31 May

How to Highlight All Dialogue in Manuscript

At the recent Storymakers writers conference, I attended a workshop led by Margie Lawson. Not only did I enjoy her class, but I think I learned a thing or two, so I went to her site and purchased a few lecture packets.

She uses a highlighting scheme in her EDITS system and one of the exercises is to highlight all the dialogue in your manuscript in blue and then read it aloud–but just the dialogue (a good exercise for any writer). I wanted to get right to reading the dialogue and have the machine do the highlighting so I started searching ways to highlight only what comes between quotation marks. Guess what. It ain’t easy, people.

Anyway, I finally figured out how to do it quickly and easily so I’ma sharin’ it with you. Open your manuscript in MS Word and perform a Find and Replace (Ctrl + H) with the following parameters. That’s it. Have fun.

*click on image to enlarge*

Let me know if you have questions.