From YA Highway:Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway’s contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question to write about on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.This week’s topic: What word processing program do you use to write you manuscript, and can you share one handy trick you’ve learned in that program that has helped you while you write?
I remember when my mom got our first electric typewriter. I also remember, vaguely, the days before we had any word processing programs to chose from. But I do love word processing programs. Without them, I wouldn’t have the ♥delete♥ key, which is the best invention EVER!
I’m just saying, we’ve come a long way.
But this post is all about those computer gadgets with word processing programs. So, without further delay, I declare my preference for writing my manuscripts on MS Word. There are so many things that Word can do (some of them really poorly). But one thing it does really well is plain old word processing. I find that Word does a great job of keeping track of what I write. And that’s what a good word processing program should do.
There are two features I like that I want to share:
Styles: I was introduced to the idea of styles while learning how to use InDesign (which I love). But it turns out they have styles in Word as well. I could go on and on about them, but basically styles save time in formatting. No need to use the tab key, no need to worry about line spacing or font. If you use styles you can change all the formatting for your whole WIP in one magical place.
Compare Drafts: Yes, that’s right! You can compare drafts in word. I guess there are other people out there who already knew this, but I remember doing my own little happy dance when I figured it out. It is SO helpful when you are trying to do revisions based on inline notes from more than one person, or when you are trying to thread together your story from two different rounds of revisions. In the Mac Word menu this is under “tools” and “track changes.” I highly recommend checking it out.
What about you, what’s your preferred word processing program? What’s your favorite trick it can do?