The Review Tab ribbon gives you the opportunity to check aspects of your document, including spelling and grammar, and word usage. This is what editors use when examining a document, including tracking any changes they make so that the author can see all the changes that the editor made and either accept or reject those changes.
The sections under the Review Tab include Proofing, Accessibility, Language, Comments, Tracking, Changes, Compare, and Protect.
The Proofing section (at left) comprises commands for Spelling & Grammar, Thesaurus, and Word Count. Click on the Spelling & Grammar icon if you want to check your document for any errors. A separate pane or window will appear with each word or phrase it wants you to review, including a choice of spelling and grammar options to choose or ignore. The facility is not foolproof, as words that are correctly spelled but wrong in meaning or usage will not be picked up by the spelling and grammar checker. It will also question names of people and words that are unfamiliar and not included in its inbuilt dictionary. You must ensure that it uses the relevant language relevant to your country – Australian or American or British English. You can check the dictionary language at the bottom of the document page where it denotes the page number, number of words in the document and dictionary language (left side). Right click on the bottom ribbon to access the menu to alter the language as required.
The Spelling & Grammar checker is also accessed by pressing F7 on the top of your keyboard.
The Thesaurus is not some type of dinosaur but a facility to find synonyms for words in your document. Just highlight the relevant word and click on the Thesaurus icon. This will produce a list of alternative words from which to choose. Take note whether the word is a noun or verb to enable you to make the right choice of synonym according to your intended meaning. You can also use the Thesaurus to test whether the word you have in the text has the correct meaning.
The Word Count icon is used when you want a count of words from a highlighted section of text. You may want to know how many words are in one chapter or the words in a document excluding the bibliography.
Accessibility refers to how people with poor vision can access all aspects of the document. Clicking on this icon will bring up a list of text and objects that could create a problem for people with poor vision. Screen readers have problems reading out text in diagrams or pictures and therefore alternate text is advised.
The Translate command can translate text in Word documents written in other languages other than English. Options include translating the whole document, a highlighted section, or a word or phrase.
The Language command is another way other than clicking on the bottom ribbon of a document to change the language that the document uses to determine spelling and character types.
This is a section mostly used by editors to embed comments about the text. The editor clicks on New Comment to insert a new comment, which in the latest Word versions will be displayed to the right of the page and the text to which the comment refers. Clicking on the comment will show the text it is linked to. Authors can later review each comment by using the Previous and Next icons, and can delete them when done. The Show Comments command allows authors to see the comments beside the document. An editor has the choice to use Ink Comment to use the mouse or finger (with touch screens) to write the comment. The editor can then erase any messy writing or comment he has written with the ‘pen’.
The editor uses Tracking to record all the changes they make in a document, enabling the author to later see what changes were made. The Track Changes command must be enabled for changes to be tracked. The visibility of these changes is governed by the type of Markup chosen from the choices in the top window menu in this section. Simple Markup hides the changes but shows a red vertical line in the left margin to indicate that a change has been made in the corresponding line. All Markup shows all the changes in the text area, which will be displayed as words and punctuation in a different colour for insertions, and crossed out words/punctuation in the same colour for deleted parts. No Markup, of course, hides all changes and any lines indicating changes. The last option, Original, displays the original document without the changes.
The Reviewing Pane explains each specific change in a pane to the left or bottom of the document. You can choose the vertical or horizontal Reviewing Pane from this menu.
The editor can also use the full Tracking menu (oblique arrow at bottom of section) to choose all the options, including what colours to use for the edits. You can turn off the Reviewing Pane here as it can hinder editing when there are a lot of changes.
The Changes section is one for the author after an editor or proofreader has worked on your document. The options here provide for the author to accept and/or reject each change individually or accept/reject all changes. The Previous and Next commands take the author through to each change in the text.
The Compare menu allows you to compare two versions of a document for differences or combine revisions from multiple authors into a single document.
You can protect your document against certain changes being made by restricting the editing. The options include limiting formatting to a selection of styles, and allowing only specific types of editing. You can make exceptions for some users to edit and others not.