For electronic submissions, I use the “Track Changes” feature of Microsoft Word for in-line editing markup. I also use MS Word’s Comment feature to provide marginal notes to explain the changes, address more complex issues, or offer you choices for a resolution.
I’ve discovered that some authors may not yet be familiar with the “Track Changes” and “Comments” features of Microsoft Word. “Track Changes” works just like markup on hard copy in that it preserves the original text while showing the recommended changes. As you review the manuscript you can selectively make the choice to accept or reject individual changes.
“Comments” allow for marginal notations that aren’t part of the recommended edit but that give the editor a chance to pose questions, provide additional explanatory insight, offer alternative solutions for addressing an issue in the text, and even compliment the author. After you’ve reviewed a comment and chosen a course of action, you can right-click on the comment for an option to delete it.
The screen print below shows an edited manuscript page that uses both features. Note that the “Track Changes” item in the menu bar is highlighted, indicating that this feature is active. For a downloadable sample, click over to “What You Get“.