In-Line Critiquing in Word and Docs

Last week, I shared a post about two different kinds of critiquing and the term I apparently made up called in-line critiquing.

I have met a number of writers who are unfamiliar with the comment features on two common writing and sharing programs – Microsoft Word and Google Docs – so I want to do a very brief rundown on how to use the features on these two programs.


In Word, this function is called the REVIEW function and it’s located up on the top tab bar.

When you are reviewing, the first thing you need to do is click on TRACKING and turn on TRACK CHANGES so that you can edit directly within the document, making your own changes directly to the document.

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If you want to just make a comment, highlight the section you want, and click on NEW COMMENT, then you’re able to make your comment.


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If you are receiving a critique with edits made to the document, simply click on the suggestion and then click ACCEPT or REJECT. If you REJECT the suggestion, your original wording will reappear. The pages with the left and right arrows allow you to jump from change to change.

For comments, you can either DELETE or RESOLVE them as you go, addressing each suggestion. The speech bubbles with the left and right arrows allow you to jump from comment to comment and review them that way.

Here’s an example of a comment vs. a change suggestion:

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Google Docs

Editing in docs is very similar to editing in Word.

First, be sure that you’re in the SUGGESTING mode. You can choose either view, suggest, or edit from the dropdown menu here.

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There are two different places you can open the comment box on the side, one on the top bar and the other appears on the side of the doc when you highlight text. The text box with the plus sign is the ‘add comment’ icon.

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Otherwise, you can highlight text and an icon will appear.

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Clicking on the icon will open a comment box where you can leave a comment.

Finally, while in suggest mode, you can edit the document directly and your edits will appear as suggestions that can either be accepted or rejected. The check mark will accept the suggestion and the change will be made and the x will reject the suggestion, leaving your original wording.

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Knowing how to use both of these programs will help you immensely in your writing, editing, and critiquing journey, both in knowing how to give and react to comments and suggestions.


Finally, sharing Google docs with others can be done one of two ways: Either direct email or link sharing.

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If you choose link sharing, you can copy and paste the link to share the document or you can enter the email address(es) of those helping you. When you share, be sure that the document is in the correct mode, commenting, when you share. This allows for online editing and, my favorite feature, collaborative editing. I can have multiple people work on the exact same document, interact with each others comments, and I only have to keep track of one document.

My life has been made SO MUCH easier with the discovery of these features on both of these programs and I use them frequently.

If there’s anything I missed that you’d like to know about, please leave a comment and I’ll be sure to address it in a future post!


Do you use either of these programs? Do you prefer one over the other? Why?


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