Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Extremely Easy Ways To Backup Your Computer By Jimmie Lee Staley


One surefire way to ruin a day is to find that your laptop/computer has been compromised. The culprit could be an accidental spill, drop, or even a virus, but all of a sudden your life is gone. All emails, pictures, jokes, projects, and bookmarks that make your life easy—Gone! In order to be ready for this crisis, it is necessary to make backups of the information you love and cherish. Here are a few ways to make sure all is not lost.

1. Cloud Programs like Crashplan, Carbonite, & Backblaze

The most effective backup method is via cloud service, which protects your information in cyberspace. Another more traditional method is through a restore function within your computer or a hard copy backup of all your files. The reason the cloud services are more effective is that they update often without any work on your part. This type of backup is more inclusive. The likelihood of having different components backed up, such as photos, music, bookmarks, saved emails, and files is significantly higher. It simply provides the most up-to-date info accessible through an internet connection. You can also be selective of what you want to backup. For example, you could opt to never have temporary internet files backed up. This may be a good thing if your source of the crash was a virus downloaded via an internet app or email.

A major drawback to this type of backup is that cloud drives can be susceptible to hacking. The data is stored in cyberspace, where it may be at risk. This is something that needs to be researched with any cloud service. Each company has a security protocol, and it would be wise to find out if that company has ever been hacked or how it is rated among all the other cloud services out there. Like every industry, there are always good ones and then better ones.

Most operating systems now have a “time machine” function where you can restore your computer to an earlier date. When you shut down each day, your computer saves all the programs and updates through that date. Being able to go back to a prior date might allow you to work around a suspicious file that has been downloaded that may be a virus or some other malware. This also is the simplest way to restore all your information. Internal backup systems on both Windows and Mac operating systems have become much more user-friendly over the years.

The downside of this is that other files may not be saved. Peripheral data obtained via the internet or files downloaded after the restore date may no longer be accessible. This could be very frustrating if, for instance, you collected many diverse sources for a project and then had your computer crash. Some of the research or even the breadcrumbs that may have led you to sources may not be readily apparent, and you risk having to reinvent the wheel.

3. External Hardrive

Investing in an external drive to store major files may be a good idea. This is sort of an old-school but comfortable way to have privacy and protection. This is what most people have seen IT departments use to restore computer function in the past. There are many who trust this alternative more than any other. It is user-dependent, since what is saved is what you consciously backed up. It has known parameters without external factors (relying on software or security) to protect your information.

The downfall is that if you have not backed up information recently, you might lose necessary or vital information and programs accessed since your last backup. This is the biggest problem with this sort of backup—it takes diligence to remember to backup information. It is common for people to forget to backup or save their work, and that human flaw can make your life harder if you depend on this method.

4. CD Backup

This is a more primitive method of system restore. Burning the inventory to a CD will, of course, provide you access to those files up until the date of it being burned; however, you have multiple discs to contend with as well as errors in burning that you may not have caught at the time you backed up those files. It may be unreliable to a degree. This sort of safety net allows for a great deal of issues, such as having incomplete copies of programs, glitches within the burning process, disk defectiveness, and human error. These all could be factors in making your day much more complicated.

5. Thumbdrive Backup

The most basic of backups of only prominent files to a thumbdrive is the most limited form of backup. Thumbdrives have relatively limited space and thus can not store much data. However, this is a very easy way to save information that came be taken anywhere at any time. You can take your entire desktop on vacation via a thumbdrive. The only drawback is the space capacity of the drive itself.

Using one or varying combinations of these sorts of backup methods will help to save you time and frustration when your computer crashes. It is better to be prepared, despite the cost of and amount of thought and energy needed to make such alternatives viable or more practical for the amount of information, the level of security, and the accessibility that you personally feel comfortable with. Each of these ways provides the basic remedy for the problem of a computer that has crashed. It comes down to personal choice, preference, and comfort. Which way works for you?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Case Study: Adobe InCopy helps maximize efficiency for in-house design team By Wendy Millard, RGD


October 16, 2015

Our job involves maintaining and updating all existing print collateral, but the amount of effort it takes to make updates to this material can really burn up a lot of the team’s time. Add another language into the production and that’s considerable time that could be spent on new creative projects. 

Designers thrive on creative challenges: doing the research; generating ideas; coming up with concepts and solutions for clients and executing the chosen design. That’s what we went to design school for, right? In reality, we're looking at round five of copy edits or making decisions on whether text will be bold or capped or not bold. These types of questions can become a runaway train if you do not have enough process in place to minimize the back and forth of
copy edits.

Beyond defining a clear process for managing workflow, it is important to have the right tools for your team to keep things running as smoothly as possible. Adopting Adobe InCopy is a key part of our solution that has allowed for greater collaboration among the marketing, design and translation teams. It empowers the copywriter, editor and translator to make their own changes directly in InDesign files with minimal involvement from the designer and no chance of their changes affecting the design layout. In fact, when you have the network bandwidth of a larger corporation both the content author and the designer can be in the same file at the same time, making changes without overwriting each other's work. It’s an easy check in/check out process to update the files.

Buy in and trust are both important in making changes to any process, so we started small with a key business partner who often submitted changes to existing materials and was adaptable and open to trying new technology. We used to first get the training needed to use InCopy and then tried it out on several design requests that came through from this business partner. We defined the process and steps and created a Design SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for the team to use. Once we felt comfortable with the solution, we took it to other teams to promote and demonstrate how it improved our process and turnaround time on the work.

What had previously been a back and forth workflow with multiple proofs and annotated pdfs became a much more efficient process. Once we had our translation team actively using the tool, we saw a decrease in revisions and proofs from an average of five down to one or two proofs to final approval. We further rolled out the tool to all Marketing and Communication specialists.

Today, the InDesign/InCopy workflow is a main part of our process for most existing and even new creative development where the business partner is able to try different tag lines and content for review and approval.

Most times the process works without a snag, but we have come across some issues to be aware of:

  1. The InCopy user needs to be comfortable with technology and take the time to get the training which can be accomplished through online sources such as
  2. The InCopy user should not be working off of lower-bandwidth or VPN access. This will corrupt your file and cause frustration on all fronts.
  3. Fonts can be an issue and can also cause corruption. Be sure to set paragraph styles and have the business partner use them.
  4. It is a best practice to establish clear guidelines/Design SOPs for both the business partner and the designer regarding the process and responsibilities of using the tool.

Overall, our designers love the fact that InCopy can free them of the multiple revision cycle. Business partners enjoy the streamlined process and the ability to make changes themselves. This tool is definitely worth a look if you are trying to find ways to improve efficiency in the use of your creative team’s time
and energy.

