Word course

Each lesson is designed to take one hour because we know you’re working full-time too. You can take whatever time you need, or zoom through what you already know — that’s the benefit of asynchronous learning.


Video Promo | System Requirements | PrerequisitesSyllabus

Who Should Take This Course | How the Course is Presented


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Jump to syllabus for PDF course.


Here’s the promo video I made when I ran the first course, years ago:

Software Requirements

  • Word 2003 or newer (note that the 2008 version for Mac does not support macros)
  • website access
  • ability to view YouTube videos
  • email

Word substitutes or equivalents are not suitable. The Mac 2008 version does not support macros, so users of that version will not be able to complete that section of the course.

Between the various versions of Word and how it configures itself on the various editions of Windows and the Mac OS, there are about 30 variations possible. At some point, often minor, you will likely need some mental agility to adapt course materials to your personal configuration. Demo videos show the Mac with Word 14 (2011) with some customizations.

The instructor has been teaching PC use since 2002 and fellow students are always a great source of troubleshooting, but the online format is not able to address all learning styles. Some people do better with one-on-one instruction on their particular system/ setting.



Those who come in with some efficiency at using computers will get the most out of this course. So now is the time to brush up on these skills:

  • file creation and management
  • menu options and navigation
  • mousing and keyboard navigation
  • basic word processing functions such as cut, copy, paste, undo, save as, spellcheck, bold, italic, and indenting


 Syllabus — Editing with Word

Why edit in MS Word?                                                                           Week 1

Tracking edits

  • When not to track changes
  • Marking moved text
  • Compare docs


  • Language selection
  • Customizing the word list
  • Grammar checker

Comments tool

  • Notes to self

Securing a file for review

Reviewing edits


Version control                                                                                     Week 2

File management


Reveal non-printing characters

Find and replace

  • Special characters
  • Some special characters
  • Wildcards & special codes
  • Some special characters for find & replace


Page breaks and section breaks


  • Change a style
  • Import a set of styles
  • Other uses for styles


Macros Introduction                                                                               Week 3

  • Create a macro
    • Record a macro
    • Import a macro
  • Edit a macro
    • Force track changes on
  • Use a macro
    • Keyboard shortcuts for macros
    • Toolbar icons for macros
  • Caution

Addendum — bonus macros

  • Spell CanOx — a macro that applies CanOx spelling preferences
  • Polo Bears — a macro that flags problem words
  • Zoom Track — a macro that sets zoom and track changes preferences


Alternatives to Macros                                                                          Week 4

  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Icon shortcuts
  • Scrapbook
  • Autocorrect customization

Plug-ins & Apps

Production pitfalls

  • Special characters
  • Automated bullets and numbering


[important]Jump to Syllabus for PDF course.[/important]


Who Should Take this Course

  • Those who are too busy editing to find out new software tricks.
  • Those who are new to editing.
  • Those who are new to editing onscreen — moving from paper markup.
  • Those who have to work with writers to revise documents in Word.
  • Those who are full-time editors.
  • Those who are scared of macros.
  • Those who need to use Word to create and revise documents.
  • Those who want to get more efficient and effective at editing.

Students are typically evenly split between Mac and Windows users, and between very experienced editors and those who are completely new to the practice. They range from subject and product specialists to complete generalists. While the majority of students are in North America, they have come from all over the English-speaking world. It’s a huge breadth.

How the Course is Presented

The video shows a bit of the course notes and demo videos. Lessons are posted online once a week and students access them at their convenience (before the end date, a week after the last class is posted).

Written lessons (and now: audio!) outline the what and why of the topic, then narrated demo videos show how the skill is done. (I am working on captions for the hearing impaired. Watch for those in the spring.) Finally, there are self-check exercises that lead you through the skill again and allow you to check for understanding. All three components are required to get all the course material: written/audio lesson, video demo, self-check exercises.

No marks are assigned but students may submit exercises to the instructor for feedback and/or troubleshooting. Editing skills are not assessed as the focus is on the technology, not on language or format.

Questions and discussion are encouraged — either about variations or glitches encountered on your own system, or special circumstances that apply to your editing practice. One of the benefits of taking a course is access to your fellow students. They have proven to be an excellent resource.

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