General FAQs

How do I know you’ve received my work?

You will receive an automated email once we receive your request for editing. You may also check in on the Submittable site to see the status of your document. Upon completion, you will also receive an email.

I haven’t received an email.

No email? Please check your Spam folder to ensure an email wasn’t automatically deposited there.

How can I contact you?

Use the contact menu on the upper right to send us an e-mail.

What is the typical turnaround period?

Depending on the length of the project, our editors can typically provide a full review of your document within one week from time of submission.

Can I expedite the turnaround period?

We do accept “Rush Orders” with a 24 hour response. Depending on the length and demands of the project, there is a $20 – $50 surcharge for this service.

Do you use computer software for editing of materials?

We provide authentic (not “canned”) feedback and our editors are real people. We do not utilize any electronic editing software in reviewing your materials. WEX is made up of real people dedicated to providing meaningful writing support.

What will my reviewed document look like?

Our editors use Track Changes (in Microsoft Word) to review your submission. Your document will have in-text comments as well. (See below for formatting tips on Tracking Changes.)

Why don’t the editors provide a “clean” document?

At WEX, we believe that the writer is the “owner” of the material and thus is responsible to accept or reject any of the editor’s comments or recommendations. This means that you’ll have to take a few minutes to review your document, but we’re hopeful that this extra step will impact your future writing. That is, WEX is invested in your learning and wants you to build upon your knowledge as a writer.

How do I incorporate changes provided through Track Changes?

At the Writers’ Exchange, we honor the writer’s authority on the manuscript. As a result, WEX Editors use Tracking Changes for their in-text corrections and comments. Our editors will send you both a copy with the Track Changes and a “clean copy” with comments. With the returned documents, we advise that you first open the doc with the Track Changes. Open “Review Pane” (found when you click on the Review tab in Word). A sidebar with a total of changes including comments will appear. Review the changes throughout the document. If you agree with them, open the polished, clean copy.

The polished copy includes the Comments because they go beyond the corrections on the marked-up copy. Read the comments and make any stylistic changes on this polished copy. Delete comments as you go. If not, they will persist in appearing regardless of saving what you might think is a polished document.

If you prefer to make your way through the individual comments, you might print the Review Pane to help you self-edit. At this point, you have multiple options regarding the “tracked changes”:

  • If you decide to go through the document you are responsible to accept changes on the marked copy. Once a change has been accepted, the document will be modified in the way the change indicated, and the highlighting/underlining will disappear.
  • To accept a change, go to the Review pane and click on “Accept” button. To accept all changes, click on the Accept All and Stop Tracking button.
  • For Comments, click the “delete” button next to the “comments” button. Again, you can delete one individual comment or you can select “all” and remove all comments from the document.
  • To delete comments individually, simply click on each and scroll up to “delete comment.” If you want to delete all comments, click on the first one and then scroll to “delete comment.” An option to delete all appears. Your success should be obvious, as the comment pane of the document should disappear.
  • As a final measure, double check to ensure that you have saved a clean version of your document. Click “Accept All” changes and “Turn OFF” Track changes. Then, save as Final.
  • As a final, pre-emptive step, open the fresh document to ensure that all revisions are absent.
  • For more detailed information on Track Changes in specific versions of Microsoft Word, visit the online help pages
  • To delete changes or comments: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/accept-or- reject-tracked-changes-in-word-b2dac7d8-f497-4e94-81bd-d64e62eee0e8
- General -
- Dissertations -
How long does this format process take?
Why can’t I just submit as a Word file and get feedback via Track Changes?
Why can’t I see any editing marks or comments on my dissertation?
Will format be changed with PDF files?
Should I be editing within the PDF?
The comment is overlapping the text and I’m unable to read under it.
How do I create a PDF file?
Why do I have to use embedded subset fonts?
How do I create embedded subset fonts?
What is an em dash?
Should I re-label my dissertation with each revision?
What are widows and orphans in text formatting?
What is a DOI and why do I need it?
Is there a way to see a running list of comments?
Can I print out the editor’s comments on my PDF?
Why isn’t my Table of Contents lining up correctly?
When I save my Word doc to a PDF, I lose the automated links in the Table of Contents.
How do I use title case in the Table of Contents?
Why do the front pages have a different pagination?
I don’t see the extra line between paragraphs.
My editor has written a cover note about a “global error” in my dissertation.
Other things to consider.

