KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Thursday, June 09, 2016

The Editing Software and Macro Packages I Use

A colleague asked what editing software I use. I'm happy to share that information, but what works for one editor may not be a good fit for other editors who work on manuscripts in different genres or even in different industries. I'm a medical editor, and here's my list:

  • FileCleaner, a collection of macros that cleans up common problems in electronic manuscripts within Microsoft Word, including multiple spaces, multiple returns, unnecessary tabs, and improperly typed ellipses (available for Windows and Macintosh)
  • ListFixer, a collection of macros that fixes problems with automatically numbered lists and bulleted lists within Microsoft Word (available only for Windows)
  • NoteStripper, a collection of macros that allows the user to do several things within Microsoft Word to embedded and automatically numbered references and endnotes, including (1) stripping notes to or from the ends of sections or from the end of a document and (2) turning inline tagged notes into embedded notes (available only for Windows)
  • PerfectIt, a program for enforcing consistency on many levels throughout a manuscript (available only for Windows)
  • ReferenceChecker, a macro that works within Microsoft Word to verify whether each entry in a reference list is cited correctly in a manuscript; works with name–date citations and with numbered citations (available only for Windows)
The Editorium, which creates and sells several of the Word add-ins and macro packages listed above, has other programs that editors find useful.

EditTools is a package of editing macros (available only for Windows) from wordsnSync that is frequently updated. As of this writing, it contains 36 macros to automate editing tasks, including Reference Number Order Check, the only macro I'm aware of that has been written to take human error out of the process of renumbering lists of out-of-order references.

For links to many more programs, macro packages, applications, blog posts, and style guides for editors, see the "Editing Tools" page of my Copyeditors' Knowledge Base.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Certificate Program and Certification Are Not the Same

Obtaining a certificate is not the same as achieving professional certification.

Please note that certificate programs can be very valuable. But I want to make sure that editorial professionals don't think they're the same as certification. Someone on one of the profession-related email discussion lists that I subscribe to conflated the two concepts today.

Directory listing for an editor with BELS certification
When you are given a certificate, it is a usually a piece of paper noting that you have completed a course or a series of courses. In contrast, certification requires that you have professional experience and have passed a thorough assessment examination. Passing the examination allows you to use a specific professional designation after your name. For example, because I have achieved certification as an editor in the life sciences, I am allowed to use the professional designation ELS after my name.

The page "Professional Certification vs. Certificate Program" of the website of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has a good discussion of the differences between the two concepts. Scroll down to the heading "Difference Between Professional Certification and Certificate Program." The chart in that section is especially helpful.

The United States does not have any organizations that provide certification of general editing proficiency. Note, however, that the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences provides certification of editing proficiency in the life sciences.

The Editors' Association of Canada is one of several professional associations outside the United States that does provide general certification. Updated: Editors who live outside Canada can take the organization's certification examinations. The "Qualifying for the Tests" page of the organization's website says:

If you work in English—no matter what country you live in—you're welcome to take the Editors Canada certification tests. The benefits of Editors Canada certification are recognized worldwide. To take the tests, you must travel to one of the Canadian cities where they're offered. Two tests are available every November.

For more information, write to info@editors.ca.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How to Become a Medical Editor

There is no standardized process for becoming a medical editor. But in a guest post on The Editors' Weekly, the blog of Editors/Réviseurs Canada, I provide a map for one way to do it.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Editor's Editing Process

Editing just means reading and looking for typos, right? Wrong. In a guest post on the blog of the Indian Copyeditors Forum, I lay out the steps I follow in editing medical-journal manuscripts.

If you follow additional steps or a different set of steps in your process, please share them in the comments so lots of editors can benefit.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Getting Unstuck from the Editorial Mire

Publishing consultant Iva Cheung has posted her coverage of the panel discussion of project management at the recent national conference of the Northwest Independent Editors Guild. This point from Cheung’s write-up struck me as most important:

Sometimes we all find ourselves so mired that we feel we don’t have time to plan ahead or hire someone to help, but that attitude is self-defeating, said [panelist John] Marsh. “Take the time now, even if you are very pressed, to save time later on.”

Besides applying to project management, Marsh’s advice applies to several other facets of editorial work:

  • We get attached to our slowpoke ways of doing things and tell ourselves that we don’t have time to learn faster ways, such as using macros and wildcard searches, using new-to-us software, and using Microsoft Word templates and styles. We wind up working far too many hours on a project and may lose money because our client won’t pay for time that wasn’t in the project budget.
  • We work ridiculously long hours to finish a huge project, paying penalties of sleep deficits and poor mental and physical health. But if we take just a little time upfront and determine whether we can ask for an extended schedule or hire a subcontractor (or both), we might not end up frazzled or burned out.
  • We mistakenly believe that marketing (1) is all about coming across as self-important, (2) requires a huge time investment and thus is intimidating or not doable, (3) is only for marketing experts, and/or (4) doesn’t really work for editorial professionals. Not surprisingly, not too many new clients will find us when we think like that . . . because they don’t know we exist.
Do make time to find ways out of the mire. Getting unstuck feels great, will keep burnout at bay, and will make your joy in your work evident to your clients—which will bring clients back to you for more projects.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Resources Discussing the Use of Singular "They"

Not being a linguist, I don't usually write posts detailing linguistic matters. This post is a reference list of good reading rounded up by my colleagues rather than a discussion of the use of the singular pronoun they. I am for the widespread use of they; the following items explain the issue much better than I can.

Dear readers, if you have links that you think should be added here, please leave them in comments. Thank you.

Template created by Make My Blog Pretty