Tag Archive: efficient

Nov 17

Editorial Triage for Maximum Effect in Minimum Time

close up of post-it flags

Tweet this.The thing that is hard for some of us (editors) to accept is that some of the things that drive us crazy aren’t noticed by anyone but other editors. Tips for editorial triage: when time (or money) is tight, make the changes that make the biggest difference. Today, in my How To column at Copyediting.com.
Link to my columns on Copyediting.com


Photo by Arria Belli used under CC BY-SA 2.0 license.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/11/editorial-triage-for-maximum-effect-in-minimum-time/

Jun 09

Multiple Monitors for Editing Efficiency

photo of 30ft screen at Li Ka Shing Institute auditorium


Why are multiple monitor screens more efficient? It might only take a few seconds to sort through the dozen windows open on your computer to find the one you want, but when you do that 5000 times a day…

Configurations, document distribution, and more today, on the How To column at Copyediting.com. No IT wizardry required.

The American Editor quantified the time savings.

What’s your setup?

I hope you’ll tell us, in the comments. And let us know how you tackled any hurdles, too.
Link to my columns on Copyediting.com


Photo by me CC BY-2.0.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/06/multiple-monitors-for-editing-efficiency/

Jun 05

The argument for making changes silently, not tracking them

I espouse making routine copy editing changes silently; that is, without tracking them in Word. From editors, I hear a few common concerns about this:


  • What if the client wants to see every little change?
  • What if the edits introduced errors?
  • What if we really want the client to know that we did all that work? Will invisible changes go unacknowledged and, in the end, unappreciated?


sample of how tracked changes in MS Word quickly gets clutteredAbove all, do what works for you and for your client. There is room for many valid work styles among editors.

The idea of making changes silently came to me from Carol Fisher-Saller, one of the more prominent editors at University of Chicago press. I’m in good company on this point, and her post explains it well. But then again, she does call herself The Subversive Editor. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/06/the-argument-for-making-changes-silently-not-tracking-them/

Apr 28

10 Ways to Navigate a Word Document

Baby with a laptopStill scrolling through a long document using the arrow key? Flying right past what it is you are looking for, getting a bad case of “clicker finger”? Try these 10 other ways to navigate a Word document using your mouse, keyboard shortcuts, and document elements. Today, in my How To column on Copyediting.com.
Link to my How To column on Copyediting.com



Photo by Paul Inkles used under CC BY-2.0 license.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/04/10-ways-to-navigate-a-word-document/

Nov 15

Keyboard shortcuts for proofreading PDFs

Editing a PDF? List of keyboard shortcuts for

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2012/11/keyboard-shortcuts-for-proofreading-pdfs/

Sep 19

On-screen editing course starts Oct 30th, online

In fall 2012, I taught teaching 3 classes related to editing:

  • marketing for the freelance editor, half-day seminar in Ottawa
  • editing in the educational market, half-day seminar in Ottawa (all 3 dameditors)
  • on-screen editing, an online course presented in 4 parts — read below

Below are details people have been asking for about how the online course is run / structured. Links to the other two courses are found on the Training page.

Click here for the latest course dates or to get email notification of upcoming courses. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2012/09/on-screen-editing-course-starts-oct-30th-online/

May 04

Proof in a Hurry

When a client wants a proof (test print) proofread in a hurry, focus on the weakest links:

  1. titles – cover, spine, headers, footers, chapters, and sections
  2. sequential numbering in lists
  3. labels and headings on graphics, chart, and graphs
  4. first and last word of each paragraph (for omissions)
  5. spelling of your name – and the author’s, publisher’s, etc.

Working in a hurry is never fun. You know the work cannot be as good as you would like. Sometimes there isn’t even enough time to read every word.

Work can be fast, good, or cheap; never all three.

Rush work is a compliment, though. Even though the printer is waiting, the client wants to pay you for one last look.

What’s on your “proof in a hurry” checklist? What “weak links” have you identified in your field/product?

Creative Commons License

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2012/05/proof-in-a-hurry/

Oct 06

Editing Strategies: Checklists

Checklists help ensure all elements are in place.

Every now and then, someone asks me if there is a method to my editing. Do I go from “big picture” to “minutia,” for example.

No. It’s not usually that orderly. There is a lot of art to editing. Especially at the start of a project, I just read it, changing or making notes as I go.

However, when I’m well into a project, the editing needs become clearer – the problem spots more apparent – or the elements to check get longer, out comes my checklist.*

Copy editing and proofreading are a lot more amenable to systems than structural editing is.

Below is my checklist from proofing pages on a recent project. Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/10/editing-strategies-checklists/

Aug 12

How to Start a Style Sheet

A style sheet is a record of style choices made as the editor works on a document. They are usually specific to a project or client.

What the bare bones of a style sheet should note.

My template or boilerplate style sheet includes

  • dictionary preference and preference for first given spelling option,
  • style guide preference,
  • reading level,
  • British or US punctuation (for commas and quotes), and
  • number treatment.

This style sheet is jotted on the back of an envelope because the job was tiny, at the final stage, and non-repeating.

Now, my boilerplate reflects the typical subject of my work and often includes notes on the treatment of Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/08/how-to-start-a-style-sheet/

Jul 26

Using the PDF Markup Comments List: One User’s Experience

I am very pleased to release the first guest post on this blog, by my colleague Dawn Hunter, a freelance editor and a multi award-winning author.

I [Dawn] use Acrobat’s markup tools, but I don’t use the Summarize Comments function, and neither do the formatters I work with. I have to say it is a neat function and I appreciate Adrienne’s showing it to me.

What we use is the Show Comments List. You can open it by clicking the icon that looks like two speech bubbles on the left of your screen.

The comment bubble on the left side of the screen will reveal the comment list pane below your PDF. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/07/using-the-pdf-markup-comments-list-one-user%e2%80%99s-experience/

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