For more information on Adobe InCopy, visit - See more at:

For More Information about the RGD:

GREP for Editors By Chad Chelius

October 20, 2014

If you’re like most people, you just got done reading the headline of this article and said “What in the world is GREP?” People who have been using InCopy for years, still aren’t sure what GREP is even though they probably see it every time they open the Find/Change dialog box.

GREP stands for General Regular Expression Print and although that probably doesn’t make things any clearer yet, just understand that GREP is like Find/Change on steroids. The premise behind GREP is that you build search terms using Regular Expressions that intelligently searches out text content with intelligence and precision accuracy. GREP can literally save hours of your time by cleaning up what you would normally do manually. If you think that GREP requires that you learn an obscure language in order to achieve find/change greatness, you’d be only partially correct. The point of this post is to introduce you to some GREP searches that you can use today without learning a single lick of code!

GREP is found in the Find/Change dialog box, so open it by choosing Edit > Find/Change or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+F (Mac) or Ctrl+F (Windows) and click the GREP button at the top of the dialog box. This is where you can type in GREP expressions to search for content. As promised however, you won’t need to type anything in here! At the top of the Find/Change dialog box is a Query drop-down menu that contains six built-in GREP searches that you can use right out of the box. These searches include:

  • Change Arabic Diacritic Marks – For Arabic text, this changes the color of diacritical marks.
  • Dash to En Dash – Changes a single dash separated by spaces to an En dash.
  • Multiple Return to Single Return – Note that it says multiple. This changes more than one return in a row to one return.
  • Multiple Space to Single Space – Changes multiple spaces in a row to a single space.
  • Phone Number Conversion (dot format) – Changes phone numbers to a standard format separated by periods.
  • Remove Trailing Whitespace – Not a deal breaker if you have spaces at the end of a paragraph, but this search tidies up your text by removing them.

After choosing any one of these built-in GREP searches, the Find what field populates with the regular expression to find the desired text.
GREP Find Change
In the figure above, the Multiple Return to Single Return option was chosen. Just so you understand a little bit about the content of the Find what field, ~b is the expression for a break character. Putting two of them in a row ~b~b tells GREP to find two break characters in a row, and the + after them indicates that the two break characters can occur one or more times. Brilliant!

GREP Find Change Before After

The text before running the Multiple Return to Single Return GREP search (left) and after (right).

There you have it! Consider yourself a full-fledged GREP user! Of the six default GREP searches available from the Query drop-down menu, I’m guessing you can take advantage of at least three of them right off the bat. If you have a search dilemma that you think GREP could help you with, leave a comment below. If we hear a good response, I’ll write a post on more detailed GREP searches to help you do your job. Until next time!

Text Editing Efficiencies – Part 1 By Chad Chelius

May 21, 2015

Normally when I’m teaching the InCopy workflow to a new group of users, I focus on the overall workflow as well has the features and functionality that InCopy provides to make the job of design and editorial easier. I assume that the users are already efficient computer users and breeze over a lot of the more mundane details of editing text. After all, most of the users have been doing this for years if not decades.

During a recent engagement I was observing a group of users putting the InCopy workflow into practice, this included designers, editors, writers, and others. What I noticed during my observation was how much time everyone was spending using the mouse to meticulously select text that needed to be modified in their documents. The process went something like this. Grab the mouse, move it to the correct location on the screen, click and drag to select text, delete or edit the text, rinse and repeat. Now I understand fully that everyone works in their own way and has a certain way of doing things, but I couldn’t help but to think that with a little knowledge, and new techniques, that their efficiency could be improved significantly. When it comes to editing text in either InDesign or InCopy, there’s no better way than the keyboard. I thought I’d share some of my favorite methods for navigating through text.

Navigating using the keyboard

Let’s start with the basics, insert your cursor somewhere within some text. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate left to right one character at a time and up and down one line at a time. This shortcut can be somewhat limiting because you can only move a small amount of space at a time. To speed things up, add the Command key (Mac) or the Control key (Windows) to those same arrow keys. This multiplies the amount of space that you can navigate considerably. Using the Cmd/Ctrl key in conjunction with the left and right arrow keys navigates through text one word at a time and using the up and down arrow keys navigates one paragraph at a time. Finally, using the Cmd/Ctrl key in conjunction with the home and end buttons on your keyboard will navigate to the beginning and end of a story respectively. If you’re working on a smaller sized keyboard without home and end keys, you can still achieve this result by combining the Cmd/Ctrl key with the fn (function) key along with the left arrow (home) and the right arrow (end) on the keyboard. This shortcut will take miles off of your mouse each year!

There’s more to show, but I figured that for this post, I’d focus on the navigational aspects of working with text using a keyboard in InDesign and InCopy. I’ve added a table of the keyboard shortcuts discussed in this post below for easy access later on. Practice these shortcuts until next week and then we’ll discuss how to efficiently select text in the same way using InDesign and InCopy.

Description Mac Shortcut Windows Shortcut
Navigate one character left Left Arrow Left Arrow
Navigate one character right Right Arrow Right Arrow
Navigate one line up Up Arrow Up Arrow
Navigate one line down Down Arrow Down Arrow
Navigate one word left Cmd + Left Arrow Ctrl + Left Arrow
Navigate one word right Cmd + Right Arrow Ctrl + Right Arrow
Navigate one paragraph up Cmd + Up Arrow Ctrl + Up Arrow
Navigate one paragraph down Cmd + Down Arrow Ctrl + Down Arrow
Navigate to beginning of story Cmd + Home Ctrl + Home
Navigate to beginning of story (min keyboard) fn + Cmd + Left Arrow fn + Ctrl + Left Arrow
Navigate to end of story Cmd + End Ctrl + End
Navigate to end of story (min keyboard) fn + Cmd + Right Arrow fn + Ctrl + Right Arrow

Sunday, June 11, 2017

What is the Difference Between Copyediting and Line Editing?


January 2015

What do you need an edit or a copyedit?

Many authors don’t fully grasp the difference between a line edit and a copyedit. There are some similarities between the two: both pay detailed attention to your use of language, and involve mark-up on the pages of your manuscript. But make no mistake, these are two completely different processes, handled by professionals with different skill sets, and should occur at very different times during the writing process.

What’s a Line Edit?

A line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. But the purpose of a line edit is not to comb your manuscript for errors – rather, a line edit focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. Is your language clear, fluid, and pleasurable to read? Does it convey a sense of atmosphere, emotion, and tone? Do the words you’ve chosen convey a precise meaning, or are you using broad generalizations and clichés?

An editor may draw your attention to:

  • Words or sentences that are extraneous or overused
  • Run-on sentences
  • Redundancies from repeating the same information in different ways
  • Dialogue or paragraphs that can be tightened
  • Scenes where the action is confusing or the author’s meaning is unclear due to bad transitions
  • Tonal shifts and unnatural phrasing
  • Passages that don’t read well due to bland language use
  • Confusing narrative digressions
  • Changes that can be made to improve the pacing of a passage
  • Words or phrases that may clarify or enhance your meaning.

