The art and science of editing 2

Editing is an art and a science

Why does an editor make changes?

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The science of editing

I make changes for various reasons.

Typography.

Sometimes I make changes for typographic reasons – for instance, to lengthen previous paragraphs so there is not just one line at the bottom of the page (a widow) or to shorten the text so there is not just one line at the top of the next page (an orphan).

Plain language

Sometimes it is to change text into plain language. For instance, I remove unnecessary adverbs (words ending in -ly that describe verbs). Often, I remove unnecessary clause connectors (like that).

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The art of editing

Grammar, rhythm, assonance and alliteration

Sometimes it is to correct grammar, sometimes to improve rhythm, sometimes to create assonance (same sounds) or alliteration (same first letters).

I should be able to justify every change I make, if the client queries it. It is their work, not mine.

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The art and science of editing 1

Editing is an art and a science

When do you keep using the same word and when do you use a synonym?

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The science of editing

Consistency

The science of editing is primarily about consistency. It is even better to be consistently wrong than to be sometimes right.

Terminology

One place where editors need to be consistent is in terminology. However, editors need to keep a subtle balance between keeping a document consistent and stopping it from being boring.

Repetition

Using the same word repeatedly is necessary in training and academic documents because, if the author keeps using alternative words or terms, trainees and readers lose the thread of their arguments. I spend more of my time taking extra terms out of a client’s work (to make it consistent) than adding them in (for variety).

Synonyms

However, sometimes I do use a synonym for variety. That’s where the art of editing comes in. It is hard to explain – and confusing for my clients.

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The art of editing

Variety

Sometimes I just feel the text needs to use another word for variety. I often link it to the original word in some way. If the client has too frequently used the word “characteristics”, I might say “characteristics (or traits). Such traits….”

Logic

But I must use the science of editing to think about it and be sure I am doing the right thing. I cannot change the terminology when the client is in the middle of making a point about it – but the new term can be the start of a new point.

I should be able to justify every change I make, if the client queries it. It is their work, not mine.

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Get started with indexing

Indexing for beginners

Example of an index
Example of an index

Indexing is not a quick or simple process but it is very logical and can be very satisfying.

Advice from the Chicago Manual of Style
Automarking
Manual indexing
Automatic indexing

The Chicago Manual Style

The complexity of the indexing enterprise is shown by the fact that the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual Style (CMS) has 64 pages about indexing (I have not seen the 17th edition). The list of entries in Chapter 16 on Indexes shows the many things that have to be considered. CMS very kindly allows free downloads of the 53-page Indexes chapter from the 15th edition.

However, MIT and the Wiley have simple documents that introduce the concepts a beginner needs to know about: how to handle names, abbreviations, compound terms and cross-references. (The documents refer to older versions of CMS and expect you to make manual lists. Don’t worry about the manual lists. They are not necessary because of the computer tools we have today.)

Automarking

Some people think you can get Word to automatically mark your text for the index (automarking) but automarking does not happen without previous input from the author or editor. Here is an Indexing Example document.

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Practise

I suggest you download this one-page Indexing Example document to practice on. Create two versions, one for manual indexing and one for automatic indexing.

Things to think about

  1. Think about whether you will have capital letters for main entries. For example, in a book about composers, I might put PURCELL as the main entry so that composers stand out in the index.
  2. Think about whether you will have italics for other entries. For example, Dido and Aeneas is in italics to show it is a the title of a published work or collection.
  3. Think about saving space in the index. For example, I could have two separate entries for “University of Natal” and “University of KwaZulu-Natal”, but the repetition of “University of” could have made both names wrap onto two lines (4 lines). Instead, I made two main entries under “University” with sub-entries for “Natal” and “KwaZulu-Natal” (3 lines).

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A. Create index entries manually

  1. Go through the first Indexing Example document and see what words or terms you think should be in the index. Select them and manually mark them by pressing Alt+shift+x.
  2. The Mark Index Entry dialog box pops up. Experiment with its different options. Mark All is a very useful timesaver in a larger document.
  3. You can make more than one entry for one item. For example, in the Indexing Example, I entered Dido and Aeneas on its own and as a sub-entry under Purcell.
  4. You can create cross-references in the form of see and see also references. However, you still have to mark all the cross-referenced terms as though they were the main entry so that the index picks them up. For example, “Simon” in the second paragraph has a see reference to “Montiya, Simon”, plus an entry for “Montiya, Simon”.

Generate the index and check it

  1. Once you have marked all the important words,
  • put your cursor at the end of the document and generate the index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Choose the Classic template. Select Indented or Run-in type. Specify the number of columns).
  • Go through the generated index looking for errors of sense and spacing.
  • Go to the error. (The index tells you the page number)
  • Make hidden text show. (Ctrl+* )
  • Correct the error. You can type between the curly brackets. For example, you can change the order of words or type in sub-entries after a colon (with no space on either side of it).
  • Regenerate the index.
  • Recheck.
  • Repeat until you have corrected all errors in the index.

