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…
This online course in editing on-screen is surprisingly low tech, so there are minimal technological barriers. Each of the 4 lessons is distributed to a closed croup of students by email once per week as either a PDF or a Word file.
This nonsense sample shows how the built-in drawing and stamp tools can make proofreading marks on a PDF.
The EFA uses Yahoo groups for distribution and for the ensuing discussion that is encouraged. (I am preparing questions to stimulate discussion.)
Each week, a new lesson is uploaded. Students access the lessons and participate in discussion whenever it is convenient for them. The instructor will not be online 24/7, but will aim to respond in a timely manner.
Access to the course site (Yahoo Group) opens October 30th and closes on November 27th. The goal is to make the skills generic – so they can be used in a number of PDF editing platforms, Mac or PC, and any version of Word. Word IS required; no equivalents.
Each lessons includes these aspects, expanded on below:
activities to check your learning along the way
links to video demos
Written instructions are kept to under 11 printed pages for each lesson. These are laid out with lots of white space, graphics, a table of contents, links to resources, and a self-assessment checklist.
Activities are designed so that it will be easy for the instructor to give feedback and guidance to students who want it; though no marks are assigned. Note that editing is neither taught not assessed in this course; it focusses on the technological skills alone. You can get a sneak peek of the demos (at 3x speed, mind you) in the video “trailer” made to promote the online course: http://youtu.be/ne5HfueFvfE
Videos are succinct and typically run under 2 minutes. Each video relates to a discrete part of the lesson; they show the editing in action on the screen, while the instructor narrates, describing what is happening. Video demos are identified by clickable icons in the written lesson; full URLs are provided in the resource notes at the end of each lesson. Videos are also available only to the closed group of students – via YouTube. Students can watch them any time, slow them down, speed them up, replay them, etc.
Lessons are designed to be completed in roughly 2 hours each. It depends on how much you like to practice, or if additional guidance is requested. You are encouraged to ask questions, since you are paying to access to the teacher!
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 question comes up a lot. At first, estimating seems like a shot in the dark. The best bet is to do a few random pages and multiply your findings to take in the whole manuscript. Also, take 60 seconds to edit a sample and identify the most pressing changes that are needed. However…
A colleague and I both freelance for the same publisher, but in different divisions. Each of us has double-checked with the production department(s) and been assured that we are not allowed to use the other’s method for marking up PDFs. This makes me sad, because my colleague speaks very highly of Acrobat’s text edit tools, and they look slick. I’d like to use them.
In a very old industry, implementing new tricks take patience.