Tag Archive: tools

Apr 10

5 tips for editing your own work

photo of magnified eye5 tips for refreshing your editing eyes are covered in this episode, an adaptation of Adrienne’s post on copyediting.com. While originally written for editors, these tips can help writers editing their own writing too; they are ways to trick your eyes into seeing what is actually there rather than what your mind thinks should be there.

Press play below or subscribe to have this sent automatically to your podcatcher/ iTunes, or right-click to download the file. 6:35 min

Follow this link to instructions for subscribing to this podcast.


What do you do to see the words anew? Leave your comments below, or join the discussion over on the Dameditors Facebook page.


Mentioned in this episode:

Original post: 5 Ways to Refocus Your Editing Eye

First and second episodes: Error Rates in Editing: What’s Your Save Percentage? and How many errors trigger a book reprint? (Spoilers: data shows 95% is the best humanly possible and, secondly, precious few.)





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

The image for this episode is by chrisbb, used under CC BY 2.0 license.


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/04/5-tips-for-editing-your-own-work/

Feb 05

Converting Measurements

measuring tapeThis week’s Canadian, Eh? column on Copyediting.com focusses on making conversions between imperial and metric, also known as SI which is short for scientific units in French. And this leads to a discussion of Canadians’ penchant for using SImperial: a mixture of metric and imperial.

Soft and hard conversions are also discussed.

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Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2014/02/converting-measurements/

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.

View on 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.


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

Sep 29

Grade-level Science Vocabulary List for Science Writers and Editors

Or, How to write science at a level kids can understand.

Hey Paul, licensed under CC by 2.0

Science vocabulary, by provincial curriculum grade level

Children’s writers turn to vocabulary lists to ensure their target audience won’t find what they write inaccessible. Some lists are based on analysis of popular literature – listing the most common words in books read by kids at each age. Some lists are based on current literacy trends and theories relating to the number and complexity of words kids will know at various ages. (See Dolch and Mogilner.) Read the rest of this entry »


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/09/grade-level-science-vocabulary-list-for-science-writers-and-editors/

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/

Jul 04

Create a Checklist of Your PDF Mark-up in 2 Clicks

In my previous post of this series, I showed you how to use the “text edits” tool to mark up changes in a PDF. Some production departments are afraid of this tool. (See the insightful and learned comments in the previous post.)

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.

Read the rest of this entry »


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/07/create-a-checklist-of-your-pdf-mark-up-in-2-clicks/

Jun 24

Edit Tools for Marking up PDFs in Acrobat

In the previous post of this series, I discussed drawing tools, changing properties, and using text boxes to mark up PDFs using Acrobat. Finally, let’s visit Acrobat’s built-in text edit tools.

screen capture of what Acrobat does when text is selected with the text edit tool, and then typed over

Sample of how the text edit tool marks up deletions and inserted text.

What the edit tools do

Basically, the text edit tools do electronic mark-up that mimics what line editors traditionally wrote in by hand. (Methods described in the last two posts.)

Click, drag, delete. Click, drag, type. And all of the changes are marked up for you. It’s so clean! Read the rest of this entry »


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/06/edit-tools-for-marking-up-pdfs-in-acrobat/

Jun 05

Key Mark-Up Techniques for Proofreading PDFs

Last post, I discussed using a stylus* or custom stamps to mark-up changes to PDF page proofs. In this post, I discuss two more key skills for copy editing and proofreading in Adobe Acrobat: changing the properties of objects and using text boxes.

OK, I’ll slip in a third skill: using the drawing tools such as rectangle, oval, polygon, and the pencil. In fact, let’s start there.


Drawing tools of the Comments & Markup toolbar in Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.

Drawing tools of Acrobat’s Comments & Markup toolbar.

Read the rest of this entry »


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/06/key-mark-up-techniques-for-proofreading-pdfs/

May 31

Basic PDF Mark-Up for Copy Editors and Proofreaders

[Update Jan 10, 2013: added demo video using Acrobat Reader XI — short URL: http://goo.gl/yaqzNt]

I never see paper anymore. Manuscripts are developed in Word, much to my chagrin. When the book goes to layout, I get page proofs in PDF form. The mark-up I do is in Adobe Acrobat, which I love. I have a stylus, which I love. And my computer has a big-ass screen, search, and undo. Actual-size paper just cannot compete with that.


ITPM has beautiful layout and inspiring travel stories. You'll get lost in there. Best hide your air miles card whilst you read.

The next post shows how to mark up a PDF using stylus and stamps in Adobe Acrobat Pro9.


First, learn the traditional proofreader’s marksRead the rest of this entry »


Permanent link to this article: http://blog.catchthesun.net/2011/05/basic-pdf-mark-up-for-copy-editors-and-proofreaders/

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