RE: Pilot Editing Study?

Subject: RE: Pilot Editing Study?
From: Tim Mantyla <TimMantyla -at- nustep -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 09:22:29 -0400

Part of the following piece on XML editing outlines 3 levels of
documentation editing. This seems to apply to all kinds of editing, but
doesn't appear comprehensive in terms of every kind of technical editing.


The Impact of XML on Technical Editing
by Justin Baker
Linear-based documentation (traditionally called paper-based
documentation), has three major editing phases in my own mental editing
model: (1) Knowledge Editing, (2) Language Editing, and (3) Layout
- Knowledge Editing refers to the technical subject matter in a document
both in verbal form (words) as well as in visual form (images). I divide
Knowledge Editing into four sublevels:
- Knowledge Accuracy,
- Knowledge Completeness,
- Knowledge Logic, and
- Knowledge Hierarchy

The first two editing sublevels ensure that the subject matter is accurate
and complete. The third editing sublevel ensures that the basic logic of
the subject matter is sound, and the fourth editing sublevel ensures that
the 1.0, 1.1, 1.1.1 hierarchy of the subject matter is sensible.

- Language Editing refers to the technical subject matter in a document
both in verbal form and visual form. Language Editing focuses on the
exposition of the knowledge through words and images. Language Editing
encompasses sentence structure, grammar, diction, punctuation, spelling,
and character mechanics (font and display attributes). Language Editing
focuses on the particular standard visual elements to be used in any given
type of illustration. For example, for network diagrams, some companies
might want to consistently use the same network-server icon. Language
Editing ensures that both the verbal language and the visual language are

- Layout Editing focuses on the following document areas:
- Industry-standard, large-scale document page layout patterns (for
example, a traditional template for a specific industry project plan)
- Text and illustration spacing
- Large-scale font formatting (small-scale, or individual, font formatting
is part of character mechanics under Language Editing)
- Miscellaneous layout mechanisms such as running headers, page numbers,
and hyperlinks
------end excerpt----

The first, knowledge editing, encompasses some, but seemingly not all
aspects of developmental editing. One website says developmental editing
is "editing the big picture by paying attention to the minute details."
(From a site oriented toward fiction and nonfiction writers:

Bonnie Granat's website has good descriptions of some types of editing,
including developmental, but not all. Another site, Associate Writers and
Editors, with descriptions of various kinds of editing:

A comprehensive outline of the many aspects of editing would be useful to
me, if anyone would like to share their knowledge.

List of Tech Comm Skills
Also TECHWR-L is a list of traits, skills and qualities tech communicators
need to possess. These include hard and soft skills, compiled by list
members: or

--Tim Mantyla

Communication - Creativity - Innovation

Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
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Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

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