The purpose of working with a general editor in this way is not just to improve your current manuscript, but to give you the creative tools to become a better writer in ways you can carry with you to future projects.

In That Case, What’s a Copyedit?

By contrast, the goal of a copyedit is to address flaws on a very technical level – to make sure the writing that appears on the page is in accordance with industry standards. This is like an incredibly high-end proofread.

A copyedit:

  • Corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax
  • Ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization
  • Flags ambiguous or factually incorrect statements (especially important for non-fiction)
  • Tracks macro concerns like internal consistency.

Internal consistency means your plot, setting, and character traits don’t have discrepancies. For example if on page 41 you write: Rosemary wore her blond hair in a bun, and then on page 67 you write Rosemary brushed her long black hair, it’s a copyeditor’s job to point that out.

There will be some overlap between the work of a general editor and a copyeditor. Most developmental editors will point out technical errors or logical inconsistencies when they jump out, because they’re trying to make your writing better, and because editors tend to be perfectionists by disposition (guilty as charged!). But it is not the specific purpose of a line edit to comb through your prose, fix your grammar, typos, capitalize proper nouns, or change all spellings of colour to color because we’re in America, not Britain.

This is the job of a copyeditor, and it requires a rule-based understanding of standard American English usage that traditional editors don’t have. As such, your copyedit will come with a “style sheet” that explains how these rules and principals apply to specific things in your manuscript. So while your general editor will probably not have the Chicago Manual of Style committed to memory, your copyeditor might.

There is one other reason that line editing and copyediting aren’t the same job: copyediting should always come after line edit, never at the same time or before. The page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence content of your manuscript should be completely finalized before being fine-tuned on the level of a copyedit. Because what is the point of spending time (and money) proofreading portions of an early draft that might be significantly altered, or even completely cut, by the time the final draft rolls around?

At a publishing house, a copyeditor is usually the last person who touches the text of a manuscript before it goes into production – after the editor who bought your manuscript has taken you through revisions and given the final sign-off on your book’s content.

So, to make a sweeping and totally reductive generalization, the job of a general editor is to help you tell a better story, and the job of a copyeditor is to make sure the grammar on every page is correct.

Just in case you’re still a little unsure, here are a couple of examples that show how a developmental editor and a copyeditor might work on a similar piece of text. These examples are adapted from an earlier post you might want to check out, called The Biggest Mistake Beginning Writers Make.

EXAMPLE 1) Original passage:

She reluctantly handed over her purse, and nervously waited to have it placed back in to her hands. She felt a rush of relief as the Security Guard finished his search after 30 seconds and handed it back to her.

The same passage, after a line editor has helped the author rewrite it so that it reads more fluidly:

She was reluctant to hand over her purse, and felt a rush of relief as the Security Guard finished his search and placed it back in to her hands 30 seconds later.

And the same passage, after it’s been copyedited for grammar and usage (with edits in bold):

She was reluctant to hand over her purse, and felt a rush of relief as the security guard finished his search and placed it back into her hands thirty seconds later.


EXAMPLE 2) Another Original passage:

The rising light of the sun was quickly brightening. Dawn was turning into morning. Alex finished reading her copy of the “New York Times” and put the paper down on the table, and then grabbed her ipod and put on Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love and went out for her mourning run.

After a line editor has helped the author to rework it so that it reads more fluidly:

The dawn light brightened, giving way to morning. Alex tossed “The New York Times” onto the table, grabbed her ipod, and then put on Beyoncé’s Crazy in Love as she headed out for her morning run.

*Notice here, the line editor caught and fixed a couple of technical errors, like the typo on the second use of “morning” and the inclusion of “The” as part of the newspaper’s title. But even more is fixed…

After the passage has been copyedited for grammar and usage:

The dawn light brightened, giving way to morning. Alex tossed The New York Times onto the table, grabbed her iPod, and put on Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love” as she headed out for her morning run.

Track changes in Word


Applies To: Word 2016 Word 2013 Word 2010 Word 2007 Office 2007

When you want to see who’s been making changes to your document, turn on the Track Changes feature.

Turn Track Changes on or off

  • On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, choose Track Changes.

When you turn on Track Changes, Word marks up new changes made to the document.

When you turn off Track Changes, Word stops marking up new changes. Any changes that were already tracked remain marked up in the document until you remove them.

Track changes on the Word ribbon

When you turn on Track Changes, Word marks up and shows any changes that anyone makes to the document.

Hero image of revisions inline in Word

  1. On the Review tab, in the Tracking group, in the Simple Markup list, choose a view option.

    • Simple Markup is the default option, and indicates where changes are with a red line in the margin.

      The line at the margin to show a tracked change is at that location

    • No Markup hides markup to show what the incorporated changes will look like.

      Note: You can see the markup again by choosing Simple Markup or All Markup.

    • All Markup shows all edits with different colors of text and lines.

    • Original shows the document in its original form.

  2. In the Show Markup list, choose the revisions you'd like to see—Comments, Ink, Insertions and Deletions, Formatting, Balloons, Specific people.

You can prevent someone else from turning off Track Changes by turning on Lock Tracking and adding a password. When Tracked Changes is locked, you can't turn off the feature, and you can’t accept or reject the changes.

  1. On the Review tab, in the Track Changes list, choose Lock Tracking.

    Lock changes command on the Track Changes menu

  2. Do one of the following:

    • In the Lock Tracking dialog box, enter a password, type it again in the Reenter to confirm box, and then choose OK.

      Note: Adding a password is optional. It's not a security feature. It is intended, however, to discourage others from turning off Track Changes.

    • In the Lock Tracking dialog box, choose Cancel.

Turn off Lock Tracking

  1. In the Track Changes list, choose Lock Tracking.

  2. If you added a password, enter it when prompted, and then choose OK.

    Note: Track Changes is still on, but you can accept and reject changes.

The only way to remove tracked changes in a document is to accept or reject them. Choosing No Markup in the Display for Review box helps you see what the final document will look like—but it only hides tracked changes temporarily. The changes are not deleted, and they’ll show up again the next time anyone opens the document. To delete the tracked changes permanently, accept or reject them.

Accept or delete a single tracked change

  1. Open your document.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, choose Next or Previous.

  3. Choose Accept or Reject.

    The Accept, Reject, and Next buttons

Accept or delete all tracked changes

  1. Open your document.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Changes group, do one of the following:

    • In the Accept list, choose Accept All Changes.


    • In the Reject list, choose Reject All Changes.

Word either accepts the change or removes it, and then moves to the next change.

