Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor

Subject: Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor
From: "Craig Branham" <ccbranham -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 07 May 2003 12:42:32 -0700

To go back to the original question, while the editors' general grammatical bona fides are important, more important I think is an ability to quickly learn the style and usage conventions for publications in the field and medium they're working in. When I'm writing my software product training, I don't want my high school English teacher giving me advice, for example, I want to hear from an experienced technical editor who generally knows the audience, knows something about the product domain, and understands the exigencies of training presentations and WBT courses.

Ability to do research is essential. Effective editorial research helps an editor stay on top of style conventions and trademark usage rules for the products the writers are writing about. The documentation has to be consistent, in many ways, with the product "story" presented in other IP and collateral. Often it falls to the editor (working between and outside different content development groups) to notice inconsistencies and to suggest a path for resolving conflicts.

Editors need to be able to learn the accepted style guides and project style sheets cold in order to decide whether, in particular cases, the writers have violated a convention or whether the guides need to be updated to account for special cases.

Speaking as a writer, I like editors who are good teachers of style, who point out patterns of error and ambiguity to help me head off such problems in the future.

As Arthur Plotnik points out, a slightly compulsive personality helps as well, though hard-line perfectionism is to be avoided in the interest of getting projects finished on time.

Craig B.

Add photos to your e-mail with MSN 8. Get 2 months FREE*.


Order RoboHelp X3 in May and receive a $100 mail-in rebate, PLUS
free RoboScreenCapture and WebHelp Merge Module.
Order RoboHelp today:

ATTENTION FrameMaker Users: Fill-out the following survey to receive a chance to win a FREE RoboScreenCapture.
FM users only please:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


Previous by Author: XML single sourcing with Word?
Next by Author: Re: URGENT: Immediate ethical issue
Previous by Thread: RE: what to look for in a Tech Editor
Next by Thread: Re: what to look for in a Tech Editor

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads