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Technical Editing Rajan D V Venture Infotek. Various Levels of Editing Most Common Errors Role of a House Style Guide in Editing Tips and Tricks of the.

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Presentation on theme: "Technical Editing Rajan D V Venture Infotek. Various Levels of Editing Most Common Errors Role of a House Style Guide in Editing Tips and Tricks of the."— Presentation transcript:

1 Technical Editing Rajan D V Venture Infotek

2 Various Levels of Editing Most Common Errors Role of a House Style Guide in Editing Tips and Tricks of the Trade Various Types of Editing A brief perspective on Technical Editing Editing Checklists Scope of This Session

3 What Is Editing ? Read objectively from the point of view of the audience Query what you read Verify, test documentation content Evaluate usability of the document Judge the appropriateness for intended use and target audience

4 What Constitutes Editing ? Editing Literary EditingTechnical Editing Language Mechanics of Writing Producing a Document Technical Content Presentation to intended Audience

5 What Is Required of Technical Editors ? should have general familiarity with the subject should be familiar with the technical terminology used should judge a manuscript on the basis of representative readers and evaluate whether it tells them what they need to know - completely, concisely, clearly and accurately

6 You may be editing: Printed materials Electronic materials Video content CBT’s As a Technical Editor...

7 Things to Consider When Editing... the basis for editing should be making it easier for the reader to use the document convey to the writer, that your aim is to help achieve a better result edit things that actually need to be changed: conflicts with the style guide, grammatical errors, syntax errors as an editor, you must resist the temptation of including your identity in the document an editor is a team player good editing is not noticed by the reader

8 Before Suggesting a Change......ask yourself the following questions: will the change make it easy for the user of the document in locating information, or understand the content ? will the change rectify an error ? will the change cut publishing costs ?

9 Types of Editing 2. Copy and Literary Editing 1. Developmental / Substantive Editing 3. Editing for Style / Language 4. Editing for Usability 5. Format Edit 6. Integrity Edit 7. Coordination and Policy Edit

10 Developmental / Substantive Editing This macro-level edit focuses on: 1. Organizational structure 2. Logic 3. Correctness 4. Completeness 5. Clarity 6. Consistency Developmental Editing is analysis-driven and should be negotiable with the writer.

11 Checklist - Developmental / Substantive Editing 2. Content 1. Audience 3. Organization 4. Nomenclature 5. Policy 6. Consistency 7. Examples 8. Style Issues

12 Copy and Literary Editing This is a micro-level edit wherein you examine the document’s individual building blocks and focus on grammar, punctuation, retrieval aids, navigational aids and internal consistency. Copy and Literary edits are usually rule-driven and are not negotiable with the writer.

13 Checklist – Copy and Literary Editing 2. Grammar 1. Spelling 3. Sentences 4. Punctuation 5. Cross-references 6. Version number 7. Acronyms 8. Order of steps 9. Sequences 10. Spacing 11. Notes 12. Style Guide 13. Tables 14. Font 15. Header / Footer 16. Typography 17. Page Layout 18. TOC 19. Index 20. Glossary

14 Editing for Style / Language Style decisions are subjective. Passive and active voice depends on what the particular sentence is trying to convey. First, second and third person depends on the purpose and audience of the document. The writer decides on the choice of words, unless the word is inappropriate or misused. The editor can suggest a better word or phrase, but cannot insist that the change be made.

15 Checklist – Editing for Style and Language 2. Readability 1. Flow of text 3. Conciseness 4. Active / Passive voice 5. Verbs 6. Sentence Length 7. Emphasis 8. Style

16 Editing for Usability Involves editing the document for usability. This focuses on following the procedures and steps that the manual describes, exactly as they are written. It also involves verifying if the pre-requisite information that is required to complete a task, and referenced information is accurate, and easily locatable. Clarity of the content and whether it enables the reader to use the document / product is also the focus of this edit.

17 Checklist – Editing for Usability 2. Reader response 1. User viewpoint 3. Conventions 4. Navigational aids 5. Index

18 Format Edit A format edit determines that the document conforms to the organizations standards on typography, layout and illustrations. Checklist – Format Edit 2. Indentation 1. Typography 3. Column width 4. Layout 5. Placement and display of figures and illustrations

19 Integrity Edit An integrity edit ensures that the document is internally consistent. Checklist – Integrity Edit 2. Page numbers 1. References to figures, tables, sections, part numbers, product numbers and other documents 3. TOC Vs. text 4. Numeric sequences 5. Lettered sequences

20 Coordination and Policy Edit A coordination edit is concerned with document handling, planning and estimating, monitoring and coordinating production processes and interfaces with writer, support groups, production groups, and deals with printers. A policy edit ensures that the document conforms to the policy of the company, in terms of presentation, content, legal requirements, copyright, logos, disclaimers, use of references, and trademarks

21 Levels of Edit

22 Most Common Errors 2. Acronyms 1. Contradictions 3. Emphasis 4. Transition 5. Examples 7. Repeated steps 6. Omitted steps 8. Ambiguity 10. Like Vs. as 9. Wordiness 11. Negatives 12. Passive voice 13. Capitalization 15. Commas 14. Quotation Marks 16. Apostrophe

23 18. Hyphen 17. Subject Verb 19. Figure Vs. Text 20. Lists 21. Headings 22. Double words Most Common Errors

24 House Style Guide in Editing A good style guide assumes writers know how to write, think and exercise good judgment. They anticipate that rules may have to be bent and provide ways to bend them. Good style guides focus on only style issues, solve actual problems and save writers and editors time. A style guide should state a preferred style when there is more than one method of doing something. The style guide should also bend other style rules to fit the needs of your organization.

25 A good style guide addresses a lot of common style issues across different documents. House Style Guide in Editing Ensures that all the books/manuals the company publishes speak in one voice. Can, to some extent ensure that all documents that describe one product/service; look, sound and feel as though one person wrote them.

26 Tips and Tricks Grammar Trick: When in doubt, reword Grammar Tip: Educate yourself to make yourself see that English grammar and usage cannot always be reduced to absolute rules. The more knowledge you have on English grammar, the faster you can complete micro-level edits and concentrate on macro-level edits. Compounding Tip: Don’t argue on trivial details and miss the bigger picture. Record decisions on style sheets so that you can use them to edit later chapters.

27 Tips and Tricks Content Organization Tip: You may be trying to solve a problem at a lower level and may need to widen your focus. If changing words doesn’t help look at the whole sentence. Else, look at the paragraph. Maybe you should delete the sentence? Content Organization Trick: expand at higher levels of heads. Avoid burying the information too deep or your readers will not be able to find it.

28 Tips and Tricks Procedure Editing Tip: edit for order, clarity and presentation. If a procedure is too complex, make a flowchart out of it. Can you use tables as a means of conveying information? Ensure all column headings of the table are visible for maximum readability. Procedure Editing Tip: edit for order, clarity and presentation. Tables are breeding grounds for typos, so edit them with care.

29 Glossary Editing Tip: check if all words are included. Conversely, check that the glossary isnt filled with unwanted terms. Tips and Tricks Index Editing Tip: pick a few topics and think of all ways you might search for the topic content. If there are no index entries for your words, chances are they won’t be index entries for other words.

30 Thanks for your patience, input and cooperation!

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