View comments

  • Word shows a balloon where someone’s made a comment. To see a comment, choose the comment balloon.

    The comment icon in Simple Markup

  • To see the changes, click the line near the margin. That action switches Word into All Markup view.

    Track changes showing in All Markup view

Delete a single comment

  • Choose a comment, and on the Review tab, in the Comments group, choose Delete.

Delete all comments

  • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, in the Delete list, choose Delete All Comments in Document.

Tips: Before you share the final version of your document, it’s a good idea to run Document Inspector. This tool checks for tracked changes and comments, hidden text, personal names in properties, and other information you might not want to share widely.

  • On the File tab, choose Info > Check for Issues > Inspect Document.

To learn more about comments, see Insert and delete comments.

Adobe InCopy: Tracking and reviewing changes


Track changes

A valuable feature is the ability to track changes made to a story by each contributor in the writing and editing process. Whenever anyone adds, deletes, or moves text within an existing story, the change is marked in the Story Editor in InDesign or the Galley and Story views in InCopy. You can then accept or reject the changes.

Use the Track Changes panel in InDesign or the Track Changes toolbar in InCopy to turn Track Changes on or off and to show, hide, accept, or reject changes made by contributors.

Change tracking shown in Story Editor (InDesign)

A. Change bars B. Added text C. Deleted text D. Moved text (from) E. Moved text (to)

Turn on change tracking

Choose Window > Editorial > Track Changes to open the Track Changes panel (InDesign), or choose Window > Track Changes to open the Track Changes toolbar (InCopy).

  • With the insertion point in text, do any of the following:

    • To enable change-tracking in only the current story, click the Enable Track Changes In Current Story icon .

    • (InDesign) To enable tracking in all stories, choose Enable Track Changes In All Stories from the Track Changes panel menu.

    • (InCopy) To enable tracking in all open stories in a multistory document, choose Changes > Enable Tracking In All Stories.

  • Add, delete, or move text within the story as needed.


    When Track Changes is turned on, a track changes icon appears at the right end of the Story bar in Galley view and Story view.

    How change tracking is displayed

    When Track Changes is turned on, each change is marked by default as follows in Story Editor (InDesign) or in Galley and Story views (InCopy):


    The Track Changes section of the Preferences dialog box lets you choose a color to identify your changes. It also lets you select which changes (adding, deleting, or moving text) you want tracked and the appearance of tracking.

    Added text


    Deleted text

    Highlighted and marked with a strikethrough.

    Moved (cut-and-pasted) text

    Highlighted and marked with a strikethrough in its original location; highlighted and boxed in the new location.


    If you cut text from one document and paste it into another, it is displayed as deleted text in the document of its original location and as added text in its new location.

    Copied text

    Highlighted in the new location. The original text is unchanged.

    Change bars

    A change bar is a vertical line that appears to the left of a line of text that has been changed. You can choose whether to show or hide change bars as you work. You can also specify what color to use for displaying the change bars.

    Show or hide changes

    When changes are hidden, the text appears as it would with the change-tracking feature turned off. That is, added text is visible, deleted text is invisible, and moved or pasted text appears where it has been inserted.

    (InDesign) When change-tracking is turned on, editing is tracked regardless of whether you work in Story Editor or in the document layout. You can view changes only in Story Editor, not in the layout.

    (InCopy) When change-tracking is turned on, editing is tracked regardless of whether you work in Galley, Story, or Layout view. You can view changes only in the Galley and Story views, not the Layout view.

    In the Track Changes panel (InDesign) or the Track Changes toolbar (InCopy), click the Show/Hide Changes button

    Turn off change tracking

    With the insertion point in text, do any of the following:

    • To disable change-tracking in only the current story, click the Disable Track Changes In Current Story icon .

    • (InDesign) To disable tracking in all stories, choose Disable Track Changes In All Stories from the Track Changes panel menu.

    • (InCopy) To disable tracking in all open stories in a multistory document, choose Changes > Disable Tracking In All Stories.


    If you disable tracking, no further changes are tracked. Previously tracked changes are not affected.

    View change information in the Track Changes panel

    Choose Window > Track Changes.

    Click the insertion point in a change. The Track Changes panel displays the date, time, and other change information.

    Accept and reject changes

    When changes have been made to a story, whether by you or by others, the change-tracking feature enables you to review all changes and decide whether to incorporate them into the story. You can accept or reject single changes, only portions of a tracked change, or all changes at once.

    When you accept a change, it becomes a normal part of the text flow and is no longer highlighted as a change. When you reject a change, the text reverts to how it was before the change was made.

    In Story Editor (InDesign) or Galley or Story view (InCopy), position the insertion point at the beginning of the story.

    In the Track Changes panel (InDesign) or the Track Changes toolbar (InCopy), click the Next Change button

    Do any of the following:

    • To accept the highlighted change and incorporate it into the text flow, click the Accept Change button .
    • To reject the change and revert to the original text, click the Reject Change button 


    To accept or reject the highlighted change and go to the next change, Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) the Accept Change or Reject Change button.

    • To move back to the previous change or skip over a change and go to the next one, click the Previous Change button  or Next Change button .

    • To accept or reject all changes without reviewing, click the Accept All Changes In Story button  or the Reject All Changes In Story button .

    • To accept or reject all changes in the story or in the document, or to accept or reject all changes by a certain participant, choose the appropriate option from the Track Changes panel menu (InDesign) or from the Changes menu (InCopy).


    If you change your mind about accepting or rejecting a change, you can undo the change by choosing Edit > Undo or pressing Ctrl+Z (Windows) or Command+Z (Mac OS).

    Choosing an Accept All Changes or Reject All Changes command also applies to hidden conditional text.

    Set Track Changes preferences

    Preference settings let you control many tracking options. You can choose a color to identify your changes and select what changes you want tracked: adding, deleting, or moving text. You can also set the appearance of each type of tracked change, and you can have changes identified with colored change bars in the margins.

    Choose Edit > Preferences > Track Changes (Windows) or InCopy > Preferences > Track Changes (Mac OS).

    Select each type of change that you want to track.

    For each type of change, specify the text color, background color, and marking method.

    Select Prevent Duplicate User Colors to ensure that all users are assigned different colors.

    To show change bars, select the Change Bars option. Choose a color from the Change Bar Color menu, and specify whether you want change bars to appear in the left or right margin.

    Select Include Deleted Text When Spellchecking if you want to spell-check text marked to be deleted.

    Click OK.

    Change the user name and color

    Choose File > User.
    Specify the user name and color to be used for change-tracking and notes, and then click OK.

    Five Proofreading Tips for Businesses


    By Alex Painter

    Would you trust a five star hotel offering 'luxry accommodation'? Or an online retailer who asked for your 'adress' in a contact form? I wouldn't. And I'm not alone. However, even if you believe that most of your customers don't care about spelling errors, ignoring those who do is terrible business practice.

