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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).
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).
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.
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 for variety. 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.
The Collins Dictionary says “A field is an area of a computer’s memory or a program where data can be entered, edited, or stored.” MSWord has fields such as date and author fields that it stores in its File Properties.
You cannot change the text in a field because it changes back as soon as you print the document. You therefore need to be able to see fields so that you do not change them by mistake. Word allows you to display the fields with a grey highlight. In order to do so:
Go to the File tab and select the Options button.
In the left pane of the Word Options dialog box, select the Advanced option.
In the right pane, under the heading, Show document content, change the Field Shading to “Always”, as shown below:
If you want to change a field in the text, you must first “lock” it (Ctrl+Shift+F9) and then make your change
Go to the Properties pane where the field originates and change the text there. Go to the File tab, Info option to see the Properties pane on the right. Click in a field in the right-hand column of the Properties pane to add or change text.
If you cannot see the property you want, click Show All Properties, as shown below.
Six more properties are displayed, as shown below, highlighted by an orange border.
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.)
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
The Mark Index Entry dialog box pops up. Experiment with its different options. Mark All is a very useful timesaver in a larger document.
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.
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
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.
Repeat until you have corrected all errors in the index.
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.
Outlook’s search folders are useful for finding emails. They keep your unread mail and your emails from selected addresses in separate folders for quick and easy consultation, no matter where you might have filed them. The emails are not moved there, just displayed.
Right-click on the Search folders folder and left-click on the New Search Folder button that pops up.
The New Search Folder dialog box pops up. Select the option you want, in this case Unread Mail, as shown below:
That may be enough for you, but I prefer my unread mail to be even more prominent so I added the folder to my Favourites.
Add to Favourites
Display the folder amongst your Favourites by right-clicking on it and choosing the Add to Favorites option from the drop-down menu shown below:
The Unread Mail folder is added to the Favourites folder at the top left of the screen in the Folder Pane, as shown below.
You can go even further and make Outlook open in the Unread Items folder.
Open in the Unread Items folder
To make sure you do not forget any of your unread emails, you can make Outlook open in the in the Unread Items folder instead of your Inbox.
Go to File > Options > Advanced. In the right-hand pane of the Outlook Options pop-up, the second group from the top is called Outlook start and exit. Click the Browse button and select the Unread Mail folder, as shown below.
Emails from certain people or organisations
Right-click on the Search folders folder at the bottom of your email folders and left-click on the New Search Folder button that appears.
The New Search Folder dialog box pops up. Select the option you want, as shown below (drag a corner diagonally to enlarge the image):
If you select one of the Mail from People and Lists options, click the Choose button to tell Outlook the address you want. The Select Names: Contacts dialog box pops up. If you don’t have the email address amongst your contacts, you can type or paste it into the From or Sent To textbox, as shown below:
Now you will be able to see all the mail to and/or from that address under the name highlighted in the Search Folder. You can right-click on the name to change it or customise its contents, as shown in 1.c.
Nowadays, I mostly use the 4K Video Downloader to download training webinars because it downloads them much faster than they play. That means I don’t have to waste time on the internet when I am busy. I can view them later at my leisure.
I also use it to download music videos so I can familiarise myself with them before projecting the words overhead for the congregation during church services. Afterwards, I use its sister program, 4K video to MP3, to convert the videos to audio so I can use less of my laptop’s memory to listen to the music while I am doing a repetitive proofreading task. (I cannot listen to music while I edit.).
I just copy or drag the URL to the Paste Link button. If it is a link the program can download, a big red plus appears in the button. A progress bar shows the MB/s, how many MBs have downloaded and how many remain. Then the progress bar goes white for some time while the program processes the download. The preferences can be set to ring a bell when the download is complete.
Click here to find out more, such as how the program handles a playlist.
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.
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 changein 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.
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.
God should spit in my face, and punch me, and slap me, and execute me, and condemn me, but Christ took my place… I was once a captive at the will of Satan, but Christ became a captive that I might be set free. I was once an outcast forsaken… but Christ became forsaken… that I might be made forever a member of the family of God. I was once denied compassion and … sympathy, but Jesus went to a compassionless death, and is now my sympathetic high priest… I was once accursed from God, but Jesus became accursed for me. I was once a false witness, who denied the truth about Christ, but Christ endured false witnesses to make me His own, and now no one can ever bring an accusation against me, even it’s true, that will stand against my salvation. I saw Jesus silent for me; shall I not fill my mouth with praise for Him? I was dead, but Jesus died that I might live.
John MacArthur, Sermons, Matthew 26:62-68, 2390, January 27, 1985.