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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding Overused Words and Phrases

Everyone has that one word or phrase that they use ALL the time.

Mine are 'within minutes' and 'so' among other things. Then there are those garbage words like 'just' and 'then' and 'very.' There are whole lists of words to go through your manuscript and look for. But who's going to read through the entire thing just looking for one word?

The other day I set out with my manuscript and a list of words that I needed to look for. After three words, I was about ready to give up.There had to be an easier way to find my overused words than going through the document with Find looking for each individual word.

So, I went to the twifties and Para gave me this tip that really helped. So I'm going to pass it on to you.

NOTE: This works for Word 2007. If you have an earlier version, then I'm sure there's a way to do it, I'm just not sure of the specifics.

Go to Find and Replace.

Type the word you're looking for into the Find and the Replace boxes.

Click on 'More >>.' Go down to Format, click on it, and then click Highlight.

Hit Replace All.

Now all of the times you use that word are highlighted! You can do this with each word or phrase and then just scroll down the MS and look for all the highlight marks at the same time. :D Much quicker than using Find for each individual use of each individual word.

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