Category Archives: Proofreading

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 […]

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PDF-Xchange Viewer

In the publishing house where I used to work, we experimented with what I call “paperless proofreading.” A previous newsletter explains the concept: We also talked about having proofreaders work from PDF files, but that would mean they’d need to get the full-fledged Adobe Acrobat software so they could annotate the text, pointing out […]

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Compare Vs. Merge

If you do paperless proofreading (as described in the newsletter for May 14), you’ve probably bumped into some of the same problems I’ve had with comparing documents (Tools > Track Changes > Compare Documents) and merging documents (Tools > Merge Documents). In particular, sometimes I’ll go to compare two documents and get the following message: […]

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Reviewing Revisions with the Keyboard

Last week’s article on paperless proofreading explained how to use Word’s Reviewing toolbar to review revisions in a merged document. It’s a great tool except for one thing: the need to locate and click those tiny toolbar buttons for every revision you want to find, accept, or reject. Wouldn’t it be nice to use the […]

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Paperless Proofreading

I started in the publishing business as a proofreader, reading type set in hot metal on a Linotype machine. I’d compare the type against the edited manuscript and mark any discrepancies. Then back the type would go for corrections, with additional cycles of proofreading and corrections until the type was error free. Now the Linotype […]

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The Death of Proofreading

There you are, editing somebody’s book in Microsoft Word. If you were working 20 years ago, you’d be editing on paper. After you finished, a typesetter would retype the entire manuscript (including your changes) by hand and run out typeset galleys. Then you’d assign a proofreader to check the typesetter’s work against your edited manuscript. […]

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