck with the working offline feature.

My editor really doesn't want 30 different Word docs, and I'm not sure I do either, but man. This is annoying.   :HB

Edited to add: Google Docs is super draggy for me. Here's a video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/90ock1pxm8c7zgc/IMG_1129.MOV?dl=0
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 09:09:34 AM by vstewart »
 

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2019, 08:43:39 AM »
...all of these comments and suggestions from my editor are in Word and Word is behaving very badly for me.
In that case I recommend OpenOffice Writer or LibreOffice Writer and read the editor's Word file into one of them set to display Word's tracked changes. They're compatible.
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vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2019, 08:47:32 AM »
...all of these comments and suggestions from my editor are in Word and Word is behaving very badly for me.
In that case I recommend OpenOffice Writer or LibreOffice Writer and read the editor's Word file into one of them set to display Word's tracked changes. They're compatible.

I'll try that next.

I did import chapters 1 - 16 into Google docs to see how it would work. Same awful delayed/draggy situation. Slightly better than Word, but still a headache. Here's a video showing just one tiny attempt to insert a new (crappy) line into the document. I finish typing and the thing is still going: https://www.dropbox.com/s/90ock1pxm8c7zgc/IMG_1129.MOV?dl=0
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2019, 09:49:39 AM »
...all of these comments and suggestions from my editor are in Word and Word is behaving very badly for me.
In that case I recommend OpenOffice Writer or LibreOffice Writer and read the editor's Word file into one of them set to display Word's tracked changes. They're compatible.

Trying Libre Office. MUCH faster. No drag. It's a bit of a learning curve for me, and I'm worried about how this will all export for my editor, but it's working so much better than Word & Google Docs. Thank you so much!
 
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Al Stevens

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2019, 10:29:38 AM »
Trying Libre Office. MUCH faster. No drag. It's a bit of a learning curve for me, and I'm worried about how this will all export for my editor, but it's working so much better than Word & Google Docs. Thank you so much!
No worries. You don't actually export it. Use the Save as... command and select Microsoft Word/2000/XP from the drop-down listbox. That should be transparent, and your editor should have no problem reading it into whichever version of Word she is using. The file she returns can be opened into LibreOffice with no difficulties.

ETA: That Save as... selection is from OpenOffice's menu. LibreOffice might have differently worded ones.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 10:36:33 AM by Al Stevens »
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Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 
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Denise

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2019, 10:57:18 AM »
I'm so frustrated, so I'm going to try to import it to Google docs and try. Will it let me export with all the changes intact if it works?

Yes, you save it as docx and keep all the changes.

Quote
Though I really don't want to use Google docs. I work away from wifi a ton (the wifi at the library is particularly dodgy), and I've never had good luck with the working offline feature.

My editor really doesn't want 30 different Word docs, and I'm not sure I do either, but man. This is annoying.   :HB

Edited to add: Google Docs is super draggy for me. Here's a video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/90ock1pxm8c7zgc/IMG_1129.MOV?dl=0

That sucks...

In that case I recommend OpenOffice Writer or LibreOffice Writer and read the editor's Word file into one of them set to display Word's tracked changes. They're compatible.

I might try OpenOffice or LibreOffice too. I hate having to be online to write, but it was my only choice since Word was so terrible.
 

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2019, 11:06:07 AM »
Google 'Scrivener track changes and Word' or similar. I think it's only the Mac version that can do it, but that should change with the new Windows version due out around July.
 

vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2019, 12:32:11 PM »
Google 'Scrivener track changes and Word' or similar. I think it's only the Mac version that can do it, but that should change with the new Windows version due out around July.

Yes, I know how to track changes in Scrivener. I have the mac version and it's dreamy, I love it. My editor just can't be arsed to use it, and I don't want to harass her. I respect that she has an established work routine and don't want to be a nuisance. I have to deal with her edits/comments delivered in a Word file.

Right now, using Libre Office seems to be working loads better. Once changes/edits are finalized I'll paste them back into Scrivener so I can export the book for publishing.

Thanks!
 

Al Stevens

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2019, 04:31:07 AM »
Right now, using Libre Office seems to be working loads better. Once changes/edits are finalized I'll paste them back into Scrivener so I can export the book for publishing.
LibreOffice and OpenOffice have a plugin extension named writer2epub that exports the .odt document file to .epub. As I recall, you need to name your styles to fit their convention. If you use that, you can avoid having to paste your changes back into Scrivener.

https://extensions.libreoffice.org/extensions/writer2epub

I use a little program named Alkinea, which converts .odt files to .mobi and .epub and which works with my OpenOffice styles.

http://soft.alkinea.net/
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Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 
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vstewart

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2019, 11:41:48 AM »
Just an update. Libre Office crashes a LOT for me. It's pretty annoying. However, their auto save and backups mean that I haven't yet lost anything. *knock on wood*

 

Al Stevens

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Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2019, 08:56:08 AM »
Just an update. Libre Office crashes a LOT for me. It's pretty annoying. However, their auto save and backups mean that I haven't yet lost anything. *knock on wood*
I use OpenOffice Writer, which is supposed to be the same program, and never get crashes.
Genres: mystery, music, programming, science fiction, historical fiction


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Al Stevens is a retired author of computer programming books. For fifteen years he was a senior contributing editor and columnist for Dr. Dobb's Journal, a leading magazine for computer programmers. Al lives with his wife Judy and a menagerie of cats on Florida's Space Coast where he writes by day and plays piano, string bass, and saxophone by night.
 

Llano

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2019, 12:39:12 AM »
Print it out on paper, send it to the editor, and tell her to go old-school on it with a blue pencil.

When you get it back, make your changes in whatever software you have.
 

Simon Haynes

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2019, 01:12:07 AM »
Just an update. Libre Office crashes a LOT for me. It's pretty annoying. However, their auto save and backups mean that I haven't yet lost anything. *knock on wood*


It's never crashed once for me, and I'm a heavy user of writer and sheets.

I'm currently running 6.0.6.2 (64 bit)




Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs. (Mac version in progress).
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Simon Haynes

Re: Editing in Microsoft Word - I hate it!
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2019, 01:15:50 AM »
Regarding NOT importing changes back into your writing software ... I would recommend you don't do this.  Some of my novels were written 20 years ago, and four of them have gone through three rounds of edits over the past 10-15 years.

Only once did I decide to leave them in Word, as I'd received that format back from my editor. That was before the days of KDP and self-pubbed ebooks and paperbacks though, and I lived to regret it as soon as I needed to revise and export frequently. (New covers, updated front- and back-matter, and so on.)

Now I will always put them back into yWriter.


Also yWriter, free novel-writing software for Windows PCs. (Mac version in progress).
SalesScanner, free KDP/Google Play/Kobo/Smashwords report analyser & aggregator.