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B. Create automatic index entries

On the second version of your practice document, use a word usage list and then a concordance. You need the concordance in order to use Word’s Automark option. I have attached instructions for creating a word usage list and then a concordance to help with indexing single words. Then you can generate an automarked index (Reference tab > Index group > Insert Index. The Index dialog box pops up. Select Indented or Run-in type. Click the Automark button). But you still have to go through the text to see what terms and connections (see and see also references) should be made.

Generate the index and go through looking for errors of sense and spacing, as in A.7 above.

Format the automatic index

After all that, when you are certain there will be no more changes to pagination, you will still probably have to convert the whole index field to non-field text (Ctr+shift+F9) because there will be corrections that you have to make manually in order to comply with institutional requirements.


Note: This post is written with apologies to professional indexers. It is taken from my personal experience and not from any formal training.

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Tracking moved text

Moved text shows as a deletion and an insertion

Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature allows editors to show their clients what changes they have made to the text. However, moved text is not always displayed in green double strikethrough and double underline as promised in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box shown below.

A screen-print of the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box
To see this Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box, click on Review > Tracking dialog box launcher > Track Changes Options > Advanced.

Moved text is not marked as moved when the text you move has a tracked change in it. Paragraph 1 in the example below shows text that already had a change in it displayed in red as a deletion and an insertion after being moved. Paragraph 2 shows moved text in green. Paragraph 3 shows that the moved text displays the change that was made after it was moved.

Examples of three kinds of moved text
Examples of three kinds of moved text

If you want the moved text to be marked with double strikethrough and double underline (the default colour is green), reject all changes in it, make the move, and reapply all the changes.

If it is a big block of text, with several changes, I suggest you copy it before you reject the changes in the original. Then you can use the copied text as a model for redoing the changes in the moved text.

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The art and science of editing

Editing is an art and a science

When do you keep using the same word and when do you use a synonym?

The science of editing

The science of editing is primarily about consistency. It is even better to be consistently wrong than to be sometimes right.

One place where editors need to be consistent is in terminology. However, editors need to keep a subtle balance between keeping a document consistent and stopping it from being boring.

Using the same word repeatedly is necessary in training and academic documents because, if the author keeps using alternative words or terms, trainees and readers lose the thread of their arguments. I spend more of my time taking extra terms out of a client’s work (to make it consistent) than adding them in (for variety).

However, sometimes I do use a synonym. That’s where the art of editing comes in. It is hard to explain – and confusing for my clients.

The art of editing

Sometimes I just feel the text needs to use another word for variety. I often link it to the original word in some way. If the client has too frequently used the word “characteristics”, I might say “characteristics (or traits)… Such traits…“.

But I must use the science of editing to think about it and be sure I am doing the right thing. I cannot change the terminology when the client is in the middle of making a point about it – but the new term can be the start of a new point.

I should be able to justify every change I make, if the client queries it. It is their work, not mine.

Learn Your Way Around a Document

Navigate Around a Word Document

Save a document

First download a document to move around in.

  1. Go to Documents and make a New Folder. Call it something like Training -Anne.
  2. Click on the link and download the Letter to format. See below what it looks like.
  3. Save the Letter to format in the new folder.
  4. In Word, open the Letter to format.  (Ctrl+o and Browse).
Letter to Format

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Rename a document

  1. Press F12 to Save As
  2. Rename the document to “Letter to format [Your Name]”.
  3. Delete the paragraph “Letter to format” at the top of the page.

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Navigation Move around in your document

You can move with or without highlighting (ie, selecting) the text.

Use the Home and End keys

Keys - Insert Delete Home End Page-Up Page-Down
Different keyboards put the keys in different places – but they all have the Insert, Delete, Home, End, Page-Up and Page-Down keys illustrated above.
  1. To go to the right of the line – press the End key.
  2. To go to the left of the line – press the Home key.
  3. To go to the end of the document – press Ctrl+End, ie, hold down the Ctrl key with your left little finger and press the End key with your right hand – then let them both go.
  4. To go to the beginning of the document – press Ctrl+Home.
Tthe four arrow keys

Use the Arrow keys

  1. To go down a line – press the DownArrow key.
  2. To go up a line – press the UpArrow key

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Combine keys

The tab, caps and shift keys
The combination keys
  • A Ctrl key combination moves the cursor.
  • A Shift key combination selects the text.
  • A Ctrl+shift key combination does both – it moves the cursor and selects the text.

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Shift to select

Select a line

  1. Put your cursor at the beginning of the paragraph.
  2. Press Shift+DownArrow, ie, hold down the Shift key with your left hand and press the DownArrow key with your right hand to go down one line.  Keep holding the Shift key and press the DownArrow key again and again until you have selected the whole paragraph, then let go of both keys.  Your text is selected while your cursor moves.

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Select (highlight) a paragraph

Double-click in the margin to the left of the paragraph or triple-click in the middle of it.

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Select the rest of the document

Hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys with one hand and press the End or Home key with your other hand. Press Shift+Ctrl+End to go down or press Shift+Ctrl+Home to go up.