    Of course, it's not just spelling. Inconsistencies and poor grammar can be just as off-putting. In reality, most organizations appreciate their importance. When mistakes do occur, it's rarely because people don't care. More often than not, it's a combination of a lack of skills and inadequate processes that gets in the way.

    So here are five tips that will help you to avoid those embarrassing errors.

    1. Use House Style

    If you don't have one, create a house style for your organization. What do I mean by that? Well, this is really about consistency, and it's especially important in larger organizations, where brochures, catalogues, websites and ads may be written by teams of different people, some from external organizations, such as advertising or PR agencies.

    The point is that, by and large, all these communications should share a single 'voice'. They should read pretty much as though they were all written by the same person.

    Don't get me wrong – I'm not saying that your corporate brochure copy should look just like the copy on your 48-sheet poster. Much depends on the audience and the medium. But there are some basic things that should always be consistent.

    If you're unsure how to get started, there's a useful guide to building your house style here.

    2. Watch for Errors That Are Hiding in Plain Sight

    This is a simple but important point. People often check the fine details meticulously, while missing mistakes that, on the face of it, should be obvious.

    So, for example, when you're proofreading advertising copy, pay particular attention to headlines. It's all too easy to skip over them, assuming that there can't be a mistake in the headline because someone would have noticed. That someone should be you!

    3. Understand the Difference Between Proofreading and Copy-editing

    This distinction is essential to making sure you don't end up in an endless cycle of writing and rewriting.

    Very broadly, proofreading is mainly about checking for mistakes that might have crept in between the editing stage and the design / typesetting stage. The proofreader is also expected to pick up clear errors that were missed during editing.

    Copy-editing is also about picking up errors, but in addition it can involve rewriting parts of the text (e.g. to make it clearer).

    Why is it so important to know the difference? It's partly to do with drawing a line under the editing process (see point 4, below), but it's also to ensure that each task is done by the person best suited to it. For example, advertising copy is often carefully crafted to have a certain effect on the reader, and you need to make sure that that work is not undone in the proofreading process. People can be excellent proofreaders without being great writers, and writing for marketing purposes is a separate skill in itself.

    4. A Good Sign-off Process Reduces Cost

    It's important to understand that changes late in document production are likely to be more costly than those made early on.

    What does this mean?

    Well, imagine you're producing a brochure. You start by writing the copy, perhaps in MS Word. At this point, if you have to make changes to the copy, it's as simple as editing that Word document.

    Now consider the next stage. You send your document to a designer who inputs the text into their design using desktop publishing software. If you make a change now, depending on its extent, you have to bear in mind its impact on the design. Will the text now spill over onto another page? Is there enough room to accommodate it? Do you also apply the same change(s) to your original Word document, just in case you need to re-use the text? Generally speaking, changes at this point take longer, cost more and raise the risk that further errors will be introduced.

    One lesson to draw from this is that it's worth getting copy and design signed off separately. Most organizations require a sign-off from a senior member of staff, such as a director. Often this happens only right at the end of the process, when a printer's proof is available. If that director then decides to make sweeping changes, it can create terrible headaches, as well as risk missing deadlines and exceeding budgets.

    5. Make Sure the Proofreader Is Not the Same Person as the Writer

    When you read back something you wrote, you tend to see what you intended to write, not what is actually on the page. It's therefore easy to miss errors in your own writing, no matter how careful you are. If at all possible, find somebody else to check your writing.

    Getting it right 100% of the time is impossible. But with good processes and great tools, you can save money and keep errors to a minimum.

    Alex Painter has worked in marketing for fifteen years and has been involved in training in publishing skills for the last ten. He works for Editorial Training, an organization that runs courses in proofreading editing and grammar, including a course dedicated to proofreading for business.

  • Sunday, June 04, 2017



    Oxford Learning Institute
    University of Oxford

    Guide to Editing and Proofreading

    Editing and proofreading are often neglected, but they are the crucial final stages of the writing process. Even the smallest error can result in embarrassing or even costly outcomes (misspelling a name, transposing digits in a telephone number, mistakes in a prospectus) so taking time and care to check what you have written is essential. This document explains the processes of editing and proofreading, and provides useful tips for doing both effectively.

    What is the difference between editing and proofreading?

    To many people, editing and proofreading are one and the same thing. There is, however, a distinct difference between the two.

    Editing and Proofreading

    Editing is the first task that should be undertaken after finishing the first draft of a piece of text. It involves checking the content of the text to ensure that the ideas are expressed clearly and logically, and form a coherent and meaningful whole.
    Proofreading involves checking over the text in finer detail after the editing stage, to detect errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and format.

    The importance of the two tasks is demonstrated by the fact that the publishing and printing industries employ different people who are specifically responsible for each of them.

    Before you start

    Editing requires careful analysis and critical thinking, and proofreading requires a great deal of attention to detail. As such, they are not tasks that can be done in a rush or squeezed in between other tasks: it is essential to devote sufficient time and concentration to both, and being in the right frame of mind to do this is very important.

    Schedule a period of time in your diary for focusing solely on editing or proofing, and find an environment where you can be alone and free from distractions and interruptions. You may even wish to book a meeting room for yourself. Before you start, ensure that you are in a relaxed mood, with no other conflicting priorities or concerns to sidetrack your thoughts. Sit at a clear, uncluttered desk, which should have on it only the things that you need to help you with your task – pen, ruler, dictionary, thesaurus, grammar/punctuation guide, and your organisation’s style guide, if one exists.

    As with all types of work, take regular breaks, as it is not possible to concentrate for long periods. Don’t edit or proofread for more than half an hour at a time without taking a break. Take even just a few moments to give your eyes a rest from the text.


    Editing requires focusing on the content of the text. The key goals are to check that the text:
    * flows logically
    * is coherent and consistent
    * forms a meaningful whole
    * is clearly expressed
    * is accurate in the information it provides
    * has an appropriate tone
    * is concise
    * makes its purpose clear
    * is targeted towards the reader

    Some key questions to ask yourself when editing a piece of text are:
    * Does the opening paragraph provide a clear indication of the purpose of the text and a broad outline of the content?
    * Does every part of the text contribute to the key idea in order to form a meaningful whole?
    * Does the purpose remain clear throughout the text?
    * Is every sentence relevant to the purpose of the text, with no digressions?
    * Is there a sentence (preferably the first) in each paragraph that summarises the key point of that paragraph?
    * Are the paragraphs unified, i.e. do they contain only one single idea each?
    * Has every idea been given sufficient weighting?
    * Does the text flow logically from one paragraph to the next?
    * Have transitional words or phrases (such as, for example, ‘however’, ‘thus’, ‘therefore’, ‘as a result’, ‘in this way’, ‘furthermore’, ‘above all’ and ‘moreover’) been used, but not overused, to help the reader to make connections between the ideas?
    * Are the sentence structure and vocabulary varied, without too much repetition?
    * Has the text been worded concisely?
    * Have irrelevant and unnecessary ‘filler’ words such as ‘actually’ or ‘basically’ been avoided?
    * Is the text free from colloquialisms, slang, jargon and clichés?
    * Has evidence been given to back up statements?
    * Has consistent terminology been used throughout, or if more than one term has been used to refer to something, is it clear that they are one and the same thing?
    * Is a positive and professional tone maintained throughout?
    * Is the tone appropriate for the reader?
    * Does the text meet the readers’ needs?
    * Does the last paragraph neatly and concisely summarise and conclude?

