Re: Editing .pdfs - Continued

Subject: Re: Editing .pdfs - Continued
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- oddpost -dot- com>
To: HSC Italian <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2004 16:04:04 -0800 (PST)


I've been both writer and editor. In my opinion, if you're working with all the "fiddly bits" as a British friend of mine would say--or "font fondling" to use Andrew's term--why is it that these sorts of problems are getting through you to the editor in the first place?

Putting on my editorial hat for a moment, I'd say this depends upon several factors. Often, it's initially quicker simply to make this sort of edit than it is to return it to the writer only to have to re-edit later to be sure all the changes are made. Over the long run, however, it may be easier to educate the writer to be more careful to begin with--to self edit.

In technical publishing, too often the editors are people who aren't quite up to the task of technical writing and are relegated to fairly simple editorial tasks. Again in my opinion, the editors should be among the *most* accomplished writers, serving to train less-experienced people as part of their responsibility. Unfortunately, this attitude is not so often shared by those responsible for the tech pubs departments and their budgets.

Of course, I would also if given the opportunity take most of the formatting decisions from the writers--enabling them to focus on the content--and have formatting specialists handle that. The result would be much better templates and adherence to same, easier updating docs as needs change, and it would put in bold relief those writers who can't write well enough to keep.

Yes, an editor should (among other things) watch for how well a writer's work follows the corporate style guide--but ideally this should be well enough understood by the writer that it is a fairly rare problem.

Finally, with today's competitive job market, I think if you are worried about this sort of detail being taken off your shoulders, you are a potential target of those who are always seeking to be hired. IMO, the "...content of the document" is *exactly* what the writer should be focusing upon, with changes made by a competent editor only to make it better due to a bit of distance his or her "second pair of eyes" can give.


-----Original Message from HSC Italian <twins398 -at- hotmail -dot- com>-----

Another question in conjunction with my initial posting: Our new editor is
taking on many other responsibilities that I am used to doing as the writer.
For example, the editor gets the "final" .pdf and fixes all the link boxes
that are not extended out as far as they should be or are not thick enough.
Again, my experience has been that that is the writer's job. The editor's
job is to focus Primarily on the content of the document and make sure
writers are adhereing to the style guide, period!

Editing .pdfs - Continued: From: HSC Italian

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