Review Process for documents in HTML? (Take II)

Subject: Review Process for documents in HTML? (Take II)
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: Technical Writing <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, quills -at- airmail -dot- net
Date: Thu, 09 Apr 2009 11:08:01 -0400

Scott notes: <<I have only anecdotal evidence...>>

Which is every bit as good as my anecdotal evidence... possibly
better. Just saying... <g>

<<... but I would argue that with the Show Comments feature you can
track the comments/edits/ whatever entered by someone and check them
off if action is completed, place a status on them such as Review:
None, Accepted, Rejected, Cancelled, Completed. You can use the same
PDF to circulate through all SME's by email, or from a central
location, or individual one, and combine their comments into a central
copy of the PDF.>>

That would certainly work, but it still requires care when responding
to each comment, and someone must remember to check at the end of the
process that all comments have been satisfactorily responded to. It
can be done, but whoever does this must remember to check carefully;
the temptation to simply assume that all has been done is natural,
particularly under deadline pressure. Ideally, your editor can do
this, since we editors tend to be... umm... obsessive about these
things. If you're doing peer reviews only, pick the most obsessive
person to do this work. It really does make a difference.

I should also qualify my previous comment about the usefulness of PDF
for reviewing documents: I was speaking from the editor's perspective,
which I may not have made sufficiently clear. If SMEs are focusing
primarily on technical details, and not fiddling with the wording,
then PDFs can work very well. Where PDFs work far less well is for
significant amounts of copyediting and substantive editing; then, the
process becomes significantly more cumbersome (less efficient and
productive) than using a word processor. But you could solve that
problem by giving your editor(s) access to a copy of Frame so you can
use revision tracking, macros, search and replace, etc. to make
editing more efficient.

Geoff Hart (
ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca / geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com
Effective Onscreen Editing:


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Review Process for documents in HTML?: From: Geoff Hart
Re: Review Process for documents in HTML?: From: quills

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