How to prepare a Microsoft Word document for publication on the web

Here are a few helpful ideas to prepare a Microsoft Word document for publication on your web site.

Before you send your MS Word document to your web team to publish it on your web site:

  • Choose a simple and descriptive name for the document. “Smith-School-Report-11-2-2007.docx” is better than “Smith.final.updated.JM 6-14.docx”. The first file name is descriptive, SEO-friendly, and easily readable by humans, while the second is a little cryptic and reveals perhaps too much of the internal editing process.
  • These days it is possible to use spaces in file names, but I recommend against it, because a web browser will fill in a space with the characters “%20”, so that a file named Education Report April 2007.doc becomes Education%20Report%20April%202007.doc. That file name is a little hard for people to read and recognize.
  • Many work groups use the Track Changes feature in MS Word to review and discuss an evolving document. Before you send your MS Word document to your web team, make sure that no Comments or Tracked Changes exist in the document.
  • Open your MS Word document. Open the Reviewing toolbar: select View | Toolbars | Reviewing.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Reviewing toolbar in MS Word. Set up a test document and practice adding comments and changes. Practice removing them. Practice the simple controls of the Reviewing toolbar. It’s a straightforward, useful feature and if you practice it you will add it to your personal toolkit.
  • It does no good to simply hide tracked changes or comments by selecting the “Final” version of the document in the Reviewing toolbar. Those changes and comments are still there.
  • To get rid of tracked changes, select Accept All Changes in Document.
  • To remove comments, click the Next button in the Reviewing toolbar to move the page to the next comment. Right click on the comment and delete it.
  • Click the Next button again until you get to the end of the document and all comments are accounted for, and deleted.
  • When all tracked changes and comments are gone, save the document.
  • If you want, save two versions of your document, one with edits and comments, and the other without.
  • Here is a useful discussion: Get rid of tracked changes and comments, once and for all
  • When you are satisfied with the condition of your document, and have saved it with a useful, audience-friendly file name, you can send it to your web team to publish on your web site.