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Go one word to the right

Hold down the Ctrl key and press the RightArrow key (Ctrl+RightArrow).

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Select one word to the right

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+RightArrow.  (Put your left little finger on the Ctrl key, your left ring finger on the Shift key, your left forefinger on the Alt key and press the RightArrow key with your right little finger.)
  2. To select several words, keep holding Shift+Ctrl and keep pressing and releasing the RightArrow key.

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Go one word to the left

  1. Press Ctrl+LeftArrow.
  2. To select several words to the left – press Ctrl+LeftArrow repeatedly. 

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Select one word to the left

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+LeftArrow.  (Put your left little finger on the Ctrl key, your left ring finger on the Shift key, your left forefinger on the Alt key and press the LeftArrow key with your right little finger.)
  2. To select several words, keep holding Shift+Ctrl and keep pressing and releasing the LeftArrow key.

Note the difference between Ctrl+End and Shift+Ctrl+End (and between Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+Shift+Home): Holding the Shift key highlights the text while the cursor moves past it.

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Select the whole document

Press Ctrl+a to select All.

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Show or hide the ribbon

Press Ctrl+F1.

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Go to the header

To activate the header so that you can edit it, double-click in the header area or press Alt+H.  Note that your cursor moves into the header, the body of the document goes dull, and the Header & Footer Tools: Design tab appears on the right of the Ribbon.

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To activate the footer so that you can edit it, go to the Navigation group in the middle of your Ribbon and select Go to Footer.

Go to Footer

Go back to the body of the document

Double-click in the body area or press Alt+h.

Click here to download a PDF of this lesson.
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Go to the Manual contents
Go to the previous lesson
– Create your own keyboard shortcuts
Go to the next lesson – Options 1: See hidden text

AutoText

Avoid retyping and reformatting

Work with AutoText to avoid retyping and formatting commonly used textAlt+F3.

a.  Highlight the text you want to use, eg
Public Finance Management Act, Act No. 1 of 1999 as amended (PFMA)

b.  Press Alt+F3.

c.  Give your AutoText entry a short name, eg, pfma.

d.  When you want to use it, type the short name (separate from other text).

e.  Press F3.

Automatic formatting of names

Autocorrect names into italics

If you often refer to something that has to stand out from the text, like a book title, newspaper name or song title, the convention is to use italics, rather than inverted commas. If you use the same names over and over again, you can save time and energy (and probably increase accuracy) by creating shortcuts.

Book title, newspaper name or song title

Type the name of the item the way you want it, with capital letters and italics.

Note: It is better to use an italic character style reserved for the names, like Subtle Reference, rather than simply italicising the name; if necessary, change the style to the format you want.
Only include  “The” or “A” at the beginning of the name if it is part of the legal name of the item.

In Word 2016, go to File > Options > Proofing > Autocorrect Options, as shown below.

The Autocorrect dialog box pops up, as shown below, with the selected text in the “With” box and the cursor in the “Replace box”.

Type something that you will remember for the name of the item, e.g., an abbreviation – in lowercase because that is quicker to type. It must be something that you will not use in normal typing. You do not want the name of the item appearing in the wrong place.

Select the “Formatted text” radio button.

The text in the “With” box changes to display the formatted version of the “With” text, as shown below.

Now, whenever you type the “Replace” name, it will be replaced by the “With” name in italics as soon as you press the spacebar or any kind of punctuation.

Repeat for all your items.

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Vancouver Referencing Style

Vancouver Numbered Referencing

The Vancouver referencing style is a numbered style used by journals in the health sciences to avoid clutter in the text, and improve readability. The in-text citations are superscript numbers, and the references at the back of the article are listed in the order of the numbers in the text, like endnotes.

Abbreviated titles

The Vancouver style requires the journal titles cited in the references to be abbreviated according to international agreement. If your source does not give the correct abbreviation of its title, you have to look it up.

You can find lists of titles here:

Formatting

Digital Object Identifiers

Many journal articles have DOI numbers.

A very useful resource if you have a DOI number for your reference is the CrossCite website. It allows you to set the format to a wide variety of referencing styles, including Vancouver. Click the ‘Format’ button to see the formatted reference, click the  ‘Copy to Clipboard’ button to copy the result, and then paste it into your reference list. (You have to check that the program does not add commas to the author names – but it gives you a very good start, especially if there are lots of authors.)

DOI numbers are provided by the International DOI Foundation (IDF), a not-for-profit membership organization that is the governance and management body for the federation of Registration Agencies providing Digital Object Identifier (DOI) services and registration, and is the registration authority for the ISO 26324.

If you would like to find out about having your document and its Vancouver references edited, click here.

Headers and Footers Print Option

Headers and footers

What a marvelous print option

Switch on Headers and Footers (second from the bottom of the Print Options) when printing from a web page so you have a permanent record of where and when you got the information you are printing.

Microsoft Print to PDF – basic print option

Printed with header and footer

To save a soft copy to your hard drive in case the web page is deleted or changed, choose Microsoft Print to PDF as your printer.