I carry out copy-editing and proofreading work using different technologies and techniques. I invite my clients to choose whichever approach suits them best.
Microsoft Word I use this program’s ‘track changes’ feature to record all the changes I make to a document. It lists amendments and queries I have raised either in a panel to the right of the text section, as in the image below, or within the text itself.
My client then goes through the suggested amendments and accepts or rejects them. They will also note any queries I have raised and respond to them, with further amendments inserted during a second run through the text. One small drawback of using Word in this way is the creation of clutter. So, I will attempt to keep this down by amending very minor errors before selecting ‘track changes’. These include double spacing, for example, or a missing full point.
Adobe Acrobat I usually use this program’s own tools to mark a PDF file with suggested changes, raising queries by using the ‘text callout’ feature. However, it is possible to mark up a PDF by inserting standard BSI symbols instead.
This is an example of a page edited using Adobe’s own tools:
And this is the same text marked with stamps representing the BSI symbols:
BSI symbols on paper I always mark paper proofs by writing BSI symbols on them with pen. Any queries or notes are written in pencil.
Websites are potentially very unwieldy because they can consist of hundreds of pages, and they include various elements unique to the internet. These include metadata, links, menus, headers and footers. It is very important to keep track of every single element.
So, although my approach to website editing and proofreading is similar in some ways to that for traditional printed publications, there are significant differences.
Part of my Excel spreadsheet showing the key to priority levels
Microsoft Excel spreadsheet In order to manage the project successfully, and avoid any confusion, I use a detailed spreadsheet. This includes several columns of information, the most important being the page URL, notes about significant amendments that are required, and a colour-coded system to inform the client which pages should be amended immediately and which could wait until a more convenient time. This spreadsheet is supplied to the client along with the amendments, which can be indicated in Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Microsoft Word I have created a template for amendments to web pages, which I use to produce one Word document for each web page. The template includes sections for metadata, the main text, and the header and footer information. The metadata is obtained quickly by using special software. I copy and paste the website text into the appropriate sections and carry out the editing and proofreading by using the ‘track changes’ feature.
Adobe Acrobat As an alternative to Microsoft Word, I save each web page as a PDF and mark it electronically in Acrobat in the way described for printed publications above, or print out the PDF and mark the paper version with a pen instead. Content management systems One other way of making amendments is for you to give me access to your CMS and allow me to enter them on the web pages themselves. The big drawback to this method is that you will not easily see the changes I have made, and we would have to devise a system for raising queries and responding to them.
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