    If the answer to all of these questions is ‘yes’, the text is likely to be a well-written piece that will not require too many changes. Don’t be alarmed, however, if it seems that a lot of changes are needed – editing a piece of text to ensure that it forms a coherent and meaningful whole can sometimes involve making major changes or even rewriting.

    After the adjustments from the editing process have been made, the text is ready for proofreading.


    Proofreading is not merely casting a glance over what you have written: it requires concentration to disconnect your mind from the content of the text in order to focus on the language and layout. Errors can be difficult to spot, so it is essential to read the text word by word to ensure that you don’t miss anything. As it involves correcting small errors (some of which can, nevertheless, have a major impact), it does not require major rewriting.

    The aim of proofreading is to spot and correct errors in:

    * spelling
    * typography
    * grammar, punctuation and use of language
    * style and format
    * anything missed at the editing stage

    When proofreading your own work, you are often so familiar with the text that you see what you think you have written rather than what you actually wrote. For this reason, you will get the best results by asking someone else to proofread your work. Find someone to be your ‘proofreading partner’, with whom you can swap and share proofreading tasks. If this is not possible and you have to proofread your own work, make sure that you take a break of at least an hour (or ideally 24 hours) after writing before you start to proofread. This will help to distance you from the text.

    One of the most important principles of proofreading someone else’s work is to never make assumptions. If you are unsure what the writer has intended to write, query it rather than jump to conclusions and amend it wrongly.

    Print off the text and proofread on paper – it is much easier to spot errors on paper than on- screen. Before you do this, however, it is a good idea to run the spell check on the computer to catch any obvious errors. Don’t rely on this alone to detect spelling and typographical errors, though, as it cannot always be completely accurate. The grammar check is not worth using at all, as a computer cannot cope with all the complexities of grammar and sentence structure, and often ends up being more confusing than helpful.

    Use ink that is a different colour from the print so that your corrections stand out and can be easily spotted. Beware of using red if proofreading for your colleagues, though, as it may remind them of the dreaded red pen wielded mercilessly by their teachers back at school!

    Read slowly and deliberately using a ruler so that your eyes focus on only one line at a time. Go through the text several times, each time working on a different aspect. This will help you to retain your focus and concentration.
    1. On the first read, it is a good idea to focus only on reading rather than on correcting, to
    get an idea of the overall content and meaning, and to spot anything missed at the editing stage.
    2. Then, on subsequent reads, focus on correcting different types of errors each time.
    3. To spot typographical errors, you may wish to do one read backwards, to disconnect your mind from the content and focus fully on the text word by word. This will not help for grammar, punctuation or some spelling errors, though, which can only be spotted in the context of the sentence.
    It is also a good idea to view the whole text from a distance, as some of the errors, especially those in style and format, are difficult to spot close up.

    Here are some of the most common mistakes with grammar and language use that you should look out for when proofreading:

    * tense agreement: mixing past and present tenses throughout a piece of text
    * subject/verb agreement: using plural verb conjugations with single subjects (e.g. ‘one in ten people are …’ instead of ‘one in ten people is …’)
    * pronoun/case agreement: confusing the subject and object of the sentence (e.g. ‘He sat between Bob and I’ instead of ‘He sat between Bob and me’, or ‘Me and John are working on that project’ instead of ‘John and I are working on that project’)
    * confusing similar words, such as the verbs ‘imply’ and ‘infer’, which describe different angles (‘imply’ is when the speaker/writer suggests something without explicitly stating it, and ‘infer’ is when the listener/reader logically deduces something from the information given by the speaker/writer) – another example is ‘affect’ and ‘effect’ (‘affect’ is normally used as a verb meaning ‘to make a difference to’, and ‘effect’ is used as both a noun and a verb – as a noun, it means ‘a change that results from an action or cause’, and as a verb it means ‘to cause or bring about something’)
    * misuse of apostrophe before ‘s’ at the end of a word, which is often incorrectly added before the ‘s’ in plural words, e.g. ‘The report’s are finished’ instead of ‘The reports are finished’ – an apostrophe should only be used before ‘s’ to indicate possession (genitive case), e.g. ‘The minister’s cat is black’ or ‘My friend’s desk is tidy’. However, in the case of the pronoun ‘it’, the possessive form is ‘its’ without an apostrophe. Adding an apostrophe and ‘s’ to ‘it’ indicates the abbreviated form of ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. Look at the difference between ‘The dog has lost its collar’ (possessive form, i.e. the collar belongs to the dog) and ‘Look over there – it’s the dog without the collar’ (it is). Apostrophes follow the added ‘s’ when indicating possession by more than one person, e.g. Gents’ toilet, the pupils’ classroom.
    * incorrect conjugation of modal verbs, such as ‘should of’ or ‘would of’ instead of ‘should have’ or ‘would have’
    * words with similar spelling or pronunciation but different meanings, which cannot always be detected by automatic spelling and grammar checks, such as ‘they’re/‘their’/‘there’, or ‘where’/‘were’/‘we’re’/‘wear’.

    Some other common errors relating to typography, style and format are:

    * double spaces between characters, especially after a full stop
    * wrong or missing headings or titles in a table, or captions
    * misaligned columns or rows in a table
    * misaligned margins
    * incorrect text references
    * inconsistent bullet formatting
    * incorrect fonts/font sizes
    * incorrect capitalisation
    * footnotes or endnotes not matching references
    * interchanging small words such as: of/off/on, and/an/as, or it/is/if
    * incorrect use of trademarks
    * missing numbers in a numbered sequence/list
    * incorrect dates
    * inconsistent use of abbreviations

    Also look out for dashes. There are three types:

    1. (-) hyphen: smallest dash, normally used to join words that combine together to form a single meaning or that are linked together as an expression, such as ‘decision-making’ or ‘problem-solving’
    2. (–) en dash: in typesetting, approximately equal to the width of the type size being used
    – normally used to join two words that are separate but related (en dash can be thought of as substitutes for ‘and’ or ‘to’), for example ‘work–life balance’
    3. (—) em dash: in typesetting, approximately equal to the height of the type size being used – the least common type of dash, normally used to form parenthetic phrases, for example: ‘parenthetic phrases — such as this one — are separated from the main clause by dashes’, although the en dash is often used instead

    It is a good idea to use standard proofreading marks, as they will enable you make corrections neatly and concisely. This is especially useful if you are proofreading for a colleague. Try to avoid squeezing too many marks into a small space, as it will become difficult to interpret. For example, if a word/sentence needs several corrections, score it out and rewrite it completely rather than amending each individual error. Also, try to keep the original text visible, so that the writer can clearly see the error and why it needs to be changed.

