Old Fashioned Terms For Speaking So On And So Forth Proofreading – On-Screen Vs Hard Copies

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Proofreading – On-Screen Vs Hard Copies

The old-fashioned way of editing and proofreading on hard copy was more work than the current method of doing these tasks on screen. On-screen editing and proofreading programs have made it a faster and more efficient way to produce a document and finish it for publication.

Let’s review the old method. A writer wrote several pages of material. A word processor was used to enter the text. A hard copy printed on large sheets of paper with large margins on each side for editors to make their corrections and comments. The font used for printing was usually Courier 12 for easier spotting of errors. The document was printed in double space, so editors and proofreaders had room to make corrections. A red pen was used for all changes. It was necessary to know the standard spelling marks when they were making their corrections. The left side was used for the proofreader’s marks and the right side for the editor’s comments. Most publications will go through two or three passes depending on how much work was needed to improve the quality of the document. In addition to text changes, graphics should also be included in the document. That stage usually takes place after the final print. Cut and paste was the standard way to insert graphics into a document before going to the publisher.

There was a lot of back and forth with printed documents that cost a lot of money on paper, equipment, salary and time to get the product out the door. Well things have changed a bit. Now we can do all these things using programs that track our changes. One popular program is Microsoft Word’s Track Changes.

Most writers have moved on to writing their documents in a word processing program but they usually don’t want to get involved in document cleaning. They were thinking about what to write next. Authors submit their work in draft form to be finalized for publication. Editors and proofreaders can now use Track Changes to make comments and edits. All changes are shown in red and are highlighted in the right column using the balloon feature. The balloon feature in Track Changes allows editors and proofreaders to post comments for reviewers right on the document. In fact, all changes made to the document can be displayed with the balloon feature; such as revisions, additions, deletions, and formatting changes. Other editing and proofreading tools available include spelling and grammar checks, research tools, and a thesaurus. After proofreading and proofreading are complete, reviewers can review any changes and accept or reject the change. They can also accept or reject all changes at once. Adding graphics is also made much easier with the ability to insert graphics into the document on the screen.

An original document is always available. Multiple editors and proofreaders can work on a copy of a document at the same time. Each person’s input is different using different colors. There is an option to merge all the changes together into one document for the next pass. Once all corrections and comments have been made, the document can be saved as the final version. It can be printed with or without marks.

Another important feature in use today is the ability to run a word count. Many editors and proofreaders charge their clients a fee based on word count so this feature has come in handy.

In the hard copy days proofreaders were heavily employed to check that all edits were incorporated into the document. They did this when a document went through revision. With the ability to make corrections on screen, the responsibility of proofreaders has become somewhat unclear. They now basically do light copy-editing instead of proofreading.

The entire editing process has come a long way from doing them on hard copies but it is still recommended to print a final version of a document in its entirety for final reading. Sometimes it’s easier to catch obvious mistakes by looking at a hard copy versus an on-screen version.

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