Category Archives: Editing

Wildcard Cookbook for Microsoft Word

If you’re editing or writing in Microsoft Word, you need to understand Word’s advanced search features. These features are extremely powerful, but they’re also virtually undocumented; most explanations of their use have been limited to a simple table of wildcards. My new book, Wildcard Cookbook for Microsoft Word, explains in detail how you can use […]

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Better word processing: The Chicago Manual of Style interview

The Chicago Manual of Style “Shop Talk” column recently noted: “When it comes to word processing, CMOS users probably represent every level of expertise (or nonexpertise), but regardless of skill level, we all experience frustration at times when we don’t know how to accomplish a task on our computers. Often we do something the way […]

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Spelunking in Microsoft Word

Laura Poole’s Editorial Bootcamp Before getting into today’s main article (“Spelunking in Microsoft Word”), I want to mention a great resource: master copyeditor Laura Poole’s Editorial Bootcamp, which covers everything from style guides and software to style sheets and spelling. I had the good fortune to sit in on one of Laura’s sessions at this […]

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Removing Spaces at the End of Table Cells

Authors do funny things. Sometimes these things are inadvertent; sometimes they’re the result of trying to “prettify” documents for publication. In either case, editors have to clean up what the authors have done. One such problem is spaces at the ends of table cells. A table cell should end with the text it contains. If […]

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Deleting Extraneous Carriage Returns in Footnotes and Endnotes

During my editing career, I’ve often run into problems with footnotes and endnotes in Microsoft Word. Many authors have no clue about how notes are meant to work, and Microsoft certainly hasn’t made it obvious. In fact, they’ve made it easy to mess notes up beyond repair. One mistake authors make is to insert extraneous […]

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The Law of Least Surprise

I wear many hats, but two of my favorites are my editing hat (really just a green-celluloid visor that protects my eyes from the glare of the lightbulb dangling overhead) and my programming hat (a rakish fedora with a feather on the side). I alternate between the two on any given day, but there’s one […]

Also posted in Programs, Proofreading | Comments closed

Editing Documents in LaTeX

Do you ever have to edit a document written in LaTeX? There’s recently been some discussion on Copyediting-L about how to do this. I know of three methods. Method 1: Work in raw LaTeX LaTeX looks like this: chapter[On the Origin and Design of Government]{On the Origin and Design of Government in General, with Concise […]

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Deleting Multiple Comments

While editing in Word, you may use Word’s Comments feature (Insert > Comment) to insert questions for your client–or possibly your client has used comments to insert questions for you. In either case, there will probably come a time when you need to remove the comments so the file can be used for typesetting. But […]

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Deleting Multiple Bookmarks

Bookmarks in a Word document are useful for many things, such as, well, marking your place, marking ranges for index entries, and marking text for cross-references. But they can also get in the way–for example, if you’ve finished editing a document for a client and have several dozen bookmarks you’ve created but now need to […]

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Effective Onscreen Editing

If you’ve spent much time in user groups related to Microsoft Word, Macintosh computers, or technical writing, you’ve probably seen postings and articles by Geoff Hart, one of the most prolific, respected, and helpful writers and Word experts I know. And now for the big news: Geoff has released his long-awaited book Effective Onscreen Editing! […]

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