W.O.L.F. Sector
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023
Worlds Of Lesbian Fiction

BetaWolf Beta-reading Instructions - OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

These instructions may work for other versions of OpenOffice.org Writer, but 3.2.1 is what I have, so that's what I'm going to refer to throughout this tutorial.

To begin, you need to download the Word .docx file. The easiest way to do this is to click on the link in the e-mail you received, which will take you to the story's BetaWolf area (you'll be asked to log in to the site, if you aren't already). From there, you'll see a list of files available for the story. Right-click on the link for the chapter you're supposed to beta, then choose Save Target As... and Save the file to a directory on your computer. You can also get to the BetaWolf area by going to the story's main page and clicking on the blue BetaWolf Files link at the bottom of the story menu on the right (you'll need to be logged in to see the special button). Download the file as described above.

screen shot of BetaWolf Files Web page

Next, open the file in OpenOffice.org Writer. You should see something like this:

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

Click Edit in the top menu. A new drop-down menu will appear. Roll your cursor over Changes or click on the word to make a second side menu appear. Click on Record as shown below:

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

This will activate the Track Changes feature (you'll know it's active because if you go back to the menu, you'll see a checkmark in front of Record).

Now, since I don't like the default colors OpenOffice.org uses to track changes, please go to Tools and select Options...

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

A new menu window will appear. Select the plus sign (+) next to OpenOffice.org Writer and then click on Changes from the new list of options. Your default will probably look like this.

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

Click on the "By author" drop-down lists for the first three items (Insertions, Deletions, and Changed Attributes). Select "Light red". Your screen should look like the image below. If it doesn't, make the appropriate changes. Click OK.

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

Now you can directly add or delete text wherever you want. Any lines that have edits will get a black vertical bar next to them, so I can be alerted to even the smallest change. Added text will appear red and underlined, so I'll even be able to detect new spaces, while deleted text will be turned red with a strikethrough line.

screen shot of OpenOffice.org 3.2.1

If you don't have any actual edits for the text, but instead just want to comment, you can still add your comments using the above method, which I would prefer. OpenOffice.org does have a comments feature available (which you first have to turn on), but it doesn't present them very well or make them easily findable (they can only be added to changed text, meaning you can't comment on something if you don't change part of it first, and they only show up as a roll-over for that changed text or I would have to look at a list of all changes, locate the ones with comments, and then click on each edit to grab the comments).

So please, just add your comments directly to the text. You can put them in parentheses (...) or put the word "COMMENTS:..." in front of them, whichever makes the most sense. Just as long as I can tell a comment from a direct edit.

Well, that's basically it.

When you're done with your review, save the file (I'd appreciate it if you appended your name/username to the file name, ex: "NG_01.docx" should become "NG_01_Username.odt" - OpenOffice won't save in .docx format, so go ahead and switch to .odt), attach it to an e-mail, and hit Send.