    Finally, never take for granted that anything in a piece of text will be correct – be sure to check everything. This includes any parts that have originated from templates, as well as marginal parts of the text such as headers and footers, titles, subtitles and footnotes.

    The Writer's Handbook
    How to Proofread


    Proofreading means examining your text carefully to find and correct typographical errors and mistakes in grammar, style, and spelling. Here are some tips.

    Before You Proofread

    • Be sure you've revised the larger aspects of your text. Don't make corrections at the sentence and word level if you still need to work on the focus, organization, and development of the whole paper, of sections, or of paragraphs.
    • Set your text aside for a while (15 minutes, a day, a week) between writing and proofing. Some distance from the text will help you see mistakes more easily.
    • Eliminate unnecessary words before looking for mistakes. See the writing center handout how to write clear, concise, direct sentences.
    • Know what to look for. From the comments of your professors or a writing center instructor on past papers, make a list of mistakes you need to watch for.

    When You Proofread

    • Work from a printout, not the computer screen. (But see below for computer functions that can help you find some kinds of mistakes.)
    • Read out loud. This is especially helpful for spotting run-on sentences, but you'll also hear other problems that you may not see when reading silently.
    • Use a blank sheet of paper to cover up the lines below the one you're reading. This technique keeps you from skipping ahead of possible mistakes.
    • Use the search function of the computer to find mistakes you're likely to make. Search for "it," for instance, if you confuse "its" and "it's;" for "-ing" if dangling modifiers are a problem; for opening parentheses or quote marks if you tend to leave out the closing ones.

    • If you tend to make many mistakes, check separately for each kind of error, moving from the most to the least important, and following whatever technique works best for you to identify that kind of mistake.
      For instance, read through once (backwards, sentence by sentence) to check for fragments; read through again (forward) to be sure subjects and verbs agree, and again (perhaps using a computer search for "this," "it," and "they") to trace pronouns to antecedents.
    • End with a spelling check, using a computer spelling checker or reading backwards word by word.
      But remember that a spelling checker won't catch mistakes with homonyms (e.g., "they're," "their," "there") or certain typos (like "he" for "the").

    When You Want to Learn More

    • Take a class.
      The Writing Center offers many workshops, including a number of grammar workshops.
    • Use a handbook.
      A number of handbooks are available to consult in the Writing Center, and each Writing Center computer has an online handbook.
    • Consult a Writing Center instructor.
      Writing Center instructors won't proofread your papers, but they'll be glad to explain mistakes, help you find ways to identify and fix them, and share Writing Center handouts that focus on particular problems.

    Check for information on how to make an appointment with a Writing Center instructor.

    For further information see our handout on Peer Reviews



    The following list is taken from figure 2.6 of the 16th edition of the Manual.

    Proofreaders' marks

    Wannabe Editors: Can You Pass a Proofreading Test? By Carol Fisher Saller


    March 4, 2013

    Marked copy
                                                                               Photo: Seth Sawyers

    When my office hires at the entry level, there’s a proofreading and copyediting test. My preference has been to give the test in person, on paper. That levels the playing field by eliminating access to e-mail and online sources. It shows how a person will mark up copy on the job (a frequent chore for the new kid). It isolates proofing and editing skills from word-processing skills.

    Results vary.

    So in the interests of helping young editors in search of employment, I’d like to talk about the second-most common* fatal error that candidates make on the test: that is, their failure to understand the concept of proofreading. Every time we hire, I rewrite the test instructions in the hopes of making them flunk-proof, but there is inevitably at least one smart, promising candidate who in spite of alleged experience proofreading and copyediting still manages to miss the point of the exercise.

    In the proofreading test, the candidate is given two versions of a document: The first is a typed page, double-spaced and covered with corrections handwritten by a copyeditor. This is typically called the manuscript. The second is a typeset page—it looks like a photocopy of a page of a published book. The second was typeset from the first, and if all has gone well, the hand-marked corrections will have been incorporated into the typeset (final) version.

    The test instructions say to proofread the typeset version, not to mark on the manuscript, and to query anything that isn’t clear. Experienced proofreaders know to read the typeset version against the manuscript very closely, comparing the two, looking at every letter and space and punctuation mark to make sure that the two versions are identical and that no text has been added or deleted by accident. In the olden days, two people would share the task: one would read the original aloud, including punctuation and corrections, while the other followed along in the typeset version.

    Naturally, the typeset version has errors in it—after all, it’s a test. The errors are of three main types: (1) the typesetters failed to make a requested correction, (2) the typesetters introduced a new error in a place where no correction was marked, and (3) the typesetters followed the editor’s marking accurately, but the editor’s marking was incorrect. The third type should be rare.

    The idea is to correct the first two kinds of errors without querying, and query the third kind.** Here is a table demonstrating the idea behind proofreading. The first column shows what is on the original manuscript; the second column shows how the manuscript was typeset; the third column shows what the proofreader should do.

    Simple enough? Evidently not quite, for job candidates go wrong in two ways. First, they fail to compare closely enough, so in passages where all seems well in the typeset version, they miss the second type of error.

    Worse, they query all three types of errors, instead of only the third. This is profoundly unhelpful in real life. It virtually defeats the purpose of proofreading, which is to flag unresolved issues—and only unresolved issues. Flagging nearly everything the editor marked for correction is tantamount to asking “Did you really mean to correct this?” when it is obvious that she did. It makes extra work, since she will have to check in each case. She might as well have proofread the thing herself.

    Perhaps the concept of proofreading is trickier for a generation brought up in the digital age of typesetting, but fortunately, once it is understood, proofreading is the easiest of all editing tasks. And fortunately for proofreaders seeking work, there are still plenty of ways typesetting can go wrong.


