Five Proofing and Editing Tips that Will Save You Time

As a Virtual Assistant I frequently edit and proof documents for my clients. These 5 tips will help you get the job done faster and more efficiently.

Proofing Tips for Greater Efficiency:

  1. Proofing Tip 1: Proof/edit first and format last: often we want text to fit onto a specific page or to have page breaks in appropriate areas. If you format as you edit you will often find you have to make changes because the edits you make change the location of page breaks. So save the “pretty” stuff until the end.
  2. Proofing Tip 2: How to “create” consistency quickly: let’s say you are editing a document with recipes and you find that teaspoon is typed in various ways – e.g. teaspoon and tsp. – instead of changing each instance manually use CTRL+H (find & replace) to quickly change all instances to the same format. You can literally do an unlimited number of changes in just mere seconds.

Formatting Tips for Greater Efficiency:

  1. Formatting Tip 1: make sure all font is consistent in the document by using CTRL+A to select the entire document. Select desired font.
  2. Formatting Tip 2: Now change your paragraph or page titles to desired size and font. Using the format painter (the little paint brush) highlight the title and then “swipe” it over the next area you want identical. You will find using the format painter is much more efficient than highlighting and then selecting the font and size for each individual area
  3. Formatting Tip 3: You are all finished with fonts and pretty-ness so now it’s time to make sure your page breaks are in the right spot. With various versions of Word it’s best to insert a hard page break instead of just hitting the “enter” key until the text goes to the next page. The easiest way to insert a hard page break is by hitting “CTRL+Enter”.

These are just some of my favorite shortcuts to edit and proof documents for myself and clients more quickly. What are your favorite tips?