Tag Archive: proofreading

Jun 25

Checklist for Editing Captions

closeup photo of 3 mackerel fish

 

Captions are a weak link in the quality assurance chain, being something most people skim or skip while reviewing a document. This makes checking captions an easy way to earn your keep as a copy editor or proofreader. Today, in my Canadian, Eh? column at Copyediting.com, get a QA checklist for editing captions.

Get a printable Checklist for Editing Captions here.

Tweet about this printable checklist.

 

Link to my Canadian, Eh? column on Copyediting.com

caption checklist

 

Spoiler: the fish are anchovies. Jenny, the photographer, was kind enough to point out that this is correctly described in her caption and that the photo title just reflects a saying familiar to her. I hope she forgives me for using a writer’s “device” that suggests she made an error. Her photos are stunning, and I want to stay on her good side.

 

Photo by Jenny Downing used under CC BY-2.0 license.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/06/checklist-for-editing-captions/

Jun 12

Mark up Title Corrections for Video Using PDF

Anything you can take a screen shot of can be marked up as a PDF. Here is a quick demo showing how to mark up corrections to titles (or captions) in a video. It uses the free Adobe Reader XI software.

Steps are written out below.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/pJhjbGs4ATk[/youtube]

 

Steps to create a PDF from a screen shot

  1. Launch the video / program or whatever.
  2. Pause the playback at the right moment.
  3. Take a screen shot (see tips below).
  4. Create PDF by opening the screen shot in your preferred viewer or pasting it into a Word document, then selecting “Save as PDF” or “print to PDF.”
  5. Open the PDF in Adobe Reader XI. (Make sure it opens in the program, and not within a web browser window.)

 

Ways to take a screen shot

  • [Mac] cmd + shift + 4 — drag crosshairs around selection to copy
  • [Mac] cmd + shift + 4, release, then spacebar — click on screen to copy whole thing
  • [iPad, iPhone] home button + power button — saves screen image to photo album
  • [PC] No idea. Google it.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/06/mark-up-title-corrections-for-video-using-pdf/

Jun 08

Intro to Advanced Acrobatics

This handout is from my presentation at the EAC 2014 conference. Get a printable PDF version here.

Mark up any file you can print to/save as PDF and absolutely anything you can take a screen shot of: website flash menus, apps, PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, and good old text manuscripts. You can do all of this with the free Adobe Reader XI that works on both Mac and Windows platforms.

Summary of Tools in Comment Panel

comment menu in Adobe Acrobat Reader XIDrawing Markups work like an electronic pencil.

Annotations mark up text much like Word’s Track Changes feature. Read the rest of this entry »

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/06/intro-to-advanced-acrobatics/

Nov 05

Error Rates in Editing: What’s Your Save Percentage? (podcast)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/67161590@N03/7770622796/in/photolist-cQEtr7-8fhQti-7jqEPPIn this 5 min podcast I explore scientific evidence for what kind of error correction rate is humanly feasible. We’ll look at industry standards for copyeditors and proofreaders, too.

Press play below or subscribe to have each episode delivered to your inbox.

What’s your save percentage? Tweet this quote.

 

Mentioned in this podcast:

 

 

The photo is by Kris McGuire, used under CC by 2.0 license.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2013/11/podcast-error-rates-in-editing/

Oct 27

Listen now: podcast version of “How many errors trigger a book reprint?”

shocked flickr-com:photos:84744710@N06:7997288513:Rewritten for the audio format, and with a new quote or two: here is my first foray into podcasting in which I discuss errors in printed books and how often they get fixed.
Tweet this quote.

Enjoy the verbal stumbles, and my talent for voicing others’ comments. New career! ;)

Press play below or subscribe to have all episodes delivered to your device for free.

For a print version of this topic, visit the Canadian, Eh? column on Copyediting.com. It’s published under the title: “How many errors trigger a reprint?

 

 

You may also be interested in hearing a newer podcast about error rates in editing, a post which provides research evidence that a 95% error correction rate is exceptionally high quality.

This is my first foray into the audio realm (thus the flubs and verbal stumbles). I hope to turn more of the posts into audio versions, since I prefer audio consumption myself after a long day of staring at print. I appreciate your comments and suggestions.

 

 

The photo is by Jon Bunting used under CC by 2.0 license.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2013/10/podcast-how-many-errors-trigger-reprint/

Aug 08

What is an acceptable error rate for a copyeditor or proofreader?

Let me clarify: How many errors can an editor let stand?

5%

Pulled that number out of the air. (Serious numbers below.)

But seriously, I’m human, you’re human… Only [the divine] is perfect. Errors happen, and the more errors that are in a manuscript to begin with, the more errors will remain.

Even teams of editors can’t guarantee a impeccable prose.

You can have good, fast, or cheap; never all three.

— Rosemary Shipton, Canadian Editor

Heck, I’ve picked up “polo bears” (for polar), “crystal movement of tectonic plates” (for crustal), and “replace with page 273, DO NOT have image” (for “OMG you’re fired”) in finished books. Read the rest of this entry »

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2013/08/copyediting-error-rate/

Jun 27

Reading List: Starter kit for freelance editors

This blog now has dozens of posts that will help the new starter. Click the Starter Kit for Editors category to see them all, or start with these essentials:

 

Before you edit for pay, learn the ropes:

1. Read these

Read the rest of this entry »

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2013/06/starter-kit-for-freelance-editors/

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.

 

[youtube]http://youtu.be/ne5HfueFvfE[/youtube]

 

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.

Use drawing tools from the Comment & Markup toolbar to make proofreading marks a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.

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:

  • written instructions
  • 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!

Online classes run October 30th to November 20th. Presented by the Editorial Freelancers Association in the USA.

 

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

Dec 12

Thinking of a Career in Editing?

Updated Feb, 2014: added online resources

Most editors come at the profession from other areas of expertise. They find they are good with words and have become the “go to” person at their workplace. Stepping from science (say) into science editing, is a sideways step that can be much less painful than a complete career change. The steps below can help you gain experience and an idea of whether or not editing is for you. It’s an incredibly diverse career group. As you navigate the early phases, remember that whatever someone tells you, the exact opposite may also be true.

The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) just released a booklet about careers in editing. For now, you can see their advice on the (soon to be revamped) website.

 

To learn about editing:

  1. complete exercises
  2. take a course or seminar
  3. read a style guide, or four
  4. join a professional organization

 

 

To learn about freelancing:

  1. join a professional organization
  2. take a course or seminar
  3. read Louise Harnby’s book

Read the rest of this entry »

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/12/thinking-of-a-career-in-editing/

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 »

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

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