    *The most common error is sloppy handwriting. I feel hypocritical mentioning this, because I know I would never hire myself for a job that required neat writing. But even so, when I write something that I know must be read by colleagues, I take care over it. I make a habit of writing in pencil, and I often erase and rewrite. Bottom line: if a potential employer can’t read your test, and part of the job involves marking up copy for typesetters, you’re toast. So if you are going to be tested, and if you know your usual markings look like the paper in your gerbil’s cage after a week, take a couple of sharpened pencils and an eraser with you. If you forget, ask for them. (Yes, you’ll look like a loser in the moment, but it’s better than making a mess in ink. And depending on the competition, you might still have a chance.)

    **In real life, proofreaders are not always charged with querying anomalies, and excessive querying that amounts to second-guessing the copyeditor is not the goal.

    What’s the Difference Between Copyediting and Proofreading?


    May 2016

    One of the most confusing parts of the editing process is simply understanding the different types of edits. There are line edits and copyedits, proofreading and manuscript critiques, and that’s just the beginning. For the new author, the whole editing process can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure which one to choose for your manuscript.

    Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

    In this post, we’re going to break down the differences between copyediting and proofreading in order to help you understand the editing process better. You can also use this post to decide which one you’ll need for your manuscript. Let’s get started.

    Are you ready for copyediting? Subscribe to receive a free “ready for copyediting” checklist.

    What is Copyediting?

    Copyediting is the process of checking for mistakes, inconsistencies, and repetition. During this process, your manuscript is polished for publication.

    Contrary to popular belief, the copyeditor is not a glorified spell checker.

    The copyeditor is your partner in publication. He or she makes sure that your manuscript tells the best story possible. The copyeditor focuses on both the small details and the big picture. He or she must be meticulous and highly technical, while still aware of the overarching themes at work within your manuscript.

    Let’s take a closer look at what a copyeditor does. A copyeditor:

    • Checks for and corrects errors in grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation.
    • Checks for technical consistency in spelling, capitalization, font usage, numerals, hyphenation. For example, is it e-mail on page 26 and email on page 143? Or do you use both British and American English spelling variations interchangeably, such as favourite vs. favorite?
    • Checks for continuity errors and makes sure that all loose ends are tied.
    • Checks for factually incorrect statements. This is a necessary part of the copyediting process for non-fiction manuscripts, such as historical pieces and memoirs. The copyeditor must check if the facts in your manuscript are accurate and if the names and dates are correct.
    • Checks for potential legal liability. The copyeditor verifies that your manuscript does not libel others.
    • Checks for inconsistency within the story. This includes character description, plot points, and setting. Does each character stay true to his own description throughout the story? Are there conflicting descriptions of the house? For example, have you described the setting as “a yellow brick home” on one page but “a weathered wooden home” on another page?

    As you see, the copyeditor’s job is not just to check grammar and spelling. He or she must make sure that every element of your story is consistent, cohesive, and complete.

    Your copyeditor will be different than your general editor. The copyeditor comes with a unique skillset. He or she must be precise, detail-oriented, and adroit in grammar and word usage. The copyeditor is also up to date with the standard practices in book publishing.

    Am I Ready for Copyediting?

    Copyediting is the final step before production. It should be done after all other edits take place. In a standard timeline, here’s how the copyedit fits in:

    Manuscript Critique – An editor reads your manuscript and prepares a broad, comprehensive assessment. You receive specific advice on how to develop a stronger narrative, better pacing, and more engaging characters.

    Because the manuscript critique is a big picture analysis of your manuscript, it should be done first before getting into the nuts and bolts of a comprehensive edit.

    Comprehensive Edit – In-depth, intense, thorough, a comprehensive edit tackles a manuscript line by line. The editor cuts down on wordiness and tightens the language to create a more enjoyable read. This type of edit hunts down clumsy or awkward sentences that take away from the rhythm of your prose. For more information on a comprehensive edit, especially a line edit, click here.

    If you plan to go with a traditional publisher, these are the only two types of edits you’ll need. After your comprehensive edit, you can start querying agents (we can help with that, too). Once your manuscript is accepted, the publisher will perform copyedit prior to production.

    However, if you plan to self-publish, we highly recommend that you hire a professional copyeditor to prepare your manuscript for publication.


    As a writer, you’re probably very familiar with the concept of typo blindness. Nick Stockton over at Wired explained it best in his post: What’s Up With That: Why It’s So Hard to Catch Your Own Typos. Brilliant read.

    The basic idea is that you’re unable to see your own mistakes because you already know what you’re trying to convey. You need a second pair of eyes—preferably from someone who knows the rules of grammar—to look over your manuscript and correct glaring errors that you’ve gone blind to.

    In traditional publishing, copyediting is a required step. Who wants to print off a thousand books only to find that there’s a typo on page two, or a discrepancy in character description from one chapter to the next? Not you, and definitely not your reader.

    Unfortunately, many self-published writers skip this crucial step and end up with those exact results. When the flow of the story is interrupted by inconsistencies in the narrative or errors in grammar, not only is it embarrassing for the writer, it can also be confusing to the reader.

    As a necessary last step before printing your manuscript, always hire a professional copyeditor to inspect your work with a fine tooth comb. You’ll feel much better knowing that your typo blindness hasn’t negatively impacted your final work.

    Remember, copyediting is only available to authors who’ve completed a comprehensive edit. This ensures that the copyeditor isn’t spending time editing content that may be deleted or rearranged after a line edit. The copyedit should always be the last step.

    How Long Does a Copyedit Take?

    A copyedit of your manuscript takes anywhere from three to five weeks.

    What is Proofreading?

    In publishing, proofreading happens after the manuscript has been printed. A final copy of the manuscript, or proof, is then examined by a professional proofreader.

    The proofreader’s job is to check for quality before the book goes into mass production. He or she takes the original edited copy and compares it to the proof, making sure that there are no omissions or missing pages. The proofreader corrects awkward word or page breaks.

    While he or she may do light editing (such as correcting inconsistent spelling or hyphenations), the professional proofreader is not a copyeditor. If too many errors are cited, he or she may return the proof for further copyediting.

    Professional proofreading is required by traditional publishers as a quality assurance measure before printing off a mass quantity of books. Many self-publishing authors who have had their manuscript professionally copyedited skip the proofread. If you’re on a budget, you might try to proofread your own work, since there won’t be as many errors to contend with at that stage.

    Monday, May 22, 2017

    Poster Designs By Seth Wilson - Typography Theory, Color, Design


    October 11, 2011

    I created these poster designs over the summer. They are free to download and print for educational purposes. The posters have been created in a large format but can be printed at any size. I created these for my own classrooms where I teach video production, graphic design, web design and digital photography. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the download link... if you repost please attribute credit.

    Typography Poster:

    Color Theory Poster A:

    Color Theory Poster B:

    Elements of Design Poster:

    Principals of Design Poster:

    Download the entire poster 8.1 Mb pdf file set by clicking here.

    More from Seth Wilson can be found here.