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Lisa, as evidenced by my emails, I am a TERRIBLE copy editor. And,
since I am the only tech writer for a small firm, I am expected to
do quite a bit of this. What do I do? I realize I am not great at
it and try to compensate by being aware of it. I hand my documents
to anyone in the company who will read it and give me feedback.
If I think about it and have the time, I look through each doc
looking at a specific problem (widows/orphans, graphic placement
and titles, cross-refs, etc.). I know there are other solutions
out there, but they all cost money and my company doesn't have any.
I have 2 big mistakes to date: 1. I scanned a document and only
spell-checked it (I didn't read it). It was preproduction so I
did not worry about it. Well, everywere the doc had said "parity"
the OCR software had replaced it with "panty". We had a doc full
of "panty checks". I think the engineer who worked on it actually
appreciated it quite a bit.
2. I just got back my manual cover. It's beautiful. We have been
having a hard time with our high-res logo and I finally got it
right on this cover. However, when the marketing manager looked
at our address he noticed I had spelled "Capital of Texas Hwy"
as "Capitol". Not enough reason to reprint. Oh, well.
I just keep trying to be aware and I am getting better, most days.
The Tech Writer
ABM Data Systems, Inc.
Lisa A. Miller claims...
> My friends, you have given me great information about UW and about how many
> machines it takes to document a system (both topics whose answers I have
> yet to compile and repost). Now, I ask for your worst editing disaster and
> what you did to fix the problems for that project, and how you changed your
> process to overcome the underlying issues.
> I am pretty much just spiraling into the abyss with self doubt and no
> answers. Please shed some light on what you do to ensure editing quality.
> Tell me your answers to editing. How do you do it? Thanks.