Everything your organization communicates is a reflection of its stature and professionalism. A professional
edit of everything that goes out the door or through the firewall guarantees that you'll be seen in the best
possible light. Editing makes sure that your content communicates clearly, consistently, and appropriately for the
medium and audience and follows accepted style guidelines and those set by your organization. Editing ensures
that the intent of the writer is fully realized in the delivered content.
Many organizations consider content essentially complete after it is written and reviewed by SMEs, needing only
a "quick edit for style and consistency," if there is time. Few things are actually ready for just a copyedit at
this stage. A complete editing cycle can involve two or three passes and include substantive editing, copyediting,
and production editing.
- Identifying and solving problems of overall clarity or accuracy
- Reorganizing paragraphs, sections, or chapters to improve the order in which information is presented
- Writing or rewriting to improve readability and flow of information
- Revising any or all aspects of the text to improve its presentation
- Querying appropriate parties about apparent errors, inconsistencies, or omissions
- Correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage while preserving or defining the meaning
and voice of the original text
- Checking for or imposing a consistent style and format
- Preparing a style sheet that records style and format considerations specific to the document/project
- Cross-checking references, art, figures, tables, equations, and other elements
Creating and maintaining a professional look and feel requires that tools such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
and Adobe FrameMaker used to produce documentation and training be used consistently and correctly. Production
editing corrects improper tool use. While it is often done simultaneously with substantive editing and copyediting,
it is in fact a separate function and may take a considerable amount of time depending on how the content was
created. Documents should be created using templates that define content style and format. Manual formatting and
overrides should be removed and replaced with correctly applied template elements. During the substantive and
copyediting phases electronic documents will be cleaned up. Templates will be applied or created as necessary.
The best way to determine your editing needs is to have me review a sample.