FAQs for Dissertation Format Editing

This section covers final format and style editing on dissertations that have already been approved by the writer’s committee.

How long does this format process take?

The format process generally depends on the quality and quantity of the submitted dissertation and the precision in revision. WEX editors typically can edit a submission within a week to 10 days. The edited dissertation is returned, and students have taken anywhere from a few days to a month to revise and correct. However, everything depends on the student’s careful attention to fix every error noted by the editor. After the student resubmits the revised dissertation, the editor will compare it to the original marked-up copy. If errors still persist, the dissertation is returned to the student for continued revising. 

Students should also be aware that any changes they make on one page just might impact the formatting on another page. For example, if a “widow/orphan” line or heading on the bottom of a page was moved to the top of another page, please double-check to ensure that you don’t have that error moving to the bottom of other pages. 

Why can’t I just submit as a Word file and get feedback via Track Changes?

Your dissertation has been formally approved by your committee and has been reviewed for copyright approval. As a result, it deserves protection. Putting it into PDF format secures your document as well as the format. And if you haven’t before, you should consider putting your professional writing into PDFs whenever you share them with others. 

Why can’t I see any editing marks or comments on my dissertation?

We use PDF files to protect your dissertation, and you will have to install  Adobe Reader if you don’t already have it on your computer. It’s a free download and can be accessed on one of the links below:

For Mac:  https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/install-reader-dc-mac-os.html

For PC: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/install-reader-dc-windows.html

Will format be changed with PDF files?

At times, the formatting to PDF with embedded subfonts will impact your dissertation. It’s important that you check your file after you Save As the PDF. One common format issue concerns extra line spacing that might not appear in the Word file.

Should I be editing within the PDF?

No. You should use the marked PDF file for reference as you edit your Word document. When finished, Save the Word file and then Save As PDF, using a new label (see below). See “How to Create a PDF File” below for directions about PDF files with embedded subfonts. 

The comment is written over the text and I’m unable to see what it is referring to.

If you have the Adobe Reader installed on your computer, you should be able to move comments around so that you may see the full text that it is referring to. You may also put it in “Read Mode” by going to View and scrolling to Read Mode. This way, the comments and the text are easily viewed.

How do I create a PDF file?

If you are using Word, simply go to Save As and scroll to PDF. Then follow the directions for embedded subset fonts (See below).

Why do I have to use embedded subset fonts?

 Your dissertation will be uploaded onto electronic databases, and the embedded subset font(s) provides additional format protection of the font. This way, your dissertation will appear as it should no matter the program a reader uses. This is especially helpful should you have international readers. If you don’t embed the fonts, the reader will view the dissertation according to the default font on their computer, possibly interfering with the format of the dissertation. 

How do I create embedded subset fonts?

Follow these directions: 

  • Save dissertation as a PDF and close the Word document. 
  • Locate the new PDF and open the document. 
  • Since you have Adobe Reader already installed, click on File and select 


My WEX editor commented that I am using the wrong kind of dash and I am confused. What is an em dash?

Dashes can be confusing, and we have a useful resource on the different types of dashes that might be helpful for you: To type an en dash (–) in Word for PC, hold down Alt and type 0150. In Mac, hold down the Option key and press the Minus key. To type an em dash (—), use the same commands but with the code number 0151 instead of 0150. In Mac, hold down the Shift and Option keys and press the Minus key.

Check out this resource on dashes!

Should I re-label my dissertation with each revision?

It’s good practice to re-label each revision so that you have a personal archive of this process. Many people find using the following recipe is helpful: “Last Name_Abbreviate Dissertation Title _Specific Date.” (For example: Capo_ThrivingthroughWriting_81817) 

My WEX editor instructed me to eliminate “widows” and “orphans” in my document, and I don’t know what this means. What are these?