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Faithful readers of the Word blog should be pretty familiar with the Track Changes feature in Word by now. We had two articles about this feature just last month:
Track Changes can be very handy when you're working with other writers or editors on a document. It allows you to easily view any changes or comments they've made right there in the document. The changes and comments are tracked by embedding special markup in the text.
If, however, you are not familiar with the Track Changes feature, this markup might seem a little confusing. And that might be putting it mildly.
This video provides an introduction to how the Track Changes feature works and how to remove all that potentially-confusing-but-actually-pretty-handy markup in your document.
-- Ron Owens
I am a teacher who has students emailing many assignments. I work on iMacs and PCs. How can I grade students'
work by writing on their downloaded word documents and then email their work back to them with my grading notes on their documents by using a digital pad or mouse.
I think using Track Changes and Comments to grade student papers is a perfect scenario for these features. Students can write and hand off their assignments digitally. Then, you can add comments and/or corrections right there in the document. On long-term projects, students can use your comments while they continue to improve their documents with the Track Changes feature turned on. You can then review their changes and return the finished document with a final grade or continue the collaboration.
The only compatibility issues I think you might run into is if some students are using a newer version of Word while others are using an older version that does not use the ".docx" format. The newer ".docx" extension signifies the Office Open XML international standard for Office documents and is used by Word 2007 and 2010 for Windows, Word 2008 and 2011 for the Macintosh.
But maybe I'm not completely understanding you. Are you wanting to use another markup tool? One that doesn't entail using the keyboard? You mention digital pad or mouse. I'm wondering if you might be describing a Tablet PC or something like a Wacom graphics tablet. If so, you might consider the Inking feature. Here's a 2008 CNET article to give you an idea of what that looks like:
I do think Track Changes and Comments might work better for you and your students, though, if that's an option.
